You’ve found the perfect home. It’s in your budget, in the perfect school district, and has everything on your must-have list. The only thing standing between you and your new home is a home inspection. The home inspector goes through the home with a fine-tooth comb and finds a few things that need to be fixed. No big deal, right? Wrong. In some cases, it’s best to walk away from a home after a home inspection, even if you’re otherwise in love with the property. Here are three instances when it’s time to walk away:
1. The sellers refuse to make any repairs.
2. The repairs would cost more than 10% of the purchase price of the home.
3. The defects cannot be easily fixed or would require major structural changes.
When to Walk Away After a Home Inspection #1: The Sellers Refuse to Make Any Repairs
If the sellers are unwilling or unable to make any repairs after a home inspection, it’s time to walk away. There are two main reasons for this: first, if the sellers aren’t willing to take care of necessary repairs before selling the home, chances are good that they haven’t taken care of other important maintenance items either. Second, if the sellers won’t make repairs after being asked, they’re probably not going to be very cooperative if any other issues arise after you move in. Walking away now will save you a lot of headaches down the road.
When to Walk Away After a Home Inspection #2: Repairs Would Cost More Than 10% of Purchase Price
Some repair costs are simply too high for most buyers to shoulder, especially if they’re already stretching their budget to buy the home in the first place. If repairs would cost more than 10% of the purchase price of the home, it’s generally not worth buying the property, as you’ll likely never see a return on your investment. In this case, it’s best to walk away and find another home that better fits your budget.
#3 Changes Would Require Major Structural Changes
Be wary of homes that require major structural changes—these kinds of projects are often too costly and time-consuming for most buyers (and sellers!) to take on. If you’re looking at a fixer-upper and the necessary changes would require altering load-bearing walls or adding/removing entire levels from the house, it’s probably best to walk away and find something else. Unless you’re an experienced contractor yourself or have an unlimited budget, these kinds of projects are usually more trouble than they’re worth.
A home inspection is an important step in the home-buying process—but it’s not always smooth sailing after that point. In some cases, it’s best to walk away from a deal even after a successful inspection just because repairing everything on the list would be too costly or time-consuming. Other times, it might be best to walk away because the seller isn’t being cooperative or because major structural changes would be required to fix everything on the list. Keep these three situations in mind next time you get ready to sign on the dotted line!