Nov 18

House, Water and Pest Inspections from one Company

We help to save home buyers precious time by offering three critical types of inspections on the same day as the general home inspection. This also helps to save realtors the aggravation of arranging for three different meetings with the seller of the house. This qualifies us as a full-service home inspector company.

Our home inspections are backed by the InterNACHI $10,000. Honor Guarantee. Our certified pest inspection service is based on protocol and training from InterNACHI. And water testing is performed by  NY State licensed and approved laboratory.

There are well-water tests and town-water tests available. If you would like to learn more about which tests are most helpful and which services best suit your needs, do give us a call or text at:
631 377 2046

Tags: 3 in 1 home inspection service, water, pest, home inspection in one, Hamptons home inspector, full-service home inspector Southampton and Suffolk, water testing, pest inspector

Dec 05

Lieb’s Top 5 Home Inspection Issues for L.I. Real Estate

connections-990699__340Long Island attorney Andrew Lieb, who specializes in real estate law, offers advice on buying a home with a home inspector on Long Island. Here are topics that he advises as the top five issues to consider:

1.TIMING THE INSPECTION
2. HIRING THE RIGHT PROFESSIONAL
3. KNOWING WHAT YOU GET
4. UNDERSTANDING WHAT IS EXCLUDED FROM AN INSPECTION
5. WHO SHOULD ATTEND THE INSPECTION

Lieb’s complete article on this subject was first published in Hamptons Behind the Hedges, linked here. Then another version was posted at Huffington Post, linked here.

As a licensed NY State home inspector serving Long Island, I find Lieb’s article to be spot on. Timing is incredibly important, especially if there is serious interest in a home. And I also recommend that the home purchaser can learn a lot about the home by being present at the home inspection.

I have elaborated on the point of “hiring the right professional” at my blog, titled, ABC’s of Home Inspection Training and Experience, linked here. I would recommend, A) Architectural or engineering degree; B) Thorough home inspection training; C) Construction experience. All of these add to the capability and value of your home inspector, in addition to being a part of a certification organization that holds inspectors to high standards.

A further piece of advice on due diligence would be to hire a home  inspector based on the inspector’s credentials, not just because a real estate agent has recommended one.

Image with permission by NZ Chrissy

Tags: Buying a home on Long Island, how to buy home on LI, how to choose inspector on Long Island, key inspection issues, how to choose inspector in Hamptons NY. buyer due diligence

Mar 05

How to Prepare for a Home Inspection – Buyers

keep-calm2

Most serious mortgage lenders require a home inspection prior to purchasing a home. And there are different ways that buyers and sellers can prepare for a home inspection once a home inspector has been selected. In this article I’ll focus on what a buyer can do in order to maximize the benefits of the inspection. The following are some key questions regarding pre-purchase inspections:

What’s included in a standard, licensed home inspection? Are environmental issues included in a standard home inspection? How can I prepare for a home inspection as a home buyer? What should I do before an inspection? What should I bring to a home inspection?

1. Know What’s Involved – First, it’s important to understand that licensed home inspectors may only report on readily accessible and observable conditions and cannot legally poke invasive holes or pry up materials. And the inspector is required to observe and report on any deteriorated and/or damaged structural components, including the following: The building foundation and framing; the floor structure. the wall structure, the ceiling structure, and the roof structure. Additional services may include such things as water testing and EMF radiation readings on a microwave and nearby high-power electrical lines. The official Standards of Practice for home inspectors outlines the scope of work regarding what is entailed in a standard home inspection. Special kinds of inspections, for example, mold testing, are beyond the standard scope and can be requested if it seems that there is a problem either before the general inspection or after. SHI will also include certain additional tests for free in the inspection above and beyond the official requirements. For example, EMF radiation tests are standard for all SHI inspections, if there is an applicable situation. Also, per NY State laws, a Pre-inspection Agreement must be signed by the client prior to the actual inspection.

2. Make a List of Questions – Because you are the one hiring the home inspector, you have a right to ask for special attention on any issues you wish to focus on. For example, if you are especially concerned about moisture and mold issues in the basement, many inspectors have a moisture meter that can detect above-average and unsafe levels of moisture in wood structural members. SHI, for example, can do this if there seems to be a moisture problem. You can also ask your lawyer and real estate agent about any potential issues that would require special attention. For example, there might be a concern about a buried oil tank in the yard of older houses. There are often signs of this in a basement.

