Let’s begin with the alarming truth that home inspections are not required in New Jersey. Contrary to what many believe, there is no legal obligation on buyers, sellers, agents or brokers to ensure a home inspection is conducted before the purchase of a home. This follows whether it is new construction or a 100-year-old Victorian.
You may wonder why there is no federal or state guidance in this seemingly important area of the real estate transaction, and a guess could be that caveat emptor or “let the buyer beware” is still firmly rooted in American transactions. Whatever the reason, in today’s world, home buyer’s may still need to beware, but can now be certain: with a simple home inspection.
For those who think they can “deal with it later” …
By opting not to have a home inspection, you are placing yourself in a position where you will most likely lose the right to make additional requests for repairs that aren’t agreed to at the time of signing the initial purchase contract. This can sometimes come as a shock, but the sales agreement and everything within it will dictate each parties’ rights regarding inspections.
For those looking to save a little money …
Home inspectors are trained to discover defects in a home’s foundation, mold, water damage, and other potentially hazardous conditions. If not discovered, the damage from those defects alone could cost you hundreds to thousands of dollars. So, if you’re looking to save money in the short run, just consider the price you could end up paying in the long run. (Inspections in NJ typically range $357-$582).
For those who believe they are the “home inspector” …
In New Jersey, home inspectors are licensed and strictly regulated by the Home Inspection Advisory Committee under the Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors.
Unless you can thoroughly inspect and efficiently identify defects in each of the areas below during a routine walk-through, then it is highly recommended that you leave it to the professionals.
- Exterior of the home
- Home’s foundation
- Exterior walls of the home
- Roof coverings, flashings and gutters
- Roof support structure
- Quality of insulation
- Electrical wiring, outlets and breaker
- Visible interior and exterior plumbing
- Central air and heating system
- Overall interior condition of the home
New Jersey Realtors recommends using the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors to begin your search for the right home inspector.