Unless someone is purchasing a house, with the objective of knocking it down, and building another, home buyers should seriously consider hiring a recommended, quality, professional Home Inspector/ Engineer, to inspect, examine and report, on the condition of the potential purchase! While many mortgage lenders will do some sort of inspection/ review, their reasons and purposes are often considerably different, from yours! They are looking to be certain the value of the property is sufficient, to warrant a specific amount of loan, while you should be checking, to be certain, there are no surprises, etc! Lets review 6 reasons/ areas, hiring a professional, to provide a qualified opinion, is the sensible approach. In fact, in my more than a decade as a Licensed Salesperson in New York State, I have always recommended that any offer, be subject to a satisfactory inspection.
1. Overall physical integrity of a house: This is the bottom line! After reviewing individual components and systems, such as heating, HVAC, appliances, electric, plumbing, etc, is it a good house to buy? There are always some issues, but evaluate whether, these are minor, or deal – breakers!
2. Electrical system: Home inspectors should check every outlet, light switch, etc, for safety, and if they are in proper working condition. In addition, he looks into the electrical box, and inspects its quality, safety, etc. No one wants to purchase a house, which might be a potential risk, because of faulty electrical condition! Also, what is the amount of voltage/ wattage, being provided to the box, 100 or 220?
3. Plumbing: Every faucet should be inspected, to be certain there are no leaks, and there is sufficient flow. If there is an outside sprinkler system, this must be checked, to inspect its integrity. How is the drainage? Every toilet should be flushed, and this should else be done, while a shower is being run, to see if there is sufficient hot water. Is there a hot water tank, and, if so, how old is it?
4. Roof, windows and doors: Are there any leaks? What is the age of the roof, and what rating does it have (20 year, 25, 30, etc)? What is the roof’s condition? Are there any missing shingles, or flashing? Are the windows old, or newer, replacement ones? If they are replacement windows, what type and condition are they in? Are there any major air – leaks? What is the condition of exterior doors? Are they hung properly, in terms of alignment, air – tightness, etc?
5. Foundation; basement: Inspectors spend a good amount of time in the basement, because it often provides many clues, as to the overall condition. Is the foundation sturdy, and free of cracks? Have there been any leaks, and is there any evidence of water or water damage, and if so, where does it come from? Check the heating system, in terms of age, function, condition, etc.
6. Termites/ pest inspections: In many areas, especially when there is a lot of sand, etc, there are many incidences of termites. Has this been addressed, and is there a Termite Contract, in place, with a reputable, licensed professional? What has been, and is done, to address this situation, proactively? Is there any evidence of any other pests, etc, and what might be the cause and treatment?
It only makes sense to consult a professional, before purchasing, what for most people, is there largest, single asset! Doesn’t that make sense?