7 Reasons You Should Have Your Future Home Inspected
Buying a new home is special. Whether for the first time or the tenth, a new home brings a sense of excitement. Getting an electrical safety inspection before buying is essential, as it will inform you of potential electrical repairs needed and pinpoint any risks. This guide will help educate you on what to expect during an inspection and seven key reasons your future home needs one.
Electricity Can Be Dangerous
We all know that electricity poses some inherent risks. Things can go wrong at a moment's notice or when one system component is not quite right. Poorly maintained or improperly wired electrical systems usually lead to an inevitable conclusion …. electrical fire.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, there were 24,200 residential fires caused by electrical malfunctions in 2021. Not only is this number up by 11% from the ten years prior, but fires caused by electrical malfunctions, usually DIY electrical repairs, are considered entirely preventable. Electrical inspections could have prevented many of these fires, which is an excellent argument for getting an inspection.
What Is an Electrical Inspection?
An electrical inspection looks at every electrical component of the home. If anything needs attention or code requirements are unmet, the review will report to the homeowner what they are. A proper inspection will be thorough, and you should receive a write-up of anything found along with the overall status of the electrical in the home.
There are general areas that the inspector should be looking at, including the panel, the wiring, and the outlets and switches in the home. An inspection wants to see that the National Electrical Code has been adhered to and do so with specific checks like:
- Size of electrical panel (100 amps or greater)
- Appropriate number of circuits for electrical demand
- Dedicated circuits for large appliances
- Condition of the electrical panel
- GFCI outlets near water sources and outside
- Proper outlet grounding
- Wiring safety
- Light Bulb wattage
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Alignment with the most recently updated electrical code
- Correct electrical box height and installation
After your inspection, it should be clear what upgrades or repairs are needed and how much potential work there will be. You don’t want to buy a home and be stuck with unexpected work.
7 Reasons You Need Your Future Home Inspected
Electrical inspections should be done on a future home, preferably before you close. The examination can make or break a particular dwelling’s appeal, and you have a right to know if there are any issues before you commit.
These reasons show the necessity of a proper inspection.
Avoid Costly Repairs
A home inspection helps avoid the potential for unseen, unknown electrical issues. These problems are often expensive because they require the most time and energy. An inspection informs you of significant issues like a rusty or water-damaged electrical panel or improperly wired circuits. These are costly to repair and may lead to even more problems you may be unwilling to undertake.
An inspection may also reveal that an entire electrical upgrade is needed. If you don’t have enough amps of power in your panel or there are no tamper-proof outlets, these things must be handled to meet electrical codes, or the home may be unsafe. If you don’t want to dedicate the time or the money, you might want a different house.
Minimize the Risks for Unknown Electrical Hazards
An electrical safety inspection tells if there are any serious electrical hazards in the home. It will inform you of the things that need immediate attention or if they can be done over time. Your inspection will tell you all about the electrical hazards currently present in the home. Unknown electrical risks put families at risk and should be avoided or repaired.
There might be ungrounded switches, putting you at risk for electrical shock. The home could have over-fused circuits, which inspectors may say to express when the breaker's amperage is too large for the circuit’s purpose. This creates the possibility that there is excess current causing the wiring to overheat, which inevitably causes fire.
Ensure Everything Works
A professional examining a new home's electrical ins and outs will guarantee knowledge of any lights, switches, or outlets working improperly. A good inspection also checks that everything is working at the proper amperage for the circuit breaker that controls it, so the risk of overloaded outlets is minimized. You need to know this to plan for any necessary electrical repairs or ask the seller to do so before you buy.
Meet Electrical Code Requirements
Meeting electrical code requirements is a good reason to get an electrical inspection. The National Electrical Code is the standard for electrical safety and protects against poorly done upgrades and fire hazards.
If the home electrical is not up to code, it must be made code-compliant. You could be in for costly upgrades if you are unaware before you purchase. Plus, if the home can’t be brought to code, the safety risk posed will make the home uninhabitable.
An electrical safety inspection will minimize the potential for costly repairs, both in the future and before you close. Buying a house is a huge purchase, and making sure that the home will not cost even more is important to most home buyers.
If the home needs more extensive repairs and you have it inspected before closing, it opens you up to the possibility of negotiations with the seller. They may be responsible for the repair cost and could be willing to lower the asking price due to any excessive electrical costs to have a professional come work on the electrical system.
Protect Your Investment
Electrical inspections protect a home’s future value. It shows you took the time to properly examine the home and address any problems. If you choose to sell the house later, it gives you a record of electrical code compliance.
Also, note that any electrical inspections will be filed with the proper authorities of the city or county the house is located in, making it possible for someone to look up if an inspection has been performed. This also allows you to check on any prior assessments, ensure that the proper measures have been taken, and show the home has been cared for properly.
Be Prepared for Future Electrical Maintenance and Upgrades
Electrical inspections show the maintenance needed for an electrical system. You will know future needs and can prepare for or prevent any significant problems. It also makes you aware of any required upgrades in the foreseeable future to remain compliant. It never hurts to be ready for what comes next.
Additionally, it allows you to never get in over your head. It is overwhelming to find out things are not as they appear, especially when you finally think you have found your forever home. If you are willing to fix it, then an inspection also sets out a plan of attack for your new home.
What Should You Check When House Hunting?
While you are looking at different homes, there are things you can look at to gain a fundamental understanding of a potential home’s electrical. Though a complete electrical safety inspection is the best choice, you can check these things yourself.
- Check that the main breaker is 100 amps or more
- Check for loose wires
- Check the condition of the breaker
- Check for GFCI outlets near water and outdoors
- Check for any prior remodels on record and see how they were done
- The panel needs to be labeled clearly and correctly
These things can be easily observed and will alert you to any problems that an electrical safety inspection should further test. You may want to continue your house search if you still see glaring issues.
Avoid Potential Risks
Don’t skip the electrical inspection. It is imperative to keep you safe, to understand potential expenses, and to learn about the system in the home. An inspection also gives you an idea about future maintenance and keeps you from getting in over your head. You’ll learn how to make the system efficient and save on electricity so you don’t waste money.
Hire the Right Electrical Inspector
Proper electrical inspections are done by licensed electricians who understand the electrical code and the potential electrical hazards in a home. They will also know what to check for based on the year the house was constructed.
Don’t think you can afford an inspection? The Home Energy Audit Tax Credit provides $150 towards hiring an electrical inspector to check your home. They have suggested services you can choose from for the right inspector. You need to obtain a report stating current usage and the potential improvements to maximize efficiency.
Everything comes down to comfort in a beautiful home you can love and be safe in. Make sure your future residence is perfect because there is no place like home.