3. Is the House Ready? – It is most helpful when the heating system is on and running and any pilot lights are on in winter and that the water system is turned on outside in warmer weather. And it’s also good to make sure that there is no clutter blocking important areas, such as the attic, mechanical equipment and garage walls. Although this is normally considered the responsibility of the owner and real estate agent, it does not hurt to check on such issues yourself and make sure that the house will be as prepared as possible.

4. Being Present can Help – A home inspection is basically a a detailed introduction to your new home and its idiosyncrasies. SHI prepares reports with 20-40 photo pages that make the issues as clear as possible. Nevertheless, there are instances when it can be beneficial to be at the location to see first-hand how something works and to better understand why something may be a potential problem. Keep in mind that an average home inspection takes about 2 ½ hours. You don’t have to be present for the entire inspection, but a concluding summary review meeting can be very helpful. Sometimes a home owner will want to be present, but this may make the home buyer uncomfortable. Because the home buyer is commissioning the inspection, the preferences of the home buyer should be top priority. It may be that the seller’s real estate agent can be present in lieu of the owner, as an alternative. Try to have these kinds of details worked out with the respective parties involved before the inspection takes place.

5. Bring a Pen and a Pad – During the home inspection you can ask the inspector about any concerns and questions. Being able to take notes will be very helpful. You might also want to take some key measurements of the house for your own planning.

Conclusion

A home purchase is one of the riskiest and most important financial decisions a person or family can make. It’s important to approach the subject with a bit of due diligence and preparation. If you have any questions about buying a home or evaluating a home’s condition, please don’t hesitate to contact me at my email or cell number: 631.377.2046.

Tags: Prepare for Home Inspection, How to get ready for home inspection, how to buy a home, what’s included in a standard, licensed home inspection? environmental issues not included in a standard home inspection, How to prepare for a home inspection as a home buyer, What to do before an inspection? What to bring to a home inspection?

Aug 04

Free Book with Every Home Inspection

InterNACHI’s ultimate home maintenance manual is free to all home buyers who use the services of Southampton Home Inspections. InterNACHI is the foremost home inspection certification organization and, as a member, SHI is grateful for the opportunity to offer this helpful free book with every home inspection. The book, Now That You’ve Had A Home Inspection, is available in English and Spanish (libro gratis con inspección de la vivienda en español). This link offers a short video description of the book. Call SHI today for your inspection: 631 377 2046.

Tags: free book with every home inspection, free home inspection book, free home maintenance book, home inspector free book, best home maintenance book, Hamptons inspector free book, libro gratis con inspección de la casa, español habla inspector de viviendas

May 28

Should Brokers and Agents Recommend Home Inspectors?

There are a number of questions regarding the recommendation of home inspectors by agents and brokers. Is it a good idea? Are there any preferred methods? Are there any concerns? Certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

First, it can be considered a valuable time-saving service to provide the name of a home inspector or a list of local licensed home inspectors. Real estate professionals basically earn their fee by helping their clients, so this can be seen as a helpful plus. A key to business growth is to never stop improving. Supplying some references of local home inspectors is a positive feature.

Second, there are a few methods for recommending home inspectors. One Southampton real estate agency offers an online list of local home inspectors to choose from. Another agency chooses to recommend one home inspector. And yet another chooses to print out and hand a list to clients.

Third, there can be some underlying concerns when it comes to recommending just one home inspector. The home buyer may be wondering, “Should I use a home inspector that has been recommended to me by a broker or agent?” The underlying issue relates to the objectivity of the inspector and the report. There are plenty of brokers and agents who regularly recommend one home inspector and there is nothing unethical about this if the report is objective. However, some clients may feel more confident if they are presented with a list of recommended licensed and insured home inspectors to choose from.  This option may be presented to a client. Some clients prefer to find their own home inspector on the Internet.

As a home inspector, I have both training in home inspection work and an architectural degree. I also have a lot of various construction work experience. These experiences add to my abilities as a home inspector. I’m licensed and insured and can offer a number of references. If you are interested in an objective and thorough report, you may recommend Southampton Home Inspections to your clients with confidence.

Tags: Should brokers recommend home inspectors? Real estate and home inspections, should a home buyer use a recommended home inspector, how to find a home inspector

Feb 08

Why are Photos Critical in a Home Inspection?

