Home inspector recommendations in metro NY
November 30, 2008 4:56 PM   Subscribe

Any recommendations for a good home inspector in the metro NY area? (more inside)

When asked for a recommendation on a home inspector, just about everybody said that their inspector wasn't any good and then recommends that we go through our realtor. A realtor-recommended inspector is usually asking for trouble as they're often in the realtor's pocket. A friend who went this route wound up with an inspector that gave his house a clean bill of health but somehow missed six pipe joints near the furnace that were leaching small amounts of natural gas in his basement.

Others don't wind up recommending their inspectors due to unrealistic expectations of their abilities. No inspector whose name isn't superman is going to see a faulty pipe thats going to burst six months down the line.

In other words, who can recommend an inspector that isn't an inept ripoff artist in the metro NY area?
posted by dr_dank to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
ASHI can recommend home inspectors in your metro area.

Home inspectors in New York must be licensed per the Home Inspector Licensing Act. (By default, the list generated by the ASHI search page will only contain licensed inspectors.)

NYSAHI is the go-to reference for home inspectors to keep up on state regulations, etc. You can look at it too.

Shop around and pick a few names out. Run them by your Realtor, and if they make a nasty face for any of the names in particular, try those guys first. Realtors and Home Inspectors are natural enemies. One thing to keep an eye out for is what kind of reporting system the HI uses. There are lots of cookie-cutter computer programs that spit out generic reports, so see if they offer anything above and beyond a print-out.

My father is a home inspector in Arizona. Here's a list of questions he has on his site that makes him look good a potential customer should ask any home inspector :

- Do you carry Errors & Omissions and General Liability insurance?
- Do you perform home inspections on a full-time basis?
- Do you produce a narrative versus a checklist type report?
- Will you provide me with client references?
- Will I receive my report quickly? (On-site reporting is an option these days.)
- Will you repair any problems or conditions you find for an additional charge? (Correct answer is NO, as it is a conflict of interest.)
- Do you offer a written warranty for your service?
- May I attend the inspection along with my REALTORĀ®?

His site (self-linkish) is a pretty good resource for educating yourself on choosing a home inspector.
posted by carsonb at 5:54 PM on November 30, 2008 [2 favorites]

Thats great, carsonb. Would home inspectors that are members of ASHI be required to meet all of those points?
posted by dr_dank at 6:13 PM on November 30, 2008

I think not. Plenty of part-timers or sideliners or moonlighters obtain ASHI membership, for example; all it takes is some large number of hours experience and a written examination (then a few more steps involving being an Associate, etc.) I think the list is based more around my father's particular service offerings and qualifications. He's kind of a nut about it, so those items may not reflect what's readily available from the home inspectors in your area. Unfortunately it's a profession rife with sham artists and charlatans. Good luck finding a good guy!
posted by carsonb at 6:30 PM on November 30, 2008

Just to be clear, ASHI's recommendations are not always gold. They're a good place to start, though. Call up a bunch of the guys they list in your area and ask them about insurance and warranties and experience and all that stuff. And get a price estimate (usually based on square footage). Go from there.
posted by carsonb at 6:51 PM on November 30, 2008

I used Heimer Engineering. They did a very thorough job and gave me an excellent report. The inspector found a handful of things wrong that I hadn't noticed and we were able to get them fixed by the seller when we showed them the report. Seconding getting a price estimate and calling a number of firms - Heimer gave me the best price for a thorough inspection so that's who I chose.
posted by bedhead at 8:55 PM on November 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the recommendation, bedhead. I'll give them a look.
posted by dr_dank at 8:14 AM on December 1, 2008

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