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Extended measuring tape used by an inspector during professional home inspection walk-throughs.

Essential Info About Home Inspections

If you're selling a house in Princeton, or any nearby area, you’ll likely have to prepare for a Princeton home inspection. While some buyers may skip that step, it’s more likely that you’ll have to prepare for an inspection before closing.

Prospective Princeton home buyers only have a few chances to look over their property, so it's common to get advice and opinions from a professional home inspector. Depending on the state of your property, you may have to complete several repairs that come up during a Princeton home inspection as part of the selling process.

If you're a seller wondering how you'll fix problems found in a report, we've got it covered. This blog outlines what you should know about home inspections in Princeton and nearby communities in New Jersey. And when it comes to making repairs, you can't choose better than our experts at Mr. Handyman of Princeton and Robbinsville. Our highly experienced, hardworking technicians have the skills and tools to complete the necessary repairs to ensure your sale goes through.

Why Do Buyers Hire a Home Inspector?

Professional Princeton home inspections help to identify problems within any accessible areas of a home. For buyers, this saves you time, stress, and possibly thousands of dollars if there are repairs that must be completed after a sale goes through. It's important to note that a walk-through is non-invasive—meaning an inspector won't knock down any walls to look for damage.

After an inspection is performed, a home seller must pay for any major repairs that appear in the report. Home sales are usually contingent on these repairs. Usually, the seller hires a team of experts, such as our team at Mr. Handyman of Princeton and Robbinsville, to complete any necessary repairs. However, sometimes potential Princeton buyers will try to negotiate a lower purchase price rather than asking for a seller to complete repairs.

Who Pays for an Inspection?

Inspections are typically paid for by the buyer in Princeton, who can choose an inspector they trust. However, the seller has the option to perform their own check before listing their home. This enables them to take care of any issues before their house enters the market. Any required repair work is usually paid for by the seller.

How Much Does It Usually Cost?

While costs vary in Princeton and other parts of New Jersey, generally an inspection lands between $250 and $500. However, there are a few factors that influence cost, including:

  • Different companies have different rates

  • A home's size and type

  • A property's age

  • The neighborhood's affluence

How Long will the Home Inspection Take?

Again, how long a walk-through takes depends on the size of the size and type of the house. Usually, it falls between two and three hours in Princeton. Depending on the software an inspector uses, and the company's efficiency, you can expect your report to be ready within minutes, or up to three days.

When Should a Home Walk-Through Take Place?

The walk-through process should take place within a few days of the property going under contract. The buyer will put down a deposit and schedule the home inspection.

Should the Buyer's Real Estate Agent Attend?

It is not mandatory for a buyer's agent to attend a home inspection. If possible, it's best that a buyer attends in-person, so he or she can ask any questions. If they're unable to be there, their realtor may choose to attend instead.

What is Home Inspection Contingency, and How Does it Work?

It's typical for a real estate sales contract to have inspection contingencies written into them. Basically, this section of the contract outlines how long the buyer has to:

  • Hire an inspector

  • Get the report

  • Document any repair requests

From there, both parties negotiate any repair requests found in the inspection report. Upon reaching an agreement, the sales contract is adjusted by both real estate agents. Usually, sellers have a timeline of one to two weeks for any agreed-upon repairs to be completed.

It's important to note that once a home inspection is done, it's almost impossible for a buyer to back out.

Your Professional Home Inspection Checklist

So, what exactly can you expect on inspection day? It's important to familiarize yourself with what happens during a walk-through in Princeton. As a seller, you can get an idea of what repairs might need to be done.

Basement

The primary concern in a Princeton basement is if it is too damp. High humidity can lead to other problems, such as mold, mildew, and wood rot. In the basement, an inspector will check for:

  • Moisture

  • Cracks on walls

  • Water seepage

  • A correctly working sump pump

Heating and Cooling Systems

Not only will an inspector confirm that the HVAC system is working correctly, including heaters and air conditioners, but he or she will also check that there is no gas leaking from the furnace. The smell of gas is a serious problem that must be addressed immediately.

Electrical Systems

This portion of a walk-through checks the home's wiring and electrical panel. A professional home inspector will look for:

  • Exposed wiring

  • Code violations

  • Issues with telephone and network cables

  • Problems with service panels

Plumbing System

In addition to checking for leaks or obvious damage within areas of the plumbing system one can see—as most pipes are within walls—an inspector will also look at the water heater. He or she will check to see if your water heater’s temperature and pressure is correct, while also checking for any leaking or damage to the unit.

Bathrooms

In the bathroom, there are three main areas an inspector will look at:

  • Checking plumbing, including drains and toilets

  • Looking at electrical outlets, including ground fault circuit interrupters (GFCIs)

  • Confirming there is proper ventilation

Bedrooms

In each bedroom, an inspector attends to the following:

  • Structural Issues: Confirming all floors, walls and ceilings are level—spotting any cracks, strains, warping or other damage

  • Electricity and Lights: Ensuring there are no code violations or exposed wires

  • HVAC System: Determining if the air conditioning and heating circulation is working properly

Kitchen

In addition to looking for major issues with the kitchen's structure, electrical access and air flow, this space benefits from further checks in the following:

  • Plumbing System: Confirming all plumbing components work properly and that there are no obvious signs of leaks or issues with water pressure

  • Appliances: Confirming the refrigerator, oven, garbage disposal, stove and dishwasher are in good condition

Attic

Primarily, a Princeton inspection company will look for signs of decayed wood and structural damage in the attic. Also, they'll ensure there is proper ventilation, no water damage, and that there are no problems with any electrical outlets.

Roof

As a home inspection is mostly visual, the company will look for:

  • Signs of hail damage

  • Missing shingles

  • Potential water damage

  • Rotten wood around chimneys, soffits, and fascia

Exterior Property

Finally, the last portion of an inspection will check the exterior property grounds. This includes looking for:

  • Cracks and/or bowing in the foundation floor and supporting exterior walls

  • Cracks around the windows and doors

  • The quality of the deck, fence, shed, and any additional outdoor structures—such as a detached garage or greenhouse

What is Not Covered in a Princeton Home Inspection?

Usually, a walk-through will cover most concerns that enables you to make an informed decision about buying property. However, a visual inspection will not check for:

  • Possible water contamination

  • Radon levels

  • Mold (unless blatantly obvious)

  • Asbestos

  • Pests, such as termites or rats

If these are areas of concern for a buyer—which may be the case if you're selling an older Princeton home or a fixer-upper—they will have to hire additional Princeton home inspection services.

When to Call Mr. Handyman of Princeton and Robbinsville:

Once your home inspection has been completed and you have a list of necessary repairs, this is where Mr. Handyman of Princeton and Robbinsville steps in. Our highly experienced team can fix most issues to ensure the house is in prime condition for your sale. We can also prepare a detailed invoice and send pictures to show the work has been completed.

To book one of our qualified technicians, we invite you to give our friendly office staff a call at 609-372-5867. We've helped countless homeowners living across Princeton and surrounding areas with their maintenance, installation, and repair needs. We do everything from door repairs to bathroom remodeling.