Along with the report text, SHI offers on average approximately 25-35 referenced photo pages (2 photos per page) for smaller homes and 35-55 photo pages for larger homes. Most home inspectors offer a few photos here and there scattered throughout the report. But there are some pretty good reasons why photos are critical in a professional home inspection report and there should not be a shortage.

Asbestos on Pipe

Asbestos on Pipe

  1. Photos document serious conditions. What does a serious asbestos condition look like in a house? A picture is worth a thousand words.
  2. Photos identify technical items. Do you know what a TPR valve extension looks like? One photo does the trick.
  3. Photos convey valuable knowledge. When we recommend a repair, we can choose from a variety of photos and articles to outline what is needed. And, let’s face it, there is a reason why dictionaries, encyclopedias and science books contain a lot of images.
Signs of Termites

Signs of Termites

Believe it or not, many home inspection companies do not offer photos with their reports. At SHI, we don’t just give cookie-cutter home reports, we give a brief but insightful education on the important aspects of your new house. Your house (whether first, second, or third) is likely one of the largest investments you will ever make. Your home inspection report should be as thorough and detailed as possible. Photo pages allow for top-quality reports and informed home buying decisions. Call SHI today for a comprehensive home inspection that includes referenced photo pages – 631 377 2046.

Tags: Photos in home inspection reports, best home inspection reports, quality inspections, compare home inspection reports, home inspection companies Hamptons NY,

 

 

Oct 18

ABC’s of Home Inspection Training and Experience

When buying or selling a home, there are at least three dominating factors that come into play when considering the training and experience of your home inspector. Ask him or her about each before choosing the one who will evaluate what will likely be the biggest investment of your life, your home.

Certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors

A. Architectural or engineering degree.

If a person takes a course and passes a test or two, he or she can become licensed and certified as a home inspector in just A FEW WEEKS. Obviously, having a four to five year degree in architecture or engineering would add a lot more knowledge and experience. I have an architectural degree from Cooper Union in NYC.

B. Thorough home inspection training.

BUILDING PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP BPI CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL LOGO

There are home inspectors who are licensed architects or engineers who do NOT have any specific training AT ALL in how to inspect electrical systems, plumbing, and HVAC components. I have certification by the Building Performance Institute (BPI) as a Building Analyst (BA) and as an Envelope Professional (EP). The standards of BPI are very high and relate to aspects of HVAC systems and energy saving techniques.

C. Construction experience.

Even though a person may have specific training and a related degree, practical hands-on experience in construction contracting and various building trades adds a whole new level of valuable experience that is invaluable during home inspections. Another “C” point to consider is certification. As a home inspector, I am certified with the foremost home inspection certification organization in the US, InterNACHI. Click this link to verify my present standing as a member.

I’ve written these three points down because I’ve noticed how some clients will negotiate down to the dollar for inspection fees while at the same time not comparing apples to apples when comparing home inspectors. The following is a list of some basic subjects covered in a standard home inspection licensing course:

100 Classroom Hours plus field experience
Basic Home Inspection Licensing Subjects
Module 1: (Structure, Exterior, Roof)
Module 2: (Interior, Insulation, Ventilation)
Module 3: (Heating, Cooling, Plumbing Systems
Module 4: (NYS Licensing Law/Report Writing)
Module 5: (40 HOURS of Field Inspections)

In addition to these classes and training, I have a five-year degree from Cooper Union in architecture and years of hands-on construction experience in a number of trades. This is why I can sincerely claim that my services provide the best value for the home-inspection dollar.

Call us today for immediate service at 631 377 2046!

Tags: Home inspection qualifications, what experience should a home inspector have? Choosing a home inspector, best home inspector, how to choose a home inspector

Jul 07

Free Termite Inspections are Usually not Guaranteed!



Often, home inspectors will offer “a free termite inspection” included with their home inspection price. Almost always, home buyers aren’t aware that such termite inspections come with no guarantee whatsoever! When a licensed pest inspector prepares an inspection report, the inspection is also usually not guaranteed, so that if termites are discovered after the home is purchased, the purchaser is not protected against paying for related repairs. They usually will, however, guaranty most houses if they are treating them with pesticides. Unless, for example, there is no moisture termite barrier on the foundation top under the sill plate.  Newsday published an article on this subject and outlined how real estate lawyers in many states will recommend an independent termite inspector:

“The engineer found no termites, but when he wouldn’t give a guarantee, I suggested [the buyers] bring in a licensed pest controller,” Minella said. With a written guarantee, buyers would be protected against paying for repairs in case termites were found after they moved in.”

