Home Inspection: Do You Really Need One in New York City? | Easy Street


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Finding a new home can be costly. But there are many points in the process that help protect the buyer. One of these is the home inspection, which usually takes place between the acceptance of an offer and the signing of a contract. An inspection can uncover hidden problems, the solutions of which can often be negotiated in the contract. Especially bad results can even cause you to back down, thus saving you from a possible money ditch. But inspections work a little differently in New York City than in the rest of the country. Read on to learn more.

Do You Need an Inspection for a NYC Condo or Cooperative?

It’s complicated. Home inspections can detect problems in apartments as well as in houses. But they are not so typical here, especially at cooperatives and large apartment buildings. “Inspections are not common in our market for cooperatives and apartments,” says a compass broker Ivana Tagliamonte. “Buyers buying in small buildings or brown stones will often request an inspection, however, because costs for large tickets, such as the roof or facade, are split between fewer homes. But I see a considerable increase late in NYC buyers requesting a home inspection.”

Ronald Barnhill, co-owner of Belhaven Inspection Services, saw what could go wrong. “In older buildings, sponge while walking around could indicate rotting flooring or something wrong in the basement,” he says. Other possible problems include an obsolete fuse instead of a modern switch that could become a fire hazard. For one buyer Barnhill worked with, the inspection revealed a mold that would require $ 40,000 in treatment. It was more than the buyer wanted to accept, and she left.

Problems can also arise in new construction developments – especially if processing has accelerated to the limit. An experienced inspector can spot critical problems and make recommendations on how they can be resolved. Even if nothing nasty is found, a home inspection can highlight small irregularities to take care of after you’ve closed.

How Long Does an Inspection Last?

Time frames vary by property. Inspecting a brand new studio can take only 45 minutes, while sandstone flooring can take several hours.

Normally, the buyer will want to mark behind the inspector, or at least be present while the inspection is being done. However, the COVID-19 pandemic made this difficult. It is now recommended that no one but the inspector be present inside the apartment. Better yet, if the accommodation is not occupied, it is recommended that no one enter the unit for at least 24 hours prior to inspection.

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

Cost is another issue that can vary greatly, depending on the size of the property and how much work is required. Other factors include the age and condition of both the residence and building, and whether the unit has its own HVAC system. But overall the average cost is around $ 500 per 1-bedroom.

How Do You Find a Home Inspector?

To find an authorized inspector, check the American Society of Home Inspectors or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors. Note that the New York State Association of Home Inspectors is a political organization and does not deal with references.

Supervisor of Home Inspection

Here are the main things an inspector should look at:

  • Plumbing: In addition to turning on and off faucets to check the water pressure, an inspector will look at the pipes to check for any water or past water damage or leaks.
  • Electric, heating and cooling: These are all critical systems that need to be expertly evaluated. All defects could become fire hazards or cause a system-wide failure. This is not only a nuisance, but may be a health hazard if the heat fails during a snowstorm or the AC during a heatwave.
  • Walls, ceilings and floors: Any indication of water damage must result in control of active water flows. Even if the area is patched, there may still be potential for another leak – or mold.
  • Devices: Unless you plan to replace these right away, it’s okay to check them out. One inspector discovered that even after an hour old oven still could not make it up to 350 degrees. This allowed the buyer to negotiate money to replace the furnace.

What to Expect from the Report

After the inspection, you will receive a report detailing everything found (good or bad). Most reports will provide an overview of both the unit and building, as well as a list of all items discovered during an inspection. There will be either a recommendation after each issue, or a compiled list of recommendations at the end of the report.

What If The Home Inspection Reveals Problems?

For first-time buyers, it can be difficult to know what is essential to repair and what is less critical. After reviewing the report, please discuss with your supervisor so that you can make informed decisions.

If there are big tickets to deal with, you have a few options. You can negotiate a reduction in the sale price, on the repairs to be paid by the seller or on the necessary funds to solve the problem. Everything decided must be added to the contract. Or, you can choose to leave the purchase.

“It always helps to learn as much as possible about taking care of your homes and appliances,” says Tagliamonte. “I have seen home inspections where the inspector has actually shown that the home is flawlessly maintained. This can make a buyer feel great about their purchase. ”


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