GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — It’s tough to buy a house right now – especially in Grand Rapids.
Buyers have been waiving inspections left and right to try to keep up with the competition, but experts say skipping that step can mean losing tens of thousands of dollars down the line.
“The basement is probably the biggest where we spend the most time,” inspector Joshua Locker said. “That’s where all the organs of the home are.”
Locker says he never used to get calls for inspections after people already bought their homes.
Now, he’s averaging at least three of those calls a week.
“When a house has bad bones, you’ve got such an uphill battle,” he said. “These poor people, they can’t do anything about it and it all lies on them.”
Whether a home is $100,000 or $1 million, there will be things buyers want to know ahead of time, such as crooked dryer ducts, which can trap lint and cause a fire.
“Especially Grand Rapids’ older homes,” Locker said. “They’ve got galvanized pipes, old boilers, old furnaces. These things all cost money.”
Good real estate agents will want buyers to get a professional inspection and take their times, especially for those spending their life savings or buying their first home.
“People are going in blind,” said Jason Griffin with Legacy Homes GR. “They’re making these purchases without an inspection. I’m of the belief, if it’s for you, it’s for you. […] I always advise to be safe than sorry.”