Home Buying in 13901>Question Details

Charliefenson, Home Buyer in Deposit, NY

who to hire for evaluation of home: building inspector or professional engineer (same price)?

Asked by Charliefenson, Deposit, NY Fri Jun 22, 2012

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Good morning Charliefenson,

To make your decision, it's best to understand what you're looking for when you bring your inspector or engineer to the home you wish to purchase. Too often HomeBuyers think the inspection is an opportunity to find a way to get a Seller who accepted an offer to lower the price. This thinking is way off the mark of how the actual home inspection process works.

Budget at least 2-5 hours for the Inspection day. You’ll walk through the house with your Inspector and he will describe to you any concerns or issues you need to be aware of. Focus on the fundamentals: Plumbing, Heating and Electrical sufficient and in good working order; Roof is free of leaks; Foundation is sound. If there are MAJOR problems with any of these items, you must immediately bring that to the attention of your Attorney. The Seller must deliver the home to you with these items in good working order.

As far as other lesser repair items, make a “punch list” and provide to your Attorney. In general a Seller will not reduce a price for requested repairs choosing instead to make the repair before closing or to give the Buyer a “credit” at closing (for a nominal amount of money, no more than $1,000 to $2,000).

So, an inspector or engineer can accomplish a proper and thorough inspection. I've been a mortgage professional for 22+ years. "Back in the day" we ALWAYS used Certified Engineers to complete home inspections. I think the final decision is going to come down to the strength of the referral you received to the inspector or the engineer.

Trevor Curran
NMLS #40140
Mobile: 516-582-9181
Office: 516-829-2900
Fax: 516-829-2944
PowerHouse Solutions, Inc.
185 Great Neck Rd, Suite 240
Great Neck NY 11021
Licensed Mortgage Banker – NYS Dept. of Financial Services
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 30, 2012
As a previous home inspector, I would caution against an engineer. This is my rationale - a good inspector is well versed in all aspects of the home (plumbing, mechanical, electrical, structural, and ancillary features like septics,, sprinklers, pools, etc...) and an engineer is usually a specialist in their field.

It's equivalent to a doctor - you have a dermatologist, a pediatrician, a general surgeon, an orthopedic doctor, etc....the dermatologist can look at you but will not have a firm handle on how to deal with tube in a toddlers ears. Most engineers are electrical engineers, structural engineers, etc....they specialize in an area and can be consulted for a specific problem in their area of expertise.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
Professiaonal engineer's are some times more expensive. Usually you would have a home inspector come in and do the inspection, they are licensed. Then if the inspector finds a major issue you may want to have an engineer come in to further evaluate the issue/
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jul 8, 2012
Hire the licensed professional that you are most comfortable with....
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jun 23, 2012
Often a home inspector will have some background in engineering. Make sure they are reputable and insured
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 22, 2012
It depends on what you are looking to do. An engineer can comment and check on the properties structural intengrity. If you are worried about foundation issues, etc, hire an engineer. An inspector is common in the Real Estate industry. They give a general outline of issues and concerns found with the home. They can not however fix, repair or give an estimate on costs associated with the repair. Inspectors give a great roof to basement, wall to wall home description complete with report. They would then recommend repairs and further evaluation by professionals, in some cases engineers.
Good luck with what you are looking to do.

Jennifer Greenmun ABR, Green, SFR
McKinney Real Estate
51 Oak St Binghamton
607-761-4814 Cell
607-722-0722 Office
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 22, 2012
The engineer and home inspector may look at things with a different eye but you are safe with either as long as they are reputable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 22, 2012
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