Buying a Home – Considering a Home Inspection? What You Should Know…

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
  • Attic
  • Basement
  • Quality of insulation
  • Garage
  • 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.

Update on Private Well Testing Coming December, 2021

New Jersey law requires buyers or sellers of property to test the water before the sale and review the results prior to closing. Landlords are also required to periodically test and to provide tenants with test results. This test has traditionally been for a specific type and amount of microorganisms that are potentially harmful to human health. But for those of you looking to lease or sell in NJ after December 1, 2021, be aware that those requirements are getting even stricter. The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has adopted additional amendments to the Private Well Testing Act (PWTA) rules that require testing for three per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) compounds: perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), and perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA).

What are PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA?
PFOA, PFOS, and PFNA are included within a group of man-made PFAS chemicals. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), PFAS have been used in industry and consumer products since the 1940’s with PFOA and PFOS being the most widely used and studied of the PFAS chemicals.

As per the EPA, current scientific research suggests that exposure to high levels of certain PFAS may lead to adverse health effects and more research is underway to better understand the health effects associated with low levels of PFAS exposure over long periods of time. There are a variety of ways that people can be exposed to PFAS chemicals, including drinking water that is sourced from a contaminated private drinking water well.

You Should Know – Trademarks are for every business!

Trademarks are an essential tool for any business, small or large. A trademark is any word, slogan or symbol that identifies your unique business offering, and distinguishes it from everyone else. It’s part of what makes your business special.

In order to secure your trademark as uniquely yours, you will need to register with the United States Patent & Trade Office. If granted, a registration gives you the exclusive right to use your trademark in association with your goods and services throughout the United States, and can even be used as the basis for foreign trademark filing should your business expand outside the U.S.

Why is this important? And what should you consider trademarking?

Consider trademarking your business name, any slogan, catchphrase, jingle, and logo you use for your business to prevent other businesses from capitalizing on your name. It is also an important way to build business assets if your goal is to eventually sell your business.

Even if you are registered to do business in a particular state, your business name is not protected as a trademark. Only registering with the United States Patent & Trade Office can give you that protection. And purchasing a domain name for your business’s name and website is no protection, either. Again, you must register your information with the United States Patent & Trade Office.

Still not convinced? Years from now, after you’ve invested your time and money into your business, someone else who *did* register your business name, slogan or logo may take legal action against, and force you to stop using their trademark, even if they registered the trademark years after you started using it. Not registering a trademark can cost a lot of money down the road!

The United State Patent and Trade office will not provide any legal advice to you, so it’s important to consider hiring an experienced trademark attorney to navigate the process on your behalf. An attorney can conduct a pre-application clearance search (to make sure no one else is using your proposed trademark already), file the correct applications, and advise you advise you on the best way to maintain and enforce your rights to your trademark once it is registered.

We can make the process as painless as possible. Give us a call.