How can you get a better price on a home — and make sure it’s safe and comfortable?
An effective way is to hire a home inspector to uncover the hidden secrets nestled in the property.
“Inspecting a home is incredibly important because you’re spending probably all your money on that house,” says home inspector Joe Mazza, 44, owner of Exclusive Home Inspection and a licensed home inspector in New York and Connecticut.
Generally, after an offer is accepted, it’s time to hire a home inspector to check things out. After you get the inspection report, this could be the last time you get a chance to shave a significant amount off the agreed-upon price, or have the current owner handle needed repairs.
“After a home inspection, I give the list of items that are wrong,” Mazza says. “The buyer and their agent will then go to the drawing table and bring it to the sellers and negotiate pricing from that point forward.”
We tagged along with Mazza on a home inspection, which you can view in the video that accompanies this post. Here are just a few things he pointed out:
“You want to make sure your home inspector is going to check all your appliances, making sure they all work, taking pictures of all the appliances,” says Mazza. The kitchen checklist should include whether electrical outlets function and faucets work with no leaks.
A bedroom is four walls and windows and a closet, right? Maybe, but this is also where people usually sleep and store clothes and other valuables. You’ll want to ensure these rooms are functioning, safe and comfortable on move-in day. Make sure any ceiling fans and electric wiring is inspected, but also have your inspector check that windows open and close properly and investigate any cracks in the ceilings — here and in any other rooms in the house.
In the bathroom, you’ll want to make sure that the water works and that the temperature is right.
“Coming into the bathroom, when I turned the shower on, obviously we’re looking for hot water,” Mazza says while he’s checking the shower head for leaks.
And this is another room where proper electrical work is essential. “Every bathroom should have (a ground-fault circuit interrupter outlet), he says. When using a blow dryer for example, this outlet cuts it off when there’s too much electrical current.
Mazza takes a photo of the bathroom shower during a routine home inspection.
Many buyers focus on interiors, but the exterior of the house also should be carefully inspected.
AIR CONDITIONING UNIT
On our walk-through with Mazza, he discovers an issue that could make a new owner very uncomfortable depending on the time of year. He comes across a dated compressor condenser unit for the home’s central air conditioning. The coils are “completely crushed,” says Mazza.
Mazza climbs on top of the roof and notices moss accumulation. “You don’t want moss growing on the roof,” says Mazza. “Nine-point-nine times out of ten, the homeowner is not going to know that they have an issue up there until a home inspector like myself comes by.”
Coming out into the yard, Mazza notices some bamboo, a trendy but potentially damaging plant that can grow through the driveway, waste line and the foundation, Mazza says. “If you plan on planting bamboo anywhere around your property, you have to isolate it,” Mazza says who has more than 400 inspector-related videos and photos on Instagram. “Trust me when I tell you, (bamboo is) super invasive.”
DeForest Mapp, Special to USA TODAY Published July 2, 2019