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If you are planning to sell your home, an inspection prior to placing your house on the market provides a better understanding of conditions that may be discovered by the buyer's inspector and gives you an opportunity to make repairs, rendering your home a more desirable purchase. If you are placing a bid on a house, a home inspection can provide a better understanding of what you are about to purchase.
A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of property. It is neither an appraisal, which determines market value, nor a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. Professional home inspectors are generally expected to follow the standards of practice established by the American Society of Home Inspections. The standards are guidelines that specify the components of a home to be included in an inspection.
The inspection report will describe the physical condition of a property and indicate what may need repair or replacement. A standard home inspection summarizes findings from a visual inspection of the condition of the property's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; foundation, basement, and other visible structures.
Before you sign a contract or purchase agreement, make your purchase obligation is contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated. Contact a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed.
When scheduling an appointment to have your home inspected, it is important to confirm the qualifications of the company and your potential inspector. Just because an inspector is listed does not mean that the inspector or company is best for you. In order to make sure that you are getting the a good fit for your needs make sure that your inspector is a licensed engineer in the state of New York; can provide proof of membership with a respected inspector association; has the appropriate insurance coverage; and can accommodate your timeline.
The New York Licensure of the Home Inspector Professional Licensing Act takes effect Dec. 31 this year and requires that all New York home inspectors obtain a license. Ask if your prospective inspector has that license or is taking steps to obtain that license.
There are a host of home inspection businesses in Queens, so shop around at some of the local companies including Checkpoint Property Inspections, Inc. in Flushing, 646-479-2271; National Property Inspections in Whitestone, 718-357-4644; Gregory Martins Professional Engineers, 718-846-4853; Efficient Home Inspections in Glendale, 646-261-1125, Royal Home Inspection in Hollis, 718-465-4975; and AMC Home Inspection Corp. in South Ozone Park, 718-835-5293.
Confirm what the inspection fees will be before the appointment is set and ask how long the inspection will take. The size of a house makes a difference, (how many bedrooms, how many floors, garage, basement (finished, unfinished), patio, deck(s), etc. Also, any extras you may have such as a pool or hot tub will contribute to the cost. Additionally, the age of the house alters the price of the inspection: A 150-year-old house will cost more than a 15-year-old house.
Once you feel comfortable with the potential home inspector as well as the company's qualifications and experience, ask about the final report that you will receive. A detailed report should be provided within five business days or so. If you find a house that you want to purchase, time is of the essence and a home inspector should be prepared to help expedite the process. If possible, have the home inspector bring along a sample report when you meet for the inspection, so you will know what to expect.
You are now satisfied with your prospective inspector's ability, the price is agreeable, an appointment can be scheduled soon and the turnaround on providing a final report is satisfactory. So you wonder "should I be there during the inspection?" The answer is "absolutely." While it may take two to three hours for a complete inspection of your home or prospective purchase, it is wise to be present during the inspection so that you may look at any areas that might need repair and ask relevant questions on the spot. This makes the process go much quicker and more importantly, it gives you the opportunity to be clear on every issue.
A home inspector should be eager to help you understand everything about the inspection. Richard Merritt, president of Federated Consultant Service, Inc. in Bayside (718-428-2655) , leads his team of inspectors with one simple motto. "We seek to enlighten, not frighten. We just give them the facts."
Reach contributing writer Annette Richmond via e-mail at email@example.com.
©2005 Community Newspaper Group
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