If you’re purchasing a home with a government insured mortgage like an FHA or VA mortgage, the lender will send a qualified appraiser who will evaluate the value of the home for the lender. Usually the appraiser will get recent sale values with comparatively priced homes. When these appraisers look at the condition of the property they are primarily looking at safety issues such as trip hazards, peeling paint that may contain lead, asbestos covered heating pipes, hand rails on stairways and other readily visible deficiencies. They also look for obvious defects in the structure such as a leaking roof, but they ( the Appraiser), usually will not climb the roof like a professional home inspector, as long as it is safe to climb, to identify, if possible, the cause. By no stretch of the imagination is this a comprehensive inspection of the property by an Appraiser.
A private home inspection is something that you, as the buyer, have a contract with the home inspector. Part of the negotiating process should include a window of opportunity to complete this inspection. The inspection time frame runs from a couple days to a few weeks depending on the individual property. A bank owned property might not have the utilities turned on, or winterized. That fact alone usually may require re-inspection after the house is in working order. Typically with an owner occupying the house, selling to a buyer, a window of five to seven days would be sufficient.
Home inspectors must be licensed by New York State in order to perform home inspections New York State. In choosing a home inspector its important that the inspector is licensed and has liability insurance.
A typical home inspection will start outside the house with an observing eye and walk the perimeter of the home and yard. Weather permitting the inspector should climb the roof, as long as it is safe, to inspect the building envelope and the interior and exterior of out buildings (sheds, cabanas, etc.) and garages. The interior inspection will likely begin in the basement with an overall inspection of the exposed foundation, plumbing, electrical and HVAC system. The inspector is trained properly and he will remove the electric service panel covers and inspect the breakers and wiring to uncover any visible electrical hazards that may be present. If the wiring is in good order that will be noted, problems will be called out. Once inside the house, your inspector will go floor-to-floor, room by room inspecting walls, ceilings, doors and windows, flooring, lighting, switches, accessible receptacles, etc. He will go into the attic to look at the condition of the structure, venting, roof penetrations, electric wiring and even report back on the amount of insulation that is observed.
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