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4 Crucial Inspections to Have Done before Buying a Home

Written by  //  2016/06/28  //  Home Buying Inspection  //  No comments

For most of us, buying a home is the single largest investment we will make. Coupled with all the emotion that often accompanies a home purchase, whether fulfilling a lifelong goal or heralding the start of a new beginning, it’s important to be certain you are making the right decision. Take a look at these four inspections you should have done to ensure the house you are purchasing can become your dream home.

Structural Elements

The foundation of the house is literally what the structure is built on and is the logical starting point in any evaluation. It is not unusual for cracks to appear over time—and some settling is common—but it’s a good idea to verify that the walls, ceilings, floors, roof, and foundation are structurally sound and need no major repairs. Additionally, the type of crack can be indicative of the problem, with vertical cracks more often a sign of greater concern than horizontal cracks. 

Plumbing

Plumbing issues can dramatically impact a home’s livability, and repairs can be expensive. You should pay particular attention to the material the pipes are made of, the water pressure at the taps, the accessibility and effectiveness of the shut-off valve, the hot water heater and any visible signs of leaks or odor of sewage.

Electrical System

The first place to begin is with the main panel and circuit breakers. Any sign of rust or corrosion can be indicative of larger issues. However, even if everything looks good inside the panel, there are other potential concerns; what’s behind the walls. Areas where water is close to electrical outlets are particularly vulnerable, but any house that is older than 40 years old probably has wiring that would not pass today’s stricter building code requirements.

This is not to say that the age of a home is a deal breaker, but it is better to be prepared and forewarned than to be blindsided down the road. Keep an eye out for non-working light fixtures as well. Though they seem an easy fix, a New Jersey electrician warns that not all light fixtures are the same, and one wrong move could prove extremely dangerous. When it comes to wires, pay someone who knows what they’re doing.

Exterior Components

A visual examination of the property is helpful to determine if the home has curb appeal, but a broader inspection should focus on such items as:

• Grading
• Elevation
• Drainage
• Retaining walls
• Driveways
• Patios
• Fences
• Wall coverings
• Fascia
• Windows
• Doors
• Garages
• Lighting

Spending a little time doing you due diligence can make the home buying process a more rewarding one that can pay dividends for many years in the future.

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