In the market for a new home? Maybe you have one in mind and are considering making an offer? That’s great! Buying a new home can certainly be an exciting time! However, you definitely want to keep it an exciting moment and not a stressful one! While there’s plenty of variables that are tied into this decision, you should also keep plumbing in mind too. Before even considering signing those closing papers, you’ll want to make sure the property is stable and know exactly what you’re getting into. If not handled correctly, you’ll soon find yourself in a financial predicament and likely plenty of headaches as well!
With all this said, we decided to focus this week’s blog post on the reasons why an inspection is so important! These tips will hopefully convince you to never buy another home without having a local plumbing professional out to do a complete plumbing inspection!
Pro Tip #1: Free Quotes
This isn’t likely the case with every plumbing company, but with some, you’ll see advertised on their website that they offer free quotes. Well, this can be a huge cost-saver for a prospective homebuyer for a few reasons. For one, unless you have a background as a plumber, you’re probably not going to know how to tell if anything is off. You might not know the signs of a water heater that’ll likely fail in the near future or a home that clearly needs a sump pump installed to prevent a flooded basement. Secondly, unless they’re willing to actually look at the property in-person, then a free quote might be useless with a new home!
Pro Tip #2: Appliance Check
As I briefly alluded to above, it’s hard to decipher whether all of the appliances are truly up to par unless you’re working with them each and every day! First and foremost, do a quick run through and make sure all of the appliances are updated. If not, you’re probably going to want to factor that into your offer, considering they’ll probably need replaced some time soon. Also, keep in mind that some of these are obviously going to be a little more pricey to replace than others. For purposes of the most critical ones, let’s talk about the washing machine and hot water heater here!
- Washing Machine – When you have an experienced plumber out for the inspection, have them check out whether or not the washing machine meets the standard code of the home. If not, you’re probably going to need to replace these. Getting a new washing machine installed is a terrific investment for a homeowner, as it can save you some money on your electricity and water bills!
- Hot Water Heater – To give you some details on hot water heaters, they typically last around 10 years and can even last a little longer if they’re maintained properly. By this, I’m primarily referring to flushing the sediment annually. While we debunked the myth of water heaters exploding last week, it is possible for water heaters to spring a leak and force you to replace carpet! Having worked with both tank-style and tankless water heaters for years, our residential team of plumbers are able to thoroughly inspect each element and even likely give you an estimate on how many years the heater has left!
- Others – Faucets, showers, garbage disposal, and so on! Luckily, a lot of the other plumbing fixtures aren’t as costly to replace. Nonetheless, a pre-closing inspection will go through all of this, so you’ll safely know what will need to be eventually replaced.
Pro Tip #3: Sewer Cameras
Modern day plumbing technology can do some amazing things! If you’re in the market for a new home, it can also save you thousands! One perfect example of this technology is inspection cameras. Essentially, they allow plumbers the ability to pinpoint the exact spot where a leak might be present. For homes where the leak is in the sewer line, this can save you from having to tear up the entire front yard just to reveal the line. Trust us, this will save you more than a few bucks!
By having an experienced plumber complete a thorough camera inspection, you’ll notice if there’s any existing cracks or if a potential tree root infestation is looming! In terms of the tree roots, this is going to usually be more of an issue in an older home or neighborhood where there’s larger trees in the front yard. The alternative to having this done is waiting until an actual problem presents itself. I’d advise against that though!
Pro Tip #4: Water Meter Inspection
This tip is actually what prompted me to discuss this issue for the blog post. A couple weeks ago, we received a call from a homeowner in the Independence area that was witnessing very low water pressure in their home. While this doesn’t automatically signal an issue with the water meter, it is a possibility that is considered. In short, the only way to resolve this was to dig a trench out from the house to the meter, which happen to be more than a few feet away! Even though a mini-excavator prevents you from having to damage the entire yard, it does leave a noticeable mark. Take a look at some of these pics from the project here. We had to excavate and then replace the old pipe with a new copper one. With any pre-closing inspection, the water meter should be always be a topic of discussion!
Pro Tip #5: Selling? These can go for you too!
Rather than buying a home, are you trying to get yours sold? Good news! All of these can be applied to your situation as well. Not only will these ensure that you don’t have someone mad at you a few months down the road, they will also help you get your listing sold. By upgrading the appliances and being completely transparent about the state of the plumbing system, it will be easier for you to nail down on a realistic price and get your home sold!
Pro Tip #6: Hire Someone You Trust!
All in all, having a thorough plumbing inspection is a much smaller investment when you compare it to actually buying your new home. While all plumbers should know to check each of these items before giving the all clear, that isn’t always the case. As a future Kansas City homeowner, you’re going to want to do your due diligence as well. Read reviews online. Check out the business’s website and social media. And most importantly, talk with them. If the plumber that you’re talking with is experienced, they’ll immediately know which items should be completed in a pre-closing inspection. Additionally, they’ll know approximate amounts on what future repairs would be and what should be garnering your attention at that particular time.
If you’re looking to buy or sell a home and want to make sure plumbing issues won’t be a future nightmare for you, then give our team at Stine-Nichols Plumbing a call today at 816-348-3481. We work all throughout the Kansas City and Northland area, as well as down south in Johnson County and Lee’s Summit. And for those that aren’t in the moving process, these tips can be helpful to you too in preventing any major plumbing disasters!