Once you’ve found your new home, and you have a signed contract, you’ll need a home inspection.
The Home inspection
So – who should inspect your future home? Your cousin, who used to work as a contractor? An uncle who has bought many homes? Or, just maybe, you should hire a professional. And yes, hiring a professional is the correct answer.
Few people are aware of this, but there are only 3 types of contractors who are required to be licensed in New Jersey. And that list is plumbers, electrician and home inspectors. These home inspectors are required to take continuing education in addition to serving apprenticeships. So don’t trust this important step to a friend or relative who knows a little bit about homes. Additionally, home inspectors are required to have insurance, in the rare case that they miss something big.
What Gets Inspected?
A complete home inspection begins on the outside of the home. The roof and the siding are checked , in addition to the doors and windows. Inside, each window and door is checked to be sure that they open, stay open and close properly. The windows are checked to be sure that the seals are not compromised. Any flaws in the sheet rock are documented, such as holes, settling cracks and water damage stains. The rugs are examined for stains, tears and more. If ceramic tile is present, they get examined for cracks and chips. Hardwood and laminate floors are also examined. Most mortgage companies require a termite inspection showing no damage or activity. Many inspectors are qualified to perform this, however, you may need to get a separate company involved.
Kitchens and Baths
In the kitchen, all cabinets are looked at to ensure the doors and drawers are functional. The cabinet under the sink is examined is checked for both active leaks and prior water damage. All appliances are tested. And all electrical receptacles which require GFCI protection are checked. The same items are checked in the bathrooms and the laundry area.
Electrical and HVAC
In the electrical system, all receptacles and the electrical panel will be checked to see if they’re properly wired. The furnace and the hot water heater will be checked for proper operation. As to the air conditioner, it will be checked for proper operation. However, if the weather is too cold, running the AC can damage the system.
At the end of the inspection, you’ll be supplied with a copy of the report. Depending on the inspector, you may get it immediately or it may arrive in your email within 24 hours. Once you have the report, make sure your attorney has a copy. Speak with your attorney about which items you want the seller to repair. I always tell my client to save their battles for the important things. Don’t worry about minor, insignificant thins, but if there’s something seriously wrong, insist that the seller either get it fixed or provide a credit so that you can get it fixed.
If you cannot come to an agreement with the seller regarding repairs, don’t be afraid to cancel the contract, because this may not be the home for you.
Any questions, or when you’re ready to either buy or sell a home, contact us.
Would you like to look at homes in other Monmouth County towns?
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