Buyer's Inspection

A buyer's inspection is initiated by the home-buyer usually as a contingency to the final close of a real estate sale. These types of inspections are designed to assure that there are no hidden surprises for the purchaser.

It is estimated that up to 80% of all home sales are contingent on the Buyer's Inspection! You'll be hard-pressed to find any real estate-related expert who doesn't adamantly suggest that you require an inspection prior to purchasing a home.

Seller's Inspection (Pre-Listing Inspection)

A seller's inspection is initiated by the property owner usually prior to listing the property. It helps the seller to determine what systems and structures of the property need repair. More importantly, it helps the seller and the seller's agent to accurately represent the home by disclosing damage to prospective buyers (which further helps to curb lawsuits). Damage discovered as a result of a seller's inspection can either be repaired by the seller (to maintain market value) or used as a negoting tool by both seller and buyer.

Being used more and more, a Seller's Inspection is helping to speed-up the sales process. When sellers can show what damage an inspector found, and how that damage was fixed, the buyer's confidence may increases enough to move the transaction forward. But, the buyer should alway hire an their own inspector to perform another inspection to get a second-opinion.

Warranty Inspection

Home builders often initiate a "warranty" on a house for a period of one year or longer which is designed to cover the costs to repair systems and structural-related problems during the warranty period. A warranty inspection should be performed prior to the expiration of the home warranty contract so that you can address repairable issues with the builder while the warranty is in-force. Otherwise, you may be fully liable for the repair costs on your own should you allow the warranty to expire prior to discovering defects. Warranty inspections allow you to take full-advantage of the warranty's benefits which can save you from paying out-of-pocket for repairs that may otherwise have been the fault of the builder or OEM manufacturer.

You've heard it before: "It broke just as soon as the warranty expired!" If anything, a Warranty Inspection holds builders, installers, suppliers, and manufacturers liable for their work and products. The few-hundred dollars you pay for a warranty inspection could very-well save you from having to hand-over thousands (or tens-of-thousands) of dollars for future repairs and new systems that were damaged before the warranty expiration!

New-Construction Inspection

A new-construction inspection is much like a warranty inspection except for the fact that the building and its systems are, in fact, new. Whereas a warranty inspection can apply to re-sale homes that offer a warranty, new-construction inspections are specifically designed for homes that have never been lived-in. Though new homes do not have the wear-and-tear on them that re-sale home may, various contractors associated with the construction may have made mistakes whether by accident or intentionally (such as taking "shortcuts" to finish the job faster or under-budget). A new-construction inspection provides you with an unbiased review by the inspector who acts as an objective and knowledgeable observer on your behalf to identify construction-related, code-related, and installation-related issues with home systems and structures.

Many of the components from a home's system's and structure may be newly assembled, but they may also have been sitting in a lumber yard or warehouse for months. Also, even the best contractors make mistakes that could compromise the integrity of the job they do. It just makes sense to be sure!

Home Maintenance Inspection

Also called a "Home Health Check-up", maintenance inspections are performed usually once per year simply to ensure the integrity of a home's systems and structure. Because all things have a "planned obsolescence" period, maintenance inspections help to make the homeowner aware of immediate and upcoming needs for replacement and repair that could save thousands-of-dollars if discovered early-on.

Just as doctors recommend that people get check-ups every few years, your home also require periodic check-ups. Things wear out ~ you can't avoid it. Struc- tures will fail, and systems will break. It's a fact of life. The "trick" to saving tons of money is to catch the problems before they occur!

Pre- and Post-Renovation Inspection

Renovation inspection services are new in the inspection porfolio. The justification for using a home inspector before major renovations are to be performed on a home, or after renovations have been completed, is the same as why you choose a home inspector to provide you with an objective review of a home's systems and structure prior to the sale or purchase of a property. Damage or improper installation of home-systems found prior to a renovation may help to increase the success of the renovation. Damage or improper installation found after the renovation will help you to address renovation contractors with facts to initiate necessary repairs before the expiration of any warranties (related solely to the renovation), or before your contractors evacuate the premises with your money and leave you with sub-par installations.

Think of Renovation Inspections as being a check-up by the "family doctor" prior to the "surgeon" going-in to rebuild your home. Keep in mind that your inspector is there to help you validate whether or not specific items (according to their S.O.P.) are done to code for your protection.

Mold Inspection

Mold contamination can destroy property and deteriorate health. A mold survey can determine if red flags exist and if found testing is recommended to determine the presence and type of mold. Remediation and clearances can be done to eleminate and prevent future infestations. Keep in mind that mold identification and removal is specialized work that requires special training. Not just any inspector is capable of providing this service considering toxic it can be.

Septic Inspection

Most inspectors routinely conduct a dye test. This involves injecting a fluorescent dye into the septic system. If the dye shows up on the surface of the ground above the drainfield, the septic system is failing. You should also ask for an "open pit test." This test involves pumping out the tank and removing the dirt that covers the top of the tank and distribution line. Mirrors or video cameras are then lowered into the tank so that it can be thoroughly inspected. At a cost of about $600, this test isn't cheap. But, it's the only way to determine the condition of the holding tank. Since a new septic system can run as much as $15,000, this test is worth the cost. While the inspector is onsite, also ask if the septic system meets current code requirements. And, be sure to discuss your water usage needs to determine if the system is up to the task.

Septic systems fail for many reasons:
  • septic tank is not big enough
  • drainfield is not big enough
  • drainfield is not leveled properly
  • system has been installed in unsuitable soil
  • drainfield has been paved or hard-packed
  • seasonal ground table water is high
  • surface drainage does not drain from the drainfield
  • tree roots have interfered with the system

Wood-Destroying Organism Inspection (WDO Inspection)

Sometimes called "termite inspections", this specialized inspection looks for damage caused by any type of insecta, primarily termites that feed on, and nest in, the wood that supports your home's frame, porch, patio, flooring, ceiling, and other places. Of course, not all wood-destroying insects are termites. Ants, bees and beatles, and various larva are also known for making a buffet of your home's wooden elements and thereby compromising the soundness and integrity of your home's ability to support itself. The damage caused by wood-destroying insects can certainly lead to the sharp devaluation of your property's value as well as increasing the danger for occupants.

Well Water Testing

Properly constructed and maintained water wells can provide many years of trouble-free service, but wells can eventually deteriorate or become damaged and allow surface contaminants to enter the water. In addition, some groundwater can contain one or more chemical substances in levels above health-based standards. In some cases, contamination of the water can be detected by sight, taste or smell; however, many of the most serious problems can only be detected through laboratory testing of the water. Public water systems are tested regularly for a variety of contaminants. However, if you have a private well, regular testing is your responsibility. Well construction inspection and improvements, such as fixing a crack in a casing, are important steps in keeping your well water safe.

Water that has become contaminated by human or animal waste can transmit a variety of infectious diseases, including dysentery, salmonellosis, hepatitis, and giardiasis. Symptoms vary, but nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, with or without fever, are most common. These bacteria do not usually cause disease themselves, but their presence indicates that surface contamination has found its way into the well and disease organisms may also be present.

Nassau County Home Inspector - Long Island Home Inspections

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