EMPHASIS ON HOME INSPECTIONS
There are so many more compelling reasons to engage a home inspector than ever before—even for a newly constructed home. I cannot emphasize enough that the inspection process performed by the town or the county for new homes is an inspection for compliance to their building codes—period. These inspections are important, but do not address a comprehensive look at the entire condition of the home. Every home wears out eventually but new homes are not perfect just because they are new.
Builders can and often do miss things or make mistakes. Realtors are the professionals in the business that see this every day. You have the most leverage to get things corrected before you take possession of the home. A good inspector is very thorough, only costs a few hundred dollars and looks at many more things than the municipal inspector. Getting even one finding corrected can easily save you more money than the cost of the inspector. It is easier for the builder to comply with your request than to wait to get paid. Even if your inspector finds nothing, the value is still worth the peace of mind.
There are even more reasons to get a re-sale home inspected. And remember: an inspection is for the purpose of informing you of the condition of the home. You’re not buying a new home, so it is unreasonable to expect the seller to return it to the condition of a new home. However, even though a seller may night put a new roof on for you, at least you’ll know the expected useful life of this expensive item.
You should be interested to know if there has been work performed on the home that should have required a permit and whether or not work was performed professionally by licensed contractors. If not, then you will be responsible for these conditions when you, in turn, go to sell the home. It is critical to know if there are any electrical problems that rise out of an inspection. You could lose your home to fire in an instant with electrical problems.
Plumbing issues can be equally expensive. Leaking areas behind walls or on floors will cause mold and are frequently the most expensive repairs known in the insurance industry.
Recently municipalities have been requiring permits for an ever-increasing variety of work on property. Restrictions are clearly increasing. Whether we like it or not is just simply an academic debate. The real question when you acquire a property should be to find out what conditions you are accepting responsibility for as you go forward. An inspection will help you decide what is significant and what is immaterial.