What does home inspector do, is it mandatory, can you use a contractor and wat happens if he finds issues?

Asked by Parkcarew, Rockville Centre, NY Wed Aug 8, 2012

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., , Queens, NY
Wed Aug 8, 2012
A home inspector may inspect conditions of a property, but he/she is not an architect or engineer. A licensed, qualified architect generally has a minimum of a five-year architectural degree plus 3-5 years interning under a licensed design professional and then needs to pass a state board exam. Identifying and evaluating flawed conditions in a building is serious business and should be done by someone other than a person following a generic, superficial checklist. A licensed architect is uniquely qualified to perform pre-purchase home inspections. To inspect a building or house prior to purchase is very wise and often mandatory when a bank is involved. A seasoned, experienced contractor can often spot problems in a building because they (or a contractor) are called to fix them but a licensed architect or engineer offers the best overview ( spotting the crack in a foundation or bad wiring) and can spot defects in a potential purchase.. Additionally, a competent architect who understands state and local codes will even be more beneficial. He can give you valuable ideas and prevent a very big mistake. For instance, will a new deck violate building code?
1 vote
I've never had an inspection before, but I know they're very important to have. I would call a company that you can pre purchase a building inspection from them. They should be able to answer any questions you may have. http://www.boundbuilders.com.au/services
Flag Tue Jan 13, 2015
What is average price for inspection?
Flag Wed Aug 8, 2012
James Simon, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Wed Mar 18, 2015
Parkcarew, I had that experience once. They reviewed the house and found that some of the doors weren't up to code. It was an older house so it needed some work. I was able to point out that the house was built before the regulation, so it had been "grandfathered" in and didn't need to be up to code. That was able to keep me from having to redo it.
0 votes
Caleb Hart, Renter, Orem, UT
Mon Feb 2, 2015
There are a lot of people that get home inspections like these. A lot of other users have already given an in depth explanation of the duties of a home inspector. You need to get a certificate from one if you're going to sell your house. Remember to get that done sooner rather than later. http://jha.com.au
0 votes
Robbie Vaughn, Agent, Mineola, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Personally, I like to use an engineer. Additionally, I really like Mr. Tollen's answer. Good luck!
Web Reference:  http://www.bverealty.com
0 votes
An inspector is really limited in what he can do. He can figure out the problems, but cannot tell you how to fix the problems. You would probably want to talk to a civil engineer for all the structural problems of the house. The inspector is really only there to check on all the parts of the house, not to fix anything. http://www.tbirddesign.com
Flag Wed May 6, 2015
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Under no circumstances should you use a contractor as there's a clear conflict of interest. A contractor is there to generate work for themselves not to give you a fair evaluation of the property.

I've attached a link below to a very informative Blog I'e posted here on Trulia last year about home inspections titled. Home Inspections- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. You may want to take a look it will give you an excellent idea of how to find a good inspector and what the home inspection process will cover as well as how to interpret the results.

Best of luck to you.
0 votes
Trevor Curran, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Great Neck, NY
Thu Aug 16, 2012
Good morning Parkcarew,

You most definitely should use a registered Home Inspector, NOT a contractor for the biggest purchase of your life, A HOME!

Typically your Home Inspection will alert you to problems in five key areas, and these key areas directly relate to the contract of sale:

1. Foundation: sound and solid
2. Roof free of leaks
3. Plumbing working and leak-free
4. Heating system sufficient and operating
5. Electrical system sufficient and up to code

If there is a serious problem with any of these five items, typically the Seller has a responsibility under the terms of the contract of sale to repair the problem at their expense, not the Purchaser's expense. Sometimes a Purchaser will receive a credit at closing to repair one of these items (assuming the home and the defective issue has not compromised the Lender's appraisal). When the Purchaser receives a credit at closing, the amount of the credit is based upon legitimate estimates for repair and negotiations between the Attorneys representing each party.

Other items you discover are in need of repair/upgrade (i.e. diswasher not operating properly; air conditioner on second floor inoperable, etc.) can be negotiated for a repair credit or replacement at the Seller's expense. Again, these negotiations are handled by the Attorneys.

It is extremely RARE that a purchase price is reduced due to repairs from a Home Inspection. Best to consult with your Attorney for more detailed information in this area.

If you don't already have a good real estate Attorney and you're shopping for homes, you need to reverse your process. First, get properly prequalified for mortgage financing by a Local Mortgage Banker. Second, line up your Attorney. Third, line up your Home Inspector. Fourth, line up a great local Realtor with personal experience in the area in which you'd like to buy.

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
Martina Ryan, Agent, Bayside, NY
Sat Aug 11, 2012
A home inspector inspects the condition of a property. It is not mandatory but recommended in case there are any underlying issues with the property that you can not see. A good contractor should be able to do a good inspection & hopefully would not miss anything. If there are major issues with the property you can negotiate to have them fixed. Knowing ahead of time will prepare you for minor repair work.
0 votes
Abulnasar Ah…, Agent, Elmhurst, NY
Thu Aug 9, 2012
You need to inspect your home at selling/buying time. call me if you need help at 917 699 3560
0 votes
Christopher…, Agent, Tarrytown, NY
Thu Aug 9, 2012
NY state is a buyer beware state. You don't have to do a home inspection but always should. A home inspector inspects the basic infrastructure of the home which includes plumbing, electrical, structure, and HVAC. They will let you know if they see any red flags and recommend bringing in a professional that specializes in any of those specific areas, if needed.

