Inspections are among the most important aspects of purchasing a new home. If you don’t thoroughly evaluate the property 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 sale price.
Here are 10 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. 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
Bugs, rodents, and pests can be a big headache for a new homeowner. Look for signs of invasive creatures such as bed bugs, ants, termites, cockroaches, mice, squirrels, and others 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.
7. Heating 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.
8. Insulation, windows, doors
This Old House, a home improvement publication, urges homeowners to inspect insulation, doors and windows to check for potentially costly or wasteful drafts and damages.
In the kitchen and beyond, all appliances should be in working order unless the sale contract clearly states they need replacement.
With the inspection complete, you’ll need to ensure that you have the right insurance coverage that meets your needs and adequately covers the property’s risks. Consult with an independent agent to learn about what insurance coverage options best suit your personal needs.
Article is from Selective Insurance