What to Do After The Home Inspection is Done
After the Home Inspection, but before Closing on the Home
So you have contracted to buy the home of your dreams (or at least the home
you can afford), you were smart enough to find a home inspector independently
who is licensed and certified by ASHI, and maybe also an engineer for good
measure, and you have read the home inspection report cover to cover. What
now? Well here is a list of things that you should consider.
First of all, make sure that you are clear about all the issues or defects the
home inspection report describes. If you are not completely clear on these, call
the home inspector and ask for clarifications. You should also make sure that
the implications of not correcting listed defects are known to you. Most home
inspectors will be glad to discuss their report with you. At Meyers Home
Inspections, when you call, you will always be able to speak directly with the
home inspector. At some other larger home inspection firms that have many
salaried employee inspectors this may not be so easy.
Second, decide which of the deficiencies in the home that are called out in the
home inspection report are so compelling that they absolutely must be
corrected before you will occupy the home. These are “must correct”
deficiencies that your attorney should bring to the attention of the sellers
attorney, and your decision to purchase should be contingent upon satisfaction
of these serious defects.
Third, decide which of the deficiencies in the home that are called out in the
home inspection report materially affect the price of the home that you originally
agreed upon. For example, if the home inspection finds that the roof is almost
worn out, you will probably have to pay for a new roof soon after you move in.
The roof may not be leaking yet, and the seller may make the argument that
“the roof is not leaking, so I am not going to replace it”, but you have a right to
expect a reasonable amount of additional service from the roof (5 years is a
typical number suggested by most insurance companies). So, be smart,
request a price concession to cover the cost of roof replacement. The same
goes for any other major system in the home, such as the heating/AC, water
Fourth, do not forget to make sure that there are no abandoned buried oil
tanks lurking on the property. An abandoned buried oil tank is a significant
potential liability for you. We at Meyers Home Inspections always recommend
that a sweep of the grounds for an abandoned oil tank be done unless credible
documentation is available that the home never used fuel oil.
In New Jersey, a screening test to rule out high radon levels in the home is
recommended. High radon levels in the home are, according to the EPA, are
listed as second after smoking cigarettes as a cause of lung cancer. At Meyers
Home Inspections we always recommend that a radon test be done. For more
information about radon in the home, you can visit www.njradon.org.
You should do a walk-through of the home just prior to closing. During this
walk-through you should make sure that there have not been any new
problems or damage that was not present when the home inspection was
done. The walk-through is important because often there is a fairly long period
of time between the home inspection and your closing date, and also, in the
process of a move-out, there is a high risk that damage may be done to walls,
floors, windows etc. Also, if seller turns off the heat but does not winterize the
home, there may be serious damage done if pipes freeze.
Finally, every home needs regular maintenance to keep it in good shape. A list
of maintenance tips can be found at our web site.