Making sure the utilities are all on is critical to your Inspection!
So many times, we receive a phone call about scheduling, and when we get to the question “Are all the utilites on?” – the answer comes back “Well, no, but that is ok. They can just check what they can check and that will be fine. My agent said to get this done ASAP and utilities take 72 hours to turn on. If I want them on, I have to pay to have them turned on and that’s just more money.” ….
Again… making sure utilities are all on is critical to your Inspection!
- The biggest and most important reason: we want to be able to check and verify as many items as we can at the initial appointment! – Got a leak? We need water to spot it! Got hot water? We need water, electric AND gas on to determine that! Lights working? Outlets functional? Electric must be on to know for sure! GFCI outlets tripping when they should? Water and electric need to be on! – Your Inspector wants to make sure you are covered and checked.
- Your warranty has requirements as well. And the “functioning as intended at Inspection” is the first one! – Your building inspection report must include functionality. Home Warranty companies largely won’t cover items not in good working order during the inspection. Paying the $50 – $100 extra dollars to have utilities activated can save you big bucks when something breaks!
- Need more proof? There you go! There is ZERO question this home had HOT water running at that sink on the day of Inspection. (I pulled those images right out of the report! No arguing with that!
- Leaks can be destructive! Water running all over the basement, dripping down the pipes or worse…behind the walls… or the big no-no, gas leaks. That can be really really bad if left undetected or not resolved. Water heater spring a leak? Find out now, before you move in and have it corrected properly.
As always, I’m drawing from personal experience here… When I bought my house 7 years ago, I was advised to activate utilities and “bring a plumber because the lines won’t hold pressure which means there is a leak someplace, and any damages are your responsibility” – direct quote from the LA (Listing Agent) …. wait… WHAT???????? But I really wanted this house, so I came armed with a plumber (to the tune of an additional $150.00 and the kind guys from the local water company outside in my shutoff box (that’s the little thing they turn underground in your yard under the round metal plate, FYI) ready to shut it back off if I started yelling, and hoped for the best…. Water is turned on, and we wait… Plumber (Dan) walks all around the house opening valves and shutoffs and letting the water fill the house lines and fixtures… No pressure… and NO leak… Dan looks at the kitchen sink and says “your faucet is leaking here at the sink. Let’s shut this one off and see what we get.” Shuts the waters off and PRESTO…beautiful water pressure throughout my house! – It was as simple as replacing a faucet in my kitchen! (which led to a new sink, counters, pulls, backsplash…but that was MY choice!)
Do I think it was worth the $35 to activate the water and the $150.00 to have Dan come out during my inspection? ABSOLUTELY!!! I can’t say enough times how worth it it was! That was the clincher. This darling little money pit I had discovered in the perfect school district was officially going to be mine…because there were NO leaks! And almost 8 years later, I know I made the right choice to pay for utilities to be on and make sure I wasn’t buying something with a huge repair lurking around the corner.
As for the warranty company, I absolutely had proof that utilities were on and all items were functioning at my Inspection. So, when my AC unit died in 105-degree weather in July, it got fixed! Same for the furnace when a sequencer failed in the winter. I sent the Inspection over and they put it on file. As long as I had my warranty in place, things got fixed, no questions asked! Believe me when I say that little co-pay (deductible…whatever you want to call it) was NOTHING compared to what I would have had to shell out to have it fixed on my own! (If you don’t believe me, check out my previous blog post on the water heater repair I had to make a few months ago!)
We understand you want your Inspections completed as soon as possible in order to make an informed, educated decision about your purchase. And we also understand activating them can take a few days. And yes, we understand there is money involved, and basically, you are paying out to turn someone else’s utilities on…BUT…consider this, you toured it, fell in love with it, wrote a contract on it, and the end goal is to make this YOUR home. And making sure each and everything works when turned on should be high on your priority list. Ladies, we simply do NOT spend a lot of money on something special without trying it on first…TRY IT ON!!! Waiting a few days for active utilities to make sure the house “fits” perfectly should be 1st priority!