I don’t often waste my breath advocating a professional home inspection here in Manhattan.
That’s the opposite of what I did with each one of my clients in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland.
Yet the benefits of an inspection are no smaller here than elsewhere, even though the vast majority of properties is sold “as is.” Not once in the D.C. area did the professionals fail to discover defects, suggest things to monitor and provide maintenance advice.
Nor, I should say, are inspectors infallible.
In fact, a month or two after I moved into my professionally inspected house in Logan Circle, a toilet in one of the bathrooms sank through the subfloor. (No one was on it at the time. Thankfully.)
In D.C., many listing brokers would not recommend that a seller sign a contract on a property for which an inspection hadn’t been performed or a contingency been included. After all, a lawsuit or just an unhappy buyer over a defect would prove to be a detriment to all concerned.
We even recommended inspections for newly constructed properties, vigorously, though buyers often wondered why they were necessary. Trust me, necessary they were.
I don’t really know why inspections are not de rigueur here. Custom I suppose.
Real estate lawyer and blogger Ron Gitter has observed that a professional inspection is especially warranted for renovated residences. Says he:
One thing that comes up invariably with inspections is how often the seller has done things to the apartment that are not done to code. In most cases, the problems are easily identifiable and in many cases, the seller will fix those problems prior to closing.
Most routine inspections will run $500-1,000.
That’s pretty small change compared not only with the price of a buyer’s new home but also compared with almost every other expense related to the purchase.
Take your medicine: That ounce of prevention is well worth buying.
No one needs unpleasant surprises after moving day.
Tomorrow: Know thyself
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Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022