Whether you are upgrading or downsizing your current home, buying a new home to live in is a big step. If the home you are considering purchasing has been owned and occupied by someone else, then the quality of your potential new home is dependent on the maintenance and care given by the previous homeowner.
Has your new home ever been a rental property and if so, did the previous homeowner at the time take steps to make sure the tenants were as diligent about its upkeep as they would have been if they had owned it themselves?
Does the new home have a lot of upgrades: the lighting has been enhanced with ceilings full of can lights or spot lights; new rooms or enclosed patios nicely equipped with ceiling fans; an oversized patio cover with deck above; the new room that now takes up what used to be a parking space in the garage. All of these items may require building permits. Are you secure with unlicensed handiwork? All of these conditions are signs that danger may be lurking.
Or perhaps you are buying a newly constructed Las Vegas home that has never been occupied...so you will be its very first tenants. Having your brand new home independently inspected will certainly give you the peace of mind that construction deadlines did not pave the way for rushed or sloppy workmanship on your pristine new piece of property.
Investing in your own independent PREI home inspection before you commit to buying can save you thousands of dollars on items you may be able to get the seller or builder to correct beforehand.
If you are thinking of selling your Las Vegas home, consider making the investment yourself to have it pre-inspected so that you avoid any unexpected surprises that might arise during the selling process.
Let's assume that nothing significant turns up in your home inspection...what you now possess is an excellent negotiating tool. Prospective buyers can feel assured that a professional and independent real estate inspector has reassessed the property's current condition.
Ask yourself this question: over the course of ownership of your current home, have you ever wondered how well YOU are taking care of this tremendous asset you own? It's not difficult to know that a vehicle needs servicing at certain times or mileage intervals...but what about a home...something that can be five to ten times the value of that car?
There a multitude of things that happen to your home during the course of its lifetime that need attention and understanding.
Did you know that foundation cracking is commonly caused by water damage? Although Las Vegas has a relatively dry climate, too much water introduced by landscaping (trees, bushes and shrubbery) and poorly placed and maintained watering systems can lead to the breakdown of the concrete foundations because of a chemical reaction that happens when sulphates interact with concrete. Did you know that sulphates occur naturally in our drinking water and our native soils and landscaping rock?
Excessive water consumption due to underground water leaks can cost you extra money through increased water usage bills. These leaks can be the result of broken water lines or sewer lines that go unseen or unnoticed on the surface. But, ultimately cause catastrophic damage to foundations if not identified.
Does your stucco have hairline cracks running vertically at common intervals? Do you see cracks at the corners of windows and doors that run at 45 degree angles? These are common on homes with stucco that was never properly cured or by shrinking of the framing members within the walls or it could be that the home is settling and the uneven load on the building forces the stucco at windows to attempt to lean laterally and is noticed by the diagonal lines.
When your home was new, the exterior wall coverings were tight. Penetrations at flashings and other openings were sealed to prevent the infiltration of moisture and bugs. In this desert environment, sealants dry out and disappear, opening the door for disaster. The number one construction litigation defect in Las Vegas and in fact, all of Clark County, is water damage through windows and doors. Anyone who has ever had a swarm of bees take up residence within the walls of their house will assure you that they wish they had known sooner.
Of the ten thousand elements that make up your home, how many do think have lost at least some of their ability to perform at their initial level of protection or effectiveness?
You have lived in your home for ten, fifteen, twenty or more years. You have gotten the appropriate permits for all the remodeling. You perform regular and thorough maintenance on the working systems in your home. Are you going to rely on your own ability to verify that your home is working at or as near to 100% functionality as it could be?
If you can't answer that with a resounding "yes", then you should call a professional to perform a thorough systems check and analysis for you. You owe it to yourself and your family.
Do you need a home inspection if your home changes title? The answer is: Yes and No.
If, for any reason there will be a transfer of title of your property to someone else, law requires the county assessor to reassess the property to its current fair market value as of the date ownership changed. Get a home inspection now.
While a transfer of real property may constitute a change in ownership, there are a number of exclusions, so that some types of transfers are excluded, by law, from the definition of change in ownership. Thus, for these types of transfers, the real property will not be reappraised. Simplified, exclusions include:
Example: When someone moves into a care facility and for financial and legal reasons, the family decides to change the title of the house into the name of the spouse...a reassessment is not required.