Inspections are among the most important aspects of purchasing a new home. If you don’t thoroughly evaluate the abode before signing the contract, you could take on a money pit of sorts – and one that ends up being far more expensive than the agreed-upon sales price.
Here are some tips to help avoid unpleasant surprises with your new home.
1. Inspect the inspector
More likely than not, you’re going to bring a professional home inspector in to check out the structure. Bankrate, a consumer financial services company, states that not evaluating the person responsible for the inspection is the top mistake individuals make when purchasing or selling a house. You’ll need to vet the inspector, ensuring he or she has a strong track record of getting the inspection right. Past that, you’ll want to double check to ensure that the inspector is focusing on the areas below.
2. Flood history
Has the home experienced a flood? Even if everything looks clean and functional on the surface, flood damage can remain beneath the surface, potentially hindering the foundation’s integrity or promoting the growth of mold. Look into the flood history, and ask for records related to the repairs made.
3. Drainage problems
HGTV, a home improvement television channel, suggests ensuring the grade slopes away from the house. Even in tame storms many homes will have severe issues with flooding if the grade drains in the direction of the home.
4. Signs of infestation
A bug problem can be a big headache for a new homeowner.
Look for signs of invasive creatures such as bed bugs, ants, termites, cockroaches and the like before finalizing the deal, as removing these pests can be expensive.
5. Criminal history
It might seem extreme, but some homes have a criminal history that could endanger your family or impact the home’s value. For example, was the home ever used to manufacture dangerous drugs? Make sure you get disclosures on any and all criminal activities that took place in the home.
6. Electrical check
This Old House, a website devoted to do-it-yourself projects, suggests taking a close look at the home’s electrical features. Our insurance partners prefer homes with circuit breakers over homes with fuses. Also, homes with aluminum or knob and tube wiring are serious concerns that would require updated wiring to be insured.
7. Heating and plumbing systems
For air and water, make sure the home’s current heating system is in good shape, as replacing this equipment can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Our insurance partners prefer homes with central heat that is thermostatically controlled. Homes with a woodstove require additional underwriting review. Check for any water leaks under cabinets and around sinks and toilets. Ask about the home’s history of any water leaks or water damage.
8. Insulation, windows, doors, roof
The Old House, a home improvement publication, urges homeowners to inspect insulation, doors and windows to check for potentially costly or wasteful drafts and damages. The age and condition of the roof is a top concern when purchasing insurance. Make sure there is no existing damage and find out what year the roof was last replaced. Asphalt or architectural shingles and metal roofs are favored over wood shake shingles. Homes with a roof that has been replaced in the past 20 years are easier to insure than homes with roofs older than 20 years.
In the kitchen and beyond, all appliances should be in working order unless the sale contract clearly states they need replacement.
With inspection records in hand, you’ll need to ensure you have the right insurance coverage to mitigate your new home’s risks.
Contact us if you are thinking of purchasing a new home. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 864-288-9513.
Parts of this article were obtained from our partner, Selective Insurance, and are not all inclusive regarding the subject matter. This content is offered for educational purposes only.