New Jersey houses in front of a beach

In the dynamic landscape of the New Jersey real estate market, where rich historical heritage from colonial roots to contemporary designs, makes each property a compelling narrative. A home inspection in the great state of New Jersey is a journey through the layers of time and innovation that define a property’s character, revealing its captivating charm and possible underlying problems. On the flip side, sellers can leverage this process to transparently present their property’s value and proactively address any homebuyer concerns.

So, whether you’re buying a home in Hoboken or gearing up to sell a property in Jersey City, this Redfin article offers comprehensive insights and guidance to help you navigate the unique home inspection landscape in New Jersey. 

New Jersey houses in front of a beach

Why should you get a home inspection in New Jersey?

“New Jersey homebuyers should never skip the stucco inspection,” says Stucco Safe. “Problems with stucco systems that leak to the structure are incredibly common in New Jersey due to the extremes in temperature. Repairs for these problems can easily exceed $100,000. When making your offer, always include ‘invasive stucco inspection’ in your inspection requests. You won’t regret it.”

“Homebuyers in New Jersey should get a home inspection so that they know the true condition of the home and that there are no hidden issues when they take ownership,” recommends Cooper Inspection Services. “Along with the home inspection, New Jersey buyers should also get a WDI (wood destroying insect) inspection, Radon Test, and depending on the age of the house, they should also do a tank sweep to make sure there are no underground oil storage tanks.”

Are there any specialized inspections that New Jersey buyers should consider?

One common issue we hear from clients is the difficulty of finding a licensed structural engineer, often resulting in delays with property transactions,” says Kiro Engineering. These types of inspection help to better understand the overall “structural integrity of residential and commercial properties” by conducting “thorough evaluations and considers various factors when assessing the need for repairs.”

“When selecting a home inspector, I would recommend an inspector that has a Home Inspectors License and has been inspecting homes for at least 10 years,” suggests Eagle Eye Home Inspectors. “The home inspection includes a Structural and Mechanical inspection. Some additional tests you might want to consider are:

  1. Termite Inspections
  2. Radon Testing
  3. Swimming Pool Inspections
  4. Sewer Line Inspections: using a camera to inspect the underground sewer line
  5. Level 2 Chimney Inspections: this is an in-depth inspection of the chimney, including using a camera to inspect the internal liner
  6. Mold/Air Quality Tests

For older homes, an Oil Tank Sweep (used to find underground oil tanks) may be needed.”

Are home inspections required in New Jersey?

“First, Home Inspections are not required in New Jersey,” notes Four Dogs Inspections. “My buyers tip would be to always get a tank sweep if buying an older home and always have a sewer scope done when purchasing a home with city sewers.” 

How much does a home inspection cost in New Jersey?

“Home inspection costs can vary,” says Inspector Seltzer. “I recommend budgeting roughly two-thousand for an inspection. Including radon, termite, mold, oil tank sweep, sewer line scope, and a level two chimney inspection.”

“In fairness to all home inspection prices vary depending on the age, size, and complexity of the home,” shares Accurate Inspections, Inc. “A single price to inspect any home is either going to be unfair to the home buyer or the home inspector.  Two bathroom three bedroom 1,500 sq homes should pay less than home buyers of a home three times that size.”

Expert advice for New Jersey buyers before they get a home inspection

“My advice to a home buyer is to use the process of the home inspection to get to know their new home.  We take the time to help our clients not only be aware of any deficiencies in the home, but also to provide an overall education about the home itself,” suggests Michael Czar, from Safeway Home Inspections

Ask questions

“Do not be afraid to ask questions,” urges Spectora. “You should work with a home inspector that makes you feel comfortable asking questions. Whether you’re buying or you’re doing a checkup on your own home, it can be a little intimidating and people feel embarrassed asking questions they think are silly or unimportant. There’s no better time to ask those questions. Not asking them is a missed opportunity.”

Don’t skip the inspection

“Due to the low inventory in the last few years, New Jersey saw housing demand skyrocket, with many homes selling above their asking price. Consequently, buyers often waived their inspection contingencies,” says Liliana Militaru, Redfin’s Principal Lead Agent. “ However, it is a misconception that waiving the inspection contingency prohibits the buyer from performing an inspection. On the contrary, by waiving the inspection contingency, the buyer only forfeits the right to request repairs or credits for various defects the inspector may find. Therefore, my buyers will always schedule an inspection, even when buying land-only; we still conduct at least an oil tank search.”

Don’t forget the chimney

“For properties with chimneys, considering a specialized Thermocrete inspection can help ensure the safety and functionality of this critical feature,” suggests  Approved Chimney. “Thermocrete assessments can identify and address any chimney-related issues, such as cracks or deterioration, making them a valuable addition to the inspection process, especially in regions prone to harsh weather conditions.”

Hire a well-reviewed inspector that offers multiple services

A tip is to read the reviews of your home inspection company before hiring them. Home inspectors who truly take the time to invest in a full understanding of the home will have clients who are happy to share their experiences. It’s also helpful to utilize a company that does several services, including radon testing, oil tank sweeps, main waste line sewer scopes, and wood destroying insect inspections, in addition to the home inspection itself, to maximize your time and money as a client,” shares Safeway Home Inspections.

New Jersey home inspection: the bottom line

In New Jersey real estate, home inspections, though not required, are highly recommended. Whether it’s an old or new property you’re looking to buy or sell, it’s essential to have an inspector look beyond the surface of the home. For both buyers and sellers, a home inspection ensures smart decisions and a smooth transaction.

The post What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know About Getting a Home Inspection in New Jersey appeared first on Redfin | Real Estate Tips for Home Buying, Selling & More.