When purchasing a home, it’s strongly advised that you get a home inspection.
Learn About Home Inspections
For the most part, there are two reasons to get a home inspected. First – you’re purchasing a home, and you want to learn if there are any serious problems with the home before you close the purchase. Second – you’re selling a home. And you need to find out if there are any hidden problems that need fixing before you put your home on the market.
But, either way, you need to know a few things about the inspection process.
Choosing your home inspector
The choice is yours, and there are many home inspectors in the business. Your Realtor probably can recommend someone as well as your attorney. Or you can get a referral from a friend or relative. Either way, be aware that in New Jersey, a home inspector must be licensed by the state. And, they must take continuing education courses. This means that your “Uncle Dave”, who used to be a contractor, shouldn’t perform your home inspection. Hire a professional, you’ll be glad you did.
What do home inspectors look for ?
It’s important that you go to the inspection if at all possible. By following the inspector, listening and asking questions you’ll learn what’s important and what isn’t. It’s extremely rare that an inspection doesn’t find any issues. Some issues require repairs, while others are potential safety or health risks. However, an inspection is not for finding cosmetic repairs, as long as they don’t affect the integrity of the home. In addition, an inspector can only inspect what is visible. They cannot see what’s inside a closed wall.
Home inspection reports include the basics
A proper home inspection covers many items. The inspection should include the home’s siding, steps, porches, decks, chimneys and roof. The windows and doors are checked to ensure they open, stay open and closes. Additionally, they get checked to see if the glass seals are broken. When inside the home, it goes top down. Attics, the electrical system, plumbing, central heating and air conditioning, basement/crawlspaces, and garages.
Items such as faucets are checked to see if they leak, and garage doors to see if they close properly and have the proper safety components. A written report will be provided that should be concise and easy to understand.
Some inspectors are certified to also do a wood destroying insect report. If not, you’ll need a separate inspection for that.
The Home inspector works for the buyer
It’s your choice whether or not to share the report with others. If you’re a buyer, you’ll share it with your attorney, and possibly your Realtor. You are not required to give a copy to the seller, their Realtor or their attorney.
If you’re a seller, you don’t have to give a copy to buyers. However, any information regarding the integrity of the home or major systems failure must be disclosed in the Seller’s Disclosure.
Don’t shoot the messenger
As I said earlier, inspectors can only inspect what they can see. As a result, serious problems, although rare, can be missed. An inspector cannot see inside a wall or under a floor. Remember, as a buyer, you need the home inspection to decide if the home has issues that you weren’t aware of when you made the offer. And if serious issues arise, you can use the inspection report to negotiate a better price, or to ask the seller to make repairs.
That’s an old saying which means “Beyer Beware”. Don’t skip the inspection to save a few dollars. It’s a reasonable investment which can save you money and peace of mind.
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