Long Island Home Buyers Tips: Most Important to Inspect

Are you thinking about buying your first home on Long Island in the near future? If so, we know you have lots of questions about everything involved in the process. Buying a home is the largest financial investment many people will make during their lifetime. While the Renewal by Andersen of Long Island replacement window team members aren’t real estate agents, we’ve got the #1 piece of advice for you: Inspect everything before you make a serious offer.

Even if you are working with a licensed broker or agent, and you plan to have a professional home inspection before you go to contract, it helps to know which system inspections are critical to protect your investment and what to look for before you spend your money on a home inspector. We have heard horror stories about buyers coming home to find sewer water backing up in the bathtub just a few days after moving into a new home and air conditioning bills off the chart because the new homeowner took the seller’s word the house was in “tip-top shape.” An ounce of prevention, as they say, is worth a pound of cure.

Remember, sellers don’t have to assume financial responsibility for correcting cosmetic problems, but it never hurts to ask for price discounts if you think the cost of updating the aesthetics will be more than you are willing to pay.

Which Home Systems Pose the Highest Financial Risks?

Unless you are planning to tear the house down and start over, structural integrity should be your primary concern. Most other systems can be fixed or replaced, but if your home doesn’t have “good bones”, you’re asking for a ton of headaches.

Here are a few key areas to look for:

  • Cracks, sagging and missing tiles in the ceiling
  • Signs of recent repair to exterior and interior walls that could indicate shifting
  • Leaks or other damage to the foundation
  • Doors that don’t open and close easily, or that have air leaking around the frame
  • Windows nailed or caulked shut, cracked panes, holes in insect screens and gaps around the window frames
  • Condensation on pipes and windows
  • Missing shingles, mold/mildew colonies, and other damage to the roof and gutter system

Replacement Window Tip: If the sellers say they have installed replacement windows throughout the home during their tenancy, ask to see the warranty. Not all replacement window companies offer transferable warranty coverage (Renewal by Andersen of Long Island does). And, not all windows are built to perform for decades. Just because the windows look good, that doesn’t mean they will function beautifully for the next 10, 15 or 20 years. It pays to know what you are buying.

Ask for proof of the last service or inspection for these systems:

  • Security systems
  • HVAC
  • Fire suppression – such as smoke detectors and indoor sprinkling devices
  • Plumbing and sewer pipes, pumps, septic and other equipment
  • Pools and outdoor appliances
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Fire places/chimneys and free standing heating equipment, such as vented Franklin stoves
  • Heating fuel storage tanks

What if the Inspection Found Problems & You Need Replacement Windows?

Windows can be a negotiating tool. When you suspect windows and doors aren’t working properly, ask to see utility bills for the past year. The local utility provider will generally release this information, and may give you an estimate for other homes in the area to use for comparison. If your inspection, or a formal inspection performed by a licensed Long Island area home inspector, exposes functional problems with the house’s windows, you will need to get an estimate for the cost of replacement to support your price reduction request.

Contact Renewal by Andersen of Long Island for More Information About Replacement Windows

Buying a home on Long Island is an exciting journey. A thorough home inspection ensures you’re getting your money’s worth. To learn more about our large selection of replacement windows and patio doors, or to learn more about our gold standard warranty, simply fill in the short form on this page or dial (866) 609-5033 to speak to a professional replacement window specialist.

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