0 votes
Annette Levi…, , New York, NY
Thu Aug 9, 2012
In NY home inspectors must be licensed. They are responsible for what they tell you. They not only let you know the condition of the house you wish to buy but the average cost to fix any problem the house may have. This lets you know if it is a major or minor problem. Also the home inspector tells you the life spam of different parts of the house (roof, appliances & etc). I have personally used this information to save for future repairs. They also show you where everything is like the turn off valve for water. Very important things to know.
As a mortgage officer for the last 26 years, I have not submitted a mortgage application until a home inspection was done.
0 votes
Rick Andrews, Agent, Young Harris, GA
Thu Aug 9, 2012
ALWAYS USE A HOME INSPECTOR. I know few things in life are "always" but I think that this is one of them. I have seen far to many problems with both new and so-called quality kept homes. A professional home inspector knows where and what to look for in a home. Also follow up on any recommendations that the inspector may have regarding certain specific inspectors such as HVAC. The money that you spend up front on an inspection may save you a lot down the road. All of that said, get a referral on a quality inspector, don't use the phone book.
0 votes
Donald Mituz…, Agent, Chappaqua, NY
Thu Aug 9, 2012
You have received some good answers, but I disagree with one. You do not need an architect for a home inspection. Quite the contrary, it's rare that I would ever recommend an architect for a home inspection. I think a home inspector is much more qualified (also depends on the inspector) to tell you the useful age of a roof, heating system etc. A home inspector will more likely spot plumbing or electrical issues that may not meet code. There are some home inspectors who were builders when the real estate market was stronger and they can be some of your best home inspectors.

A home inspection may not be mandatory if you are getting a mortgage. What will be mandatory is an inspection for wood destroying insects such as termite, powder post beetles and carpenter ants. Make sure the home inspector you choose is qualified to do a pest inspection or you will have to pay separately for that. You would want to get this inspection regardless of your getting a mortage or not.

Don Mituzas
Licensed Associate Broker
Prudential Douglas Elliman
0 votes
Yuriy Goldst…, , New York
Thu Aug 9, 2012

Some answer already explained to you what is the difference between a Home Inspector, Engineer or Architect. Many Home Inspectors are former contractors and they used their knowledge as a base for their home inspection profession. But...Contractor is not trained as a Home Inspector. Home Inspector must have much more knowledge about the INSPECTION than contractor. The Engineer or Architect has a very narrow specialization(for example, structure engineer, civil engineer and so on) and can inspect just a narrow part( for example, structure). Home Inspector is a generalist and if found any problems will recommend further investigation by engineer or licensed contractor. Please get a recommendation about Home Inspector in your area.. As in any profession there are a good inspectors and bad. You can find a lot of additional info on this website:


Yuriy Goldstein.
NYS Licensed Home Inspector
NYS certified Pesticide Technician
0 votes
Anna M Brocco, Agent, Williston Park, NY
Wed Aug 8, 2012
Use whoever you are most comfortable with; see link for helpful information...
0 votes
Dan Tabit, Agent, Issaquah, WA
Wed Aug 8, 2012
An inspector has training, tools and experience that a contractor doesn't. The contractor is necessary after the inspection to discuss repairs, costs and timeframes. Don't cheat yourself by trying to use a contractor as an inspector. Many good inspectors were contractors and took what they already knew and learned a lot more to become a certified inspector.
Once you find issues its decision time. Depending on how your contract was written you likely have 3 options, kill the deal, request repairs or request compensation in lieu of repairs. The seller in most cases isn't obligated to give you a "new" house, but major issues that would keep you from buying the house are commonly addressed as are issues of deferred maintenance that they should have attended to. Negotiating the inspection is a specialty that can be done well or poorly depending on all involved. Getting a credible inspection report is just the first step.
0 votes
Mark Fisher, Mortgage Broker Or Lender, Bronx, NY
Wed Aug 8, 2012
A home inspector is a wise investment since he is there for your protection. He is there to point out any structural issues, plumbing, heating and cooling, mold, roof etc. You can use a contractor but I would personally prefer an inspector since their full time job is to look for possible issues. If there are issues then you can negotiate with the seller to fix them or reduce the price. If you have any other questions feel free to reach me directly at (347) 242-1206.
Web Reference:  http://www.markfishernyc.com
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Wed Aug 8, 2012
It is not mandatory but is a good thing to have. Basically it is another set of eyes looking over the house you want to buy to find things you will miss or not understand. Once done you have a little more leverage to get the seller to fix some things before you buy it, unless it is a bank owned or short sale in which case that will be hard. Your Realtor should be explaining all this to you.
0 votes
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