Question
What is a home inspection?

 

Answer
A home inspection is a detailed analysis of a home and it’s systems by a Professional Home Inspector or Engineer and should include any recommended repairs.

 

Question
I am buying a new home. Should I have it inspected?

 

Answer
A home inspection conducted by a professional is always a good idea. It will give the buyer detailed knowledge about his prospective purchase so that an informed decision can be made about weather or not to purchase the property in question.

 

Question
What is the difference between a Home Inspector and an Engineer?

 

Answer
A home inspector under New York State Law is required to have completed 140 hour course, 100 hours of training under the direct supervision of a licensed Home Inspector or Engineer and pass a state test. An Licensed Engineer has completed a four year college degree in engineering, taken and passed an eight hour state exam, completed four years of training under a Licensed Engineer, taken and passed another eight hour state exam and be recommended for licensing by five licensed engineers.

 

Question
Why should I hire a Structural Engineer?

 

Answer
There are many different types of Professional Engineers. Only a Structural Engineer is an expert in the design and evaluation of Load (weight) bearing members such as footings & foundations, floor joists, roof joists, etc.

 

Question
Should I attend the inspection?

 

Answer
Yes you should. Follow the Engineer around and ask him all the questions that you might have. He should be able to answer them all as well as point out any deficiencies and maintenance concerns.

 

Question
How long should an inspection take?

 

Answer
An inspection of an average one or two family home by a qualified experienced professional should take about an hour to an hour and a half depending on existing conditions. An inspection that takes three hours or more of an average size home is clearly being done by someone with very limited experience.

 

Question
Who is responsible for any required repairs found during the inspection?

 

Answer
There is no law in New York State stating what condition the house must be in for a person to buy or sell it. Tradition has it that termite treatment and damage is usually repaired by the seller. If a standard sales contract is used the house is free of leaks and anything represented as working works. Beyond that any additional repairs are to be negotiated. You should consult your lawyer in this regard.

 

Question
The property I am buying is in as is condition. Should I have it inspected?

 

Answer
Yes it should be inspected. Many foreclosed properties are in poor condition. The bank or current owner is usually doing only minimal maintenance. A home inspection by a professional may uncover a hidden potential problem costing thousands to repair.

 

Question
I am buying a Condo / Coop should I have it inspected?

 

Answer
When you purchase a coop or condo you are usually responsible for all interior work on your unit. The Condo / Coop board takes care of all required outside work; however the individual unit owners own a share in the entire complex. If any repairs are required beyond what the maintenance fees have been collected the individual unit owners may be assessed for the cost of additional repairs. A Condo / Coop inspection will not only evaluate the individual unit but also the exterior and any common areas associated with that unit.

 

Question
The home I am buying is a short sale. Should I have it inspected?

 

Answer
An inspection by a professional will revel any hidden problems that may exist that the potential buyer may not be aware of that can sometimes be quite costly to fix.

 

Question
Some companies are offering a camera that can see into walls? Is this true?

 

Answer
This is called a thermo imaging camera and it does not see into walls. What this type of camera does is take of picture of the heat given off by different objects. It can only detect problems that are active at the time the picture is taken. If there is a bathroom that is not used often, an intermittent roof leak or wiring that overheats only when in use the camera will not show these conditions. Only a trained professional with years of experience can determine if these potential problems exists.

 

Question
Some companies offer free environmental testing. Is it necessary?

 

Answer
Unless a problem is detected during the inspection or there is a history of environmental problems associated with the property there is no need for testing. Most test kits are for specific contaminants and can be quite costly. Tests offered for free are very simple tests that are designed for only a very few contaminants and are inaccurate requiring much more expensive testing to confirm any results.

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