We are now at the stage where inspections are performed. There are 2 types of inspections. First is the inspection by the local town, which is for the Certificate of Occupancy. This inspection is typically paid for and taken care of by the seller.
Each town has their own requirements, and they can change at any time. Some towns do a very complete inspection. The inspector will check for a working stove / cooktop / oven, working sinks, toilets shower and heat. Very few towns care if the air conditioning works. Some towns also check for thumb operated deadbolts, fully functional windows, window that are not fogged over or cracked, proper pool fencing and more. Other towns only care about the property having working smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and fire extinguishers.
The next inspection is the buyer’s inspections. The contract calls for the inspector to be licensed by the state. The contract also states that the buyer’s inspections take place and the inspection reports be delivered to the sellers attorney within 14 days of the conclusion of attorney review. A good inspector will check the following:
All plumbing – such as sinks, toilets, showers, hose bibs
Every electrical receptacle and the circuit breaker panel
Roof, siding and foundation
All doors and windows to verify that they open, remain open, close and lock
Inside the attic (if applicable)
Heating, air conditioning and hot water heater
If the following are present, they need to be inspected as well:
Underground oil tanks
Septic and well systems
If the house was constructed before 1978, an inspection for the presence of lead paint should be performed also.
In some areas of New Jersey a test for radon gas is also recommended.
Some, but not all inspectors will perform a wood destroying insect inspection. Sometimes you’ll need a separate inspection. You’ll need to provide the certification to your mortgage company id applicable.
When you and your attorney receive the reports, discuss what you want the seller to repair. You can also request a credit and get the repairs done after you close. We always tell our clients to not worry about the small stuff. Save your battles for the important (expensive) repairs.
Once all inspection issues are resolved, we go to the next chapter – Title Searches and Survey