It’s a great feeling to have your offer accepted on your dream home. But that’s not the end of it – there’s another major hurdle to overcome in the process of buying a house. You still have to get past the inspection, which can and often does reveal major unexpected problems. And then you’re back to re-negotiating the offer at best. If, however, you know what to look for and be aware of concerning the inspection, you’ll be far less likely to be taken by surprise. So here are 5 things to pay attention to during the home inspection when buying a house in New Jersey.
1. The Roof
Roof problems in the course of buying a house in New Jersey, industry pros recommend that you “[f]find out how old the roof is and if there are any issues . . . [I]f there are any problems, you will likely have to bring it up to code. Ask if the current homeowner’s roof warranty will transfer to you with the purchase (they don’t always).”
2. The HVAC System
Your next major concern with respect to the inspection when buying a house in New Jersey should be the HVAC system. “A standard home inspector will confirm that a home’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (HVAC) is functional at the time of inspection, but will make no guarantee that it will keep working once you purchase the home.”
Replacing an HVAC system or even just a major component of it can run into several thousands of dollars. So you should pay attention to, for example, the age of the air conditioner compressor. You can have the inspector check the compressor’s serial number in order to know how old it is and how much longer it will last before needing to be replaced.
3. Water Drainage and Damage
In addition, you need to pay attention to both water drainage and signs of water damage – both things that inspectors may miss. Water should always flow away from the house to prevent damage to the foundation. And that’s something that is usually fairly obvious and easy to assess.
But in buying a house in New Jersey, water damage inside is often a different matter. “While external water damage is pretty easy to spot with a visual inspection, potential damage hidden inside a home’s walls can be harder to detect . . . To ensure that your home is safe from water damage that can lead to moldy walls, make sure your inspector takes the extra precautions of wielding an infrared camera to find water damage that exists beneath the surface of a home.”
4. Scope of the Home Inspection
Another important thing to be aware of and then pay attention to is the scope of the home inspection. An inspection conducted by a trained inspector is typically fairly thorough and produces a report treating most things that can affect the home’s value or livability.
But inspectors don’t look at everything. The emphasis of an inspection is on the major structures and systems. Inspectors typically don’t move furniture or appliances, and that means some problems may go undetected.
So before the inspection prior to buying a house in New Jersey, it’s a good idea to become at least a little familiar with inspection forms/reports and what they do and don’t cover.
A word of caution, though: “These may be too detailed for the average home buyer, but they give you an idea of the scope of a home inspection as well as things to look for when touring houses.” If you find these reports too confusing, your local agent can assist you. Call 855-966-DEALS to find out more about this.
5. Forgetful or Dodgy Sellers
Sellers are legally obligated to disclose any problems with a house. But that doesn’t mean they always do so – even though they can be held both legally and financially responsible for anything they deliberately hide.
It’s important, then, when buying a house in New Jersey, to pay attention to warning signs such as forgetful or dodgy sellers. These signs include sellers who:
- Can’t remember important details concerning renovations, things like dates, contractors and materials used, and quality of the work performed
- Claim they don’t really know much about the house because they haven’t lived there long enough
- Are reluctant to or refuse to provide proper disclosure forms
Lean on Your Agent
The inspection process can be confusing to many buyers. Your local real estate agent, however, can help you successfully navigate the process. Agents, of course, are not inspectors, but they do know what inspectors do and what an inspection can and cannot reveal. The home inspection is an important step in buying a house in New Jersey, and our experienced agents can help you avoid a catastrophic mistake, so contact us at 855-966-DEALS.