If you are purchasing a home, the home should be checked out by using the checklist below to avoid legal and maintenance issues:
- Seawall. If the home has a seawall it should be inspected by a qualified seawall inspector if you suspect any problems.
- Sprinkler system for lawn. The sprinkler system and pump (if there is a one) should be inspected by a qualified inspector to make sure it is working properly.
- Pool. The pool should be inspected (particularly if it is an older pool). The pumps and filters should be inspected to see if they are in good working order and the marcite to see if the pool needs to be re-surfaced.
- Security system. The security system should be checked by the company providing same.
- Garage door. If a door opener is installed it should be examined and tested.
- Roof. The roof should be inspected by a qualified roof inspector. If you suspect any leakage such as repainting or stains on the ceiling it could be a big problem. Inspection of the roof is a must.
- Appliances. All appliances should be checked. Newer appliances are computer driven and simple things like a bad thermostat can lead to very expensive repairs.
- A/C-Heating. These units should be checked by a qualified A/C-heating serviceman or inspector.
- Termites. A termite inspector should check for any termite damage or existing termites.
- Cracking. If you see any cracks in the outside wall (if it is a concrete home), have this inspected by a sinkhole inspector. This could be a substantial problem.
- Insurance certificate for Wind/Storm. Inquire from the prior owner if a proper insurance inspection has been made on the home for wind/storm and obtain a copy of same.
- Flood Insurance Certificate. Beach waterfront property on stilts may require a flood insurance certificate.
- Survey. If you are not sure where the property lines are, then you should get the property surveyed to make sure there are no encroachment issues.
- Caveat. Even though in today's market homes are selling for less money than many years ago, money spent on inspections in today's complicated market is a must.
Money spent on the above inspections could be one of your best protections when purchasing a new home. All inspections should be done within the contingency period set forth in the normal real estate contract.
If you have any questions concerning these issues, before or after closing please contact DeLoach, Hofstra &Cavonis P.A.