Buying a home is one of the largest investments of a lifetime for most people. And finding that special home is an exciting journey. But what lingers behind the facade of a house should not be a surprise after you have signed the paperwork and taken possession. Consequently, an experienced New Jersey real estate attorney would almost always recommend having a professional home inspection completed prior to the closing of your new home.
While your seller is legally responsible for making disclosures about known deficits in the house, there are things that your seller may not even be aware of going on with the home. Although a home inspection is not legally required in New Jersey, it is one of the most important things a buyer can do to ensure that it is free from mechanical and structural issues before signing on that dotted line.
What is the Difference Between an Inspection and an Appraisal?
A home inspection is a thorough investigation and evaluation of the home’s main structure and mechanical systems. The inspector goes through the home with the proverbial “fine-toothed comb” approach to ensure that there are no significant problems or deficits with it that may be of concern, either in the short-term or longer-term. Although some sellers call for an inspection prior to listing the home, in most cases, this will be left up to a buyer after the contract.
An appraisal is a home assessment for the purposes of determining its fair market value. The mortgage company will require an appraisal to ensure that it is worth the price you are paying and the company is lending against. Although an appraisal will be extensive, it will not be extensive in the same way as a home inspection because its purpose is very different.
What Does a Home Inspector Look At?
A home inspector will be at the home for several hours, looking closely at each aspect of its construction and mechanical components, including all major appliances that are conveying. The home inspection will cover:
- The exterior of the house
- The foundation
- The roof, including the support, covering, flashings, and gutters
- The attic
- Electrical system, including wiring, outlets, and breakers
- All visible plumbing, both inside and outside the home
- Furnace, air conditioning, and any other HVAC components
- Interior condition of the home
- All appliances
The Benefits of a Home Inspection
A professional home inspection can save a buyer hundreds if not thousands of dollars in unforeseen repair costs and allow an out if structural issues are found that he or she doesn’t care to inherit.
The home inspector is trained to find any faults in the home’s structure, code compliance issues, presence of current or previous water damage, mold, or other concerning conditions. Having a comprehensive home inspection completed offers the buyer the ability to ask for corrections from the seller or negotiate the price to offset any corrections the buyer will need to make.
Buying a home can be exciting and yet overwhelming. Having the advice of an experienced New Jersey real estate attorney offers peace of mind and ensures that there will be no lingering issues in your home buying experience. At Matus Law Group, we will guide you through all facets of buying your new home. Contact us to learn more.