I lived in a rental home for around 8 years and am currently negotiating the cash purchase of it. Because I've lived here for so long and (this is my first home purchase),I'm very familiar with the condition of this house. Is a home inspection really necessary and a good idea? The home was built about 30 years ago. There are no visible signs of mold or termites, the interior is generally sound. Because its a condo the roof / outside isn't our responsibility to maintain. Internally, there are no signs of anything other than a few dry cracks here and there - no odd smells or otherwise.

I appreciate any suggestions on if it makes sense for us to still inspect the home we're buying? My logic is, we know the home so well b/c we've lived here so long - how much would inspector know beyond what we already know? If yes, should we go for a basic inspection or a thorough inspection for mold and termites as well?

  • 3
    The answer depends entirely on your grasp of construction and maintenance of a home like yours. If you don't know what to look for, you don't know what you don't know. Neither do I.
    – isherwood
    Mar 20, 2018 at 20:18
  • The home as been maintained religiously by the former owner. AC unit is brand new as well and interior show no signs of anything major. I guess my question is will a home inspection uncover much much more than what is visible and known to someone who has occupied the home for so longer, from a building / structural / skeletal standpoint? Mar 20, 2018 at 20:21
  • Does your lender require any type of inspection? I see you say "cash purchase", so you may not have a lender to worry about. Does the condo building require anything like that to happen when the property changes hands (never lived in a condo, so I have no idea). Also, would an inspector be able to check other parts of the building to ensure you're not buying a part of a bigger problem?
    – JPhi1618
    Mar 20, 2018 at 20:22
  • @JPhi1618, assume the answer is no. If we find its a requirements, of course we'll go for the inspections to fulfill those requirements. Second, I'm not sure what an inspector is capable of checking and how thorough it would be... if its even worth the effort Mar 20, 2018 at 20:23
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    Closing as opinion-based, but is it really worth it to save a few hundred bucks? There may be a lot you're familiar with, but there may be things you're unfamiliar with or didn't realize were problems - especially because you've never owned a house before. A home inspection should be part of every house you buy - whether you've rented it for 8 years, buying it from family, new construction, whatever. It's a super cheap insurance policy.
    – mmathis
    Mar 20, 2018 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


Yes, unless you are an inspector yourself. Inspections often catch things owners don't know about. The owner may have maintained it meticulously, but he can only fix the problems he knows about. My home inspector caught a few safety issues like pitch of the exhaust from the water heater and a sharp edge around a flexible gas line in the fireplace. You should also plan on the house being inspected when you eventually try to sell it to someone. Inspections aren't expensive, but they can catch expensive issues. Mine noted the condition of some of the windows was poor and I was able to negotiate $2k off the selling price. When you have a home inspection, it gives you the power to negotiate a better deal for yourself.

As far as what level of inspection to get, I wouldn't hesitate to spend up to $200. So whatever that gets you, but that's just my opinion.

Since it is a condo, I'd also be concerned about the health of the condo association's finances. Is the roof on the building 20 years old? Have they collected and saved enough money to re-roof the structure or will they require an extra $15,000 from everyone next year?


Oh yes, and a title search as part of title insurance is more important still.

The problem with cash sales is it's all too tempting to shortcut the normal formalities (which you do not know what they are). Oftentimes the seller is counting on this and is manipulating you to skip those formalities.

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