Prepare Your New Home for Live-in Safety
Congratulations! You bought a new home. Now you’re ready to move in.
You negotiated a good price because you bought the house knowing it needed some work. That was your “as-is” bargain for the good price.
But before you move in, make sure you repair the big “as-is” projects that jeopardize the safety of your home. You want your loved ones to feel and be safe in your new home.
Optimism Meets Realism
When you buy a house in “as-is” condition, you know there’s work ahead to bring the house up to living standards. Your Home Inspection Report is a legal document that lists all the items found that need attention. They can range from major repairs to minor fixes and everything in between.
You purchased the home in optimism, visualizing living in a home that charmed you. Once you are the owner, it’s time to address the findings. You need to face the realism of the good deal you made and get your new home in optimum condition.
Take the necessary steps to make your home safe and sound.
Review The Call Items on Your Inspection Report
Review your Home Inspection Report to determine what needs to be done before you settle in. You can repair or remediate some items after you move in, but safety issues need to be addressed before anyone lives in the home.
Call items are highlighted and listed at the beginning of your Inspection Report. They are items the home inspector noted as he inspected. Your home inspector may list those items twice: at the beginning of your report and under each section like Exterior, Interior, HVAC etc.
Call items need your attention to make your home whole for the life of the home and the safety of those inside. Calls relate to the safety of your home. They are rated according to the need for immediate attention and color-coded for priority.
- Major Concerns
- Safety Issues
- Repair Items
- Items to Monitor
For your “as-is” home, you’ll want to check all the red coded items—Major Concerns, Safety Issues, and Repair Items. Best practice is to take care of those call items before you move in. That way, you and your family won’t disrupt your daily living. Moving is challenging enough. You don’t want to add extra disruptions.
Tackle the Big Issues First
When it comes to safety, the big issues may not be the most expensive issues. They are the issues that could jeopardize the safety of the home or the people who live there.
These issues are best addressed before you bring furniture or set up your kitchen.
Address the major concerns in your Inspection Report. If you have call items like these, you’ll want to address them before you move in.
Monitor, Major Concern: Evidence of building settlement, sloped floors, or larger foundation cracks. It is recommended a licensed foundation contractor be contacted to further investigate this condition.
Monitor, Major Concern: Loose bricks, and/or deteriorated mortar at masonry chimneys. It is recommended a licensed masonry contractor be contacted to further investigate this condition.
Repair, Major Concern: The heater is inoperative. It is recommended a licensed HVAC contractor be contacted to further investigate this condition.
Be Proactive, Call Experts
Read your Inspection Report thoroughly. Any calls that recommend calling in an expert means the issue is outside of your inspector’s area of expertise. But, he noted a potential problem that a professional can resolve.
Also, note any water leak calls—toilet seals, water heater, roof, HVAC. Toxic mold can proliferate in damp places. Whenever there’s a leak, toxic mold can grow under floors and behind walls. Call a mold inspector to test the home. If he finds evidence of mold, you will need mold abatement (removal) and remediation. This can involve replacing cupboards and sections of the floor or walls.
Because toxic mold presents a health hazard, you’ll want to take care of any mold infestations before you move in
What’s Not Working?
Once you’ve tackled the big issues, you can move into your new home. Then it’s time to tackle the repairs one-by-one.
Many repairs, like replacing a carbon monoxide or smoke alarm, you can do yourself. You have your choice of doing repairs yourself or hiring a professional.
The important factor is getting those repairs done.
After you’ve completed repairs, review improvement suggestions in your Inspection Report. Repairs and improvements are vital to maintaining the long life of your home.
Home Monitoring is Ongoing
To preserve your house, regularly monitor your home to assure all systems are working. It’s easier to fix a minor problem than ignore it and end up with a major repair.
Use our Love Your Home checklist. Download the checklist. You’ll be your own home inspector by covering all the systems in your home. In the beginning, with your “as-is” home, we suggest a monthly check. After six months, if things are going well with no repair items, perform your home check quarterly.
The Consequences of Ignoring Your Home Inspector’s Recommendations
Home inspectors know how tiny issues can turn into major disasters. An ignored leak can soften wood in flooring and walls. That softwood will need to be torn out and replaced. A crack in a foundation can worsen. A weak foundation can cause the house to shift, resulting in major structural damage.
When you ignore recommendations to improve your home, you put two things at risk:
- The structural viability and safety of the home
- The health and safety of all who live in the house
Your home inspector can often recommend experienced professional contractors to examine and repair any damage in your new “as-is” home.
Taking steps now can save you thousands of dollars in the future.
Act Now To Enjoy Your Home In The Years to Come
Turn “as-is” into “as-was” by updating all recommended fixes, replacements, and repairs. Then monitor your home regularly to catch any additional issues.
You’ll enjoy your new home in comfort and safety knowing you took the steps to make it safe and secure.
Don’t forget to download Inspect.com’s Love Your Home. Do your regular home checks and live secure in your new home.