Get an electrical inspection before buying a new home! Here's why!
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Buying a home is a complicated process. There is a lot to do, from finding the right location to securing funding to closing the deal. It's no wonder first time home buyers can be careful. An important step often required by your lender is a pre-sale home inspection. What many aspiring homeowners don't know, however, is that this step doesn't necessarily include an electrical inspection. When you consider that more than 35,000 house fires caused by outdated and worn electrical systems, this is an important additional step worth taking before signing on the dashed line.
What is an electrical inspection?
A home inspection, sometimes requested by sellers prior to listing and often requested by lenders during a sale, is designed to provide a general assessment of a home's condition. A licensed inspector, who is considered competent in all areas of house construction, checks the interior and exterior, roof, electrics, plumbing, basement and foundation and prepares an observation report.
While the inspector checks switches for obvious defects and, if necessary, ensures that the house has earthed sockets, his area of expertise is not in house electrics. It can be worth a licensed electrician Do an additional inspection that will provide more detail, especially in older or renovated homes where problems are expected.
An electrical inspection can reveal dozens of potentially dangerous problems, such as:
- Exposed cabling
- Unearthed sockets
- Painted sockets (possible cause of overheating)
- Double tap circuit breaker
- Reverse polarity
- Hot ceiling lights
- Flickering lights
- Problems with the control panel
- Old and obsolete button-and-tube wiring
- Aluminum cable (potential cause of overheating)
Who Should Invest in an Electrical Inspection?
While we agree that a professional electrical inspection can be useful for any home, there are certain situations where potential home buyers should be more careful about potential electrical issues. For example, older homes built before modern electrical standards and any home that has been remodeled are good candidates for electrical problems. And this doesn't just include homes that you suspect a previous homeowner made some DIY modifications. Any home that has been added over the years or has lighting fixtures updated that are not original must be inspected by a licensed electrician.
When buying a home
If you are looking to buy an older home that is more than 100 years old, an electrical inspection is essential. Even for homes that are 40 or 50 years old, electrical engineering has improved a lot over the past few decades and building codes have changed a lot. You'll want the peace of mind that your home's electrical wiring can support modern appliances.
When selling a house
Take advantage of the home court benefit by investing in an electrical inspection before listing your home. You will be able to make smarter decisions about what upgrades to do and where to price your home based on the work required. At least you won't be taken by surprise if a buyer makes a low offer due to a perceived lack of electrical equipment.
If you are planning to renovate a home
Even if you've lived in your home for years and know that it was up to date when you bought it, things are changing. If you plan on doing any work on your home that will require an electrical system such as an extension or new lighting, start with an electrical inspection. You can determine if your current wiring can support the upgrade or if your project also involves major electrical system updates.
Benefits of Investing in Electrical Inspection
Safety is the number one reason to spend the extra money on an electrical inspection. Prices vary by supplier and region, but most home buyers report paying between $ 75 and $ 250 for an electrical inspection. The relatively low cost and significant benefits make this add-on an easy choice to keep your family safe.
Also, the inspection can uncover flaws which can leverage the negotiation of a lower sale price for the home and save you much more than the cost of the inspection. An electrical inspection also gives the buyer a more complete picture of the investment. It offers reliable information to help you plan for future upgrades, as well as a realistic expectation of how much money you will be putting into the house during the time you live there. These inspections can also provide your insurer with useful documentation that can even lower your premiums.
The bottom line on electrical inspections
When buying a home, it is important not to make assumptions about the various inspections and requirements. Too many buyers assume that their lender-mandated home inspection includes a detailed inspection of their electrical systems. And while each inspection will vary, the most accurate and detailed information about the electrical system comes from an independent electrical inspection. A small investment can save you money and can even save your life by exposing potential hazards before you suffer a house fire.
Bobby Lynn, the owner of Livewire electrics, is a full licensed electrician in Charlotte, NC. Bobby is insured for both personal and commercial electrical projects and has more than 20 years of experience in the industry.