In some of my home inspection cases, separate licensed termite inspectors found infestation problems and these reports were used as negotiation tools because the buyers wanted the houses regardless. The slightly higher cost for a separate termite inspection may be worth it for a number of reasons. Pest applicators that offer WDO (wood destroying organism) termite reports are usually competitively priced because the inspectors anticipate that some of these inspections will lead to work down the road. As a matter of fact, this gives them an incentive to make an extremely thorough inspection in order to find infestation. In one case, a termite inspector found a clean house but found infestation under a log right next to the house. In this situation, treatment was recommended in the report.

I became certified through InterNACHI to inspect for termites and other WDO (wood destroying organisms) that I offer for free along with a home inspection, using a separate WDO inspection form.

(Revised 12-07-16)

Termite photo by Scott Bauer

Tags: Long Island termite inspections, Home inspectors offer termite inspections, Hamptons NY termite inspectors, pests

Apr 30

Hamptons Designer House Market Update

200px-Cuckoo_clock_by_Pascal_Tarabay1Last week, 27East reported how Hamptons Cottages & Gardens magazine hosted a panel discussion that featured discussions by a variety of professionals related to the real estate industry in the Hamptons and, with regard to creativity and real estate, the situation is a bit paradoxical. In one sense, it’s a designer’s market:

“Mr. Collé, who said that today’s buyers are “less interested in cookie-cutter houses” and more passionate about custom-designed homes, said that he has been seeing more and more demand for “bigger and better” residences. That means more and more teardowns of existing older homes on ideally located properties, he reported.”

And yet, in another sense, the population of creative artists and designers that helped to give the Hamptons a sense of mystique seems to be on the wain:

“The artists and writers are being squeezed out by the hedge fund managers, she paused. “And the people clipping the hedges.”

Like SOHO in NYC and Red Hook in Brooklyn, the Hamptons seems to be following a similar pattern for artists and writers.

In March, Deal Book reported how hedge fund titan Steven A. Cohen paid $60 million for an oceanfront home on Further Lane in East Hampton. But this is chump change. The day before the home purchase news has it that he purchased Picasso’s “Le Rêve” for $155 million from the casino owner Stephen A. Wynn. This was apparently one of the priciest private art deals ever transacted. The art of the deal.

The HC & G Hamptons real estate update and forum included Builder Jeffrey Collé, NYC&G features editor Carmela Ciuraru, HC&G contributing editor Heather Buchanan and author Steven Gaines joined HC&G publisher Pamela Eldridge.

Image of designer cuckoo clock by Pascal Tarabay is courtesy of Creative Commons.

Tags: art and real estate, Hamptons designers, Hampton real estate update, buy designer home Hamptons NY

Mar 15

List of Hamptons NY Real Estate Brokers

The following is a list of real estate brokers in the Hamptons NY area. The process of home buying can be inundating and it may be that this list will be of use. All real estate agents are required to work under licensed real estate brokers, so all professionals in the field are hopefully covered somewhere in this list. If you are a real estate broker in the area and are not on the list, I can add you if you let me know. If you are in need of a local Hamptons home inspector, check out Southampton Home Inspections.

Beau Hulse Realty Group

http://www.hulserealty.com/html/

Corcoran Hamptons, NY
http://www.corcoran.com/hamptons

Douglass Elliman Hamptons
http://www.elliman.com/long-island/hamptons

Halstead Hamptons
http://www.halstead.com/agents/hamptons-office/

The Morely Agency
http://morley.hreo.com/

Nest Seekers Hamptons, NY
http://www.nestseekers.com/Sales/hamptons/

Saunders
http://www.hamptonsrealestate.com/

Sea Shell Real Estate
http://www.seashell-realestate.com/

Sotheby’s Hamptons, NY
http://www.sothebyshomes.com/hamptons

Southampton Village Real Estate
http://www.southamptonvillagerealestate.com/

South Fork Realty
http://www.southforkrealty.com/

Town and Country
http://www.1townandcountry.com/

Tags: Real estate Hamptons NY, list of real estate brokers and agents in Hamptons NY, Hamptons NY real estate listings, buy house hamptons, home buying in Hamptons, names of brokers in Hamptons NY, real estate companies in Hamptons