When a home is changing hands is the most common time to have a home inspected. Once the new house is all yours, hopefully you took advantage of a 1 year Home Warranty which covers key components of your investment for the initial year you own the house. There are many levels of warranties offered, depending on what you would like to be included, and how much you want to spend. The basic 1 year warranty will help pay for the repair or replacement of the following:
- The electrical system. This includes electrical panels, wiring, garage door openers, etc. This includes drains, pipes, sprinkler systems, faucets, and sometimes hot tubs and swimming pools.
- Major Appliances. Included here is your oven, washer/dryer, refrigerator, garbage disposal, microwave, etc.
- Heating and A/C systems; including your air conditioning unit, furnace, duct work, etc.
Sounds great, right? The real question is what do you do beyond the 1 year warranty?
Rather than crossing your fingers that whatever might go wrong happens while you are still covered, you should consider having a follow up home inspection prior to the warranty’s expiration. You will want to do this at least a month ahead of the expiration date; this way should the inspection find a problem, you will have plenty of time to get it taken care of while it is still covered.
Another advantage of having an inspection a year into ownership is that you may have noticed something you think might be wrong around the home. Point these issues out to the home inspector, and they may be able to tell you if your worries are valid or not. If you bought a new-build home, the house most likely came with a warranty covered by the builder. These warranties are broader in coverage and most items are taken care of at no cost to the homeowner.
The builders warranty will cover everything listed above as well as any drainage issues around the home’s foundation, improperly functioning electrical fixtures, switches, and outlets, roofing issues, and many other structural components. It is not however, the builder’s responsibility to pay a visit to ensure all is well before the warranty runs up. That is why the pre-expiration inspection is so valuable. For a reasonable cost, you could save thousands out-of-pocket and have a sound and proper functioning home.
When you choose to have your home inspected, be sure that everything is accessible and unobstructed for your inspector. The home inspector will need access to electrical panels, attics, crawlspaces, the basement, the garage, under sinks, and HVAC systems. If your inspector cannot get to these items they will not be able to complete a thorough inspection. This will only hurt you.
The inspector is your friend in this process, so help them help you! When finished, your inspector will give you a report with either a clean bill of health or they will show you what needs your attention. You can then move forward with plenty of time to spare and the proper knowledge of what needs to be addressed with the warranty company.
With more than 25 years working in the construction industry, Keith Boggs of Stonebriar Property Inspections offers thorough, accurate, home inspection services of the highest quality in the greater DFW area, with both a Dallas Home Inspection office and a Frisco Home Inspection office.