Baruch Hashem, you and your significant other have finally reached your decision!
You are getting out of Dodge, or to put it more eloquently, getting out of this teeny tiny apartment!
Equipped with a mess of wild cowboys and cowgirls, it’s time to look for the ‘ol homestead, where the buffalo roam and the green grass grows. (Full disclosure: I’m a bit of a Western fan, so saddle up for some John Wayne references.)
The time has come for you to make more room for the family and purchase a bigger place. The work begins, scouring the home listings for a homestead that gives the family ample space, comfort, and some well-deserved menuchah.
After weeks of searching, you find a place that has it all! “Wow, look at that front yard, the pretty picture windows, the pristine block, and oooh the price! This can’t be real! I’m calling the real estate agent like, yesterday!”
An appointment to view the property is arranged, and you and hubby are with the agent.
After an hour or so of touring your dream dwelling, you are in love with the property. To understand what’s going through everyone’s minds, think little thought bubbles appearing over the heads of you, your spouse, and the real estate agent. You have visions of a green manicured lawn, roomy kitchen and bedrooms, and all the possibilities! Hubby’s thought bubble is, “Are the roof, heating systems, and overall structure up to snuff?! The agent bubble is simple: “damage control.” Real Estate agents are amazing at reading minds when it comes to prospective buyers and their concerns.
Your agent, with years of experience, gives a hero’s answer: Round up the mashgiach! Also known in the business as a licensed home inspector. She explains to you that before you consider a significant purchase and sign on the dotted line, a good home inspector can wrangle up minor and major defects within a property. It is not uncommon to get wowed by a property’s first impression. (Like getting a new car! Ah, walking into that car dealership and seeing all the shiny new cars, the car smell, the car grill smiling as you enter… Sorry, I digress. You get the picture.) This is where the home inspector comes in.
What is a home inspector? A licensed home inspector has been extensively trained in so many areas of a home, such as, electrical, structural, roofing, and HVAC systems. Besides this, a good inspector may bring in state-of-the art imaging equipment to help detect moisture and even wood-destroying insects. Home inspectors are required by law to continue their education to maintain their license. Many inspectors hold degrees in relevant fields like architecture or engineering. They may also be experienced tradesmen like carpenters, electricians, or plumbers, so they can come with excellent credentials in addition to their extensive training as a licensed home inspector.
What can I expect when I call a home inspector? When contacting an inspector, he or she will ask many initial questions regarding the property. It might seem intimidating at first, but rest assured these questions help us collect the data to start our research on the property’s history, such as when it was built and its construction information. That gives us a great idea what we can expect on the day of the inspection.
What can I expect on inspection day? We strongly encourage you to join in during the inspection. Ask questions! No question is silly. And as far as confidentiality, we only share this information with you, the client! Rest assured, licensed home inspectors are not “code inspectors,” who are looking for possible city building violations.
Do I need home inspections outside of buying a new home? Another not-often-considered service is having your property inspected every few years to get a snapshot of the home’s health (Yes, I said health!). As with our cars and our physical health, a structure needs maintenance.
How’s the roof, plumbing, heating, and electrical faring? When was the last time those areas of the home were checked? Nothing is worse than discovering your house has an indoor fountain flowing from your light fixture! This type of maintenance home inspection is referred to as a Four Point, which covers the Big Four: Roof, Electrical, HVAC (Heating and Air Conditioning), and Structural. The cost is minimal and gives one peace of mind.
Many insurance companies are now requiring such an inspection if changing coverage on a property. But I will leave those particulars to the insurance professionals. Please feel free to reach out to me via email or by phone if I can answer any of your homeowner concerns.