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Buying a Home- Don’t Forget the Inspection

You’ve finally found the home that is just right and made an offer and it was accepted. Now you just wait for escrow to close, right?  Wrong.

Now is the time to have the home inspected to make sure you are aware of any possible issues in the home before it’s too late and the deed has been transferred. An independent inspector can evaluate your potential home on a structural and functional levels and give you a full report, generally in under a few hours. This report can help you feel at ease with your purchase and alert you to any areas of concern. A good home inspector will also explain the functioning  HVAC systems of the home. They sometimes offer classes on homeownership and how to take care of your new home.

If there is a swimming pool or spa or unusual home appliance or fixture, you may want to have that inspected individually by a reputable repairman in that field. Questions and concerns relating to asbestos, lead or chemicals, mold and mildew, or pests will need to be directed to an inspector licensed in those specific areas of expertise. Some inspectors are qualified to answer questions in these areas but most refer to specialists when a problem becomes severe.

Generally speaking, a home inspection on a property for sale will cover the following areas:

  • An evaluation of the walls, ceiling, floor, roof, firewall, windows, foundation and slab.
  • Inspection of the landscaping, looking particularly at grading and drainage, although drives and walkways, fencing, trim, doors, windows, and outlets will be checked as well.
  • General framing as seen in exposed beams or attics, ventilation, duct and plumbing systems, and the condition of roofing materials, plumbing and rain gutters will be noted, too. Water heaters, fireplaces and the sprinkler system should be evaluated.
  • The electrical sources and wiring in the home will be inspected, from circuit breakers and grounding systems to exhaust fans and receptacles.
  • All appliances, including the garbage disposal, alarm system (if needed) and all smoke detectors.

Every county and state has different regulations in regards to home inspections, so it it best to use a local New Jersey inspector recommended by someone you trust. If the inspection uncovers issues in the home regarding health and safety issues, a need for the roof or ventilation system to be replaced, a problem in the home’s foundation or significant drainage concerns, you will want to further explore the problem preferable at the seller’s expense. This would be a negotiation  and your realtor will step in and begin providing options for you. In New Jersey some important inspection issues like an old or worn out roof will have to be solved in order for the mortgage company to release the funds for a buyer to close on a property. So make sure you carefully review your inspection report with your realtor and real estate attorney and make sure you understand all the details in the report. Currently in-ground oil tanks are a big enviromental issue, most inspection companies will recommend a metal detector scan to ensure there is no oil tank in the ground which could later leak and contaminate the soil. Contamination leaks are a significant problem with huge financial implications, so scanning prior to purchasing a home costs about $300. and it is well worth it.

At www.findnjhouse.com your home purchase would be reviewed and all required inspections would be performed immediately prior to any kind of financial obligation on your part.

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