Home Inspection Questions

Why do I need a home inspection?

To find out the condition of the house, and to obtain costs to repair the defects of the house.

Before signing a contract, it is vitally important to identify all costs with the purchase.  For example,  there are three costs involved with purchasing a house:

  1. Price of the house
  2. Closing cost
  3. Cost to repair/replace defects of a house.

The first 2 items are known fixed costs, however 3 is not known unless you obtain a quality home inspection that includes cost estimates. 

A quality home inspection will uncovers costly defects and shall provide you the backup you will need to renegotiate your original offer or enable you to plan financially. 


Should I be concerned with qualifications of the person who inspects my home?


Definitely. A licensed Professional Engineer has more qualifications when it comes to structure. In 2006, the home inspection industry was diluted in New York State, allowing people with a minimum of a high school diploma and 140 hours of training to perform home inspections.  Please note, these individuals are not engineers and are restricted in the level of structural inspection they can perform.

Not every Home Inspector is a (PE) Professional Engineer.   Make sure you request a "Professional Engineer" or PE when you need a home inspection. 


Beware, many of these non-engineers advertise themselves as Engineers, which is a felony.   Also against the NYS Home inspectors regulation Section 197-4.9c which  states... 

Home inspectors shall not advertise home inspection services as an engineer ... unless the individual and/or firm is licensed to provide engineering services by the New York State Education Department. 

Visit the New York State Education Department  to    link to verify if a person is an engineer.   http://www.op.nysed.gov/opsearches.htm

You should think twice before hiring a person that states they are a home inspection Engineer and whose name cannot be found in the above link.


What exactly is a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE)?

The Professional Engineer (P.E.) designation is issued and regulated by the NYS government.  NYS assures that practicing engineer are properly educated, trained and experienced to serve the public safety. 

The Minimum requirement to practice professional engineering in New York, an person, must pass all of the following:

1.    Four years of college level engineering education. 

2.    Four years of professional engineering experience. 

3.    Successful completion of 2 eight hour technically exhausting board examination, administered by NYS. 

By New York State law, a Licensed Professional Engineer (PE) is the only one who can legally render an opinion on the structural stability of an existing building.

See for yourself, here are several links from NACHI (National Association of Certified Home Inspectors), quizzing their home inspectors how to report certain structural defects. The correct answer for both structural questions is to tell their client to call a (PE) Professional Engineer to inspect structural defects.  That’s another inspection fee!

Example 1
Example 2


Should I hire an “Inspector” recommended by the Real Estate Agent?

This is a conflict-of-interest and we will answer this question with a question.  If you were buying a used car, would you have the car checked out by a mechanic that was recommended by the used-car agent? 

Realtors earn money on commission by selling homes. Never loose sight that Realtors are sales-people. No sale…no commission. Several Realtors have a list of three inspectors who have been carefully screened not to be commission killers. The list, will be long enough to protect the Realtor from any referral liability should the buyer blame the agent for any inspection mistakes.

This gives the RE agent the perfect combination of:

  •     No liability for the referral;
  •     The buyer "chooses" an inspector the agent prefers;
  •     The buyer’s choice is limited to an inspector who will not hurt the sale and the Agent's commission.

Rest assured of the following:

  • We treat our clients as family.  
  • We will not let you purchase a lemon.
  • We do not seek RE Agents referrals.


When Do I Request An Engineer to perform a Home Inspection? 

In Long Island, the house should be inspected prior to signing a contract, unless the contract specifically states, that all damages found by the engineer will be financially compensated or repaired. 

You can contact us anytime.  If you are shopping for a house and may have some general questions or specific questions about a house,  give us a call.  We would be happy to answer your questions and give you advice.  Phone calls are always free. 


Do I really need to be present at the time of the inspection? 

Definitely, by walking with the engineer you can ask questions and get a first hand look at things you might not have thought were important.  Although our written report is very detailed our engineer can go over each and every finding with you at the home. 


Do you carry any type of insurance?

We maintain $1,000,000 Errors/Omission  (E/O) insurance, as well as $1,000,000 of General Liability insurance.   E/O insurance is to a Home Inspector as Malpractice insurance is to a doctor.  According to our insurance company, over 95% of the Home inspectors in NYS do not have E/O insurance.


What if the Home Inspection Uncovers Defects?

If our Engineer finds problems in a home, it does not necessarily mean you should not buy it, only that you will know in advance what type of repairs will be needed. Also, a seller may be willing to make repairs, or lower the selling price because of the problems discovered by our Engineers.  If your budget is tight, or if you do not wish to become involved in future repair work, you may decide that this is not the property for you.  This is why you should not sign a contract until after the home inspection. 


What if the Realtor says the house does not need to be inspected?

If the realtor feels so confident that the house does not need to be inspected,  tell the realtor to sign a document stating that the repair of any defects, damages and problems that are discovered during the first year of home ownership will be paid for by the realtor.   The Agent will change their tune.


Can I Inspect The Building Myself?

Even the most experienced building or homeowner lacks the knowledge and the technical expertise of a professional engineer. Our engineers are well versed with the critical elements of construction and with the proper installation, maintenance and inter-relationships of these elements. Above all, most buyers find it difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the building they really want, and this may lead to a poor assessment. 

 Free termite certificate with each inspection.




Serving Nassau, Suffolk & Queens Counties

(631) 462-2743

(516) 620-6747

(888) 544-6373