Chicago Sun-Times Coverage
The Home Inspection Man As Seen in the...
The article below was published in the July edition of the Sun-Times and Pioneer News.
Why buy new?
Is it better to invest a little more now and know the home is under warranty or roll-the-dice and hope the water heater and roof still have a few good years left in them? Can you live with avocado green shag carpeting in the bathroom and 1970s silver-foil wallpaper in the dining room? Can you count on a "buyer disclosure" statement or are you better off having a warranty from a homebuilder?
According to Gary Monfeli, also known as the Home Inspection Man, buying a new home takes the guesswork out of buying a home.
"It's not what you see in a used home that tends to be the problem, it's what you don't see," said Monfeli, whose Plainfield-based business inspects an average of six homes a week. "When a problem arises, today's "weekend warriors" try and fix or patch the problem themselves. Without the work of a professional, a problem that seems to be fixed can be brewing for months or even years before it creates a larger problem. Buyer disclosure statements do little to protect new homeowners because it's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to prove that a previous homeowner had knowledge of a problem - especially if the prior owners fixed it themselves."
Monfeli says most homes, if structurally sound, will not require major repairs until about the 10-year mark.
"Typically, at 10 years a sump pump usually will need to be replaced and at 15 years the furnace and water heater, maybe the air conditioner. On average, these items can cost the homeowners upwards of $3,500 or more to replace," Monfeli said. "While many buyers purchase older homes and overlook the out-dated cabinetry, flooring and appliances, they soon realize how costly and timely those items can be to replace. The last two homes I've purchased have been new. The way I see it, I know what I'm getting and, more importantly, I know who is accountable if I have a problem."