American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
2767 Dewey Avenue
Rochester, NY 14616
Office: 585-349-3900
Fax: 585-349-3834

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Democrat and Chronicle
( July 8, 2000)
Home and Real Estate Section, page 3

Home Inspection

A home inspection could be one of the wisest investments a potential homebuyer can make. The purchase of a home, whether a "starter-home," vacation cottage, or a stately mansion is likely one of the largest investments a person will make in his or her lifetime. In New York State, home purchasing is to a great extent "buyer-beware." Thus the home inspection is the buyer's best defense against a possible costly mistake. It is also a buyer's only way to find out the exact condition of the house.

As a homebuyer, your focus is necessarily on location, size, and price. A professional home inspector is concerned with the condition of the house and particularly with what problems are present.

The inspector takes a thorough, in-depth look at the home and it's readily accessible systems and components from foundation to roof, inside and out. According to Fritz Gunther, Gunther Home Inspections, the major areas checked are the foundation and structure, electrical system, plumbing system, furnace, air-conditioning unit, walls, ceilings, floors, attic ventilation and insulation, roof and siding. A comprehensive report is written for the client listing all the problems and defects that were found. At the end of the inspection a summary is given to the client and all questions are answered.

The quality of the home inspection depends on the experience, knowledge and ability of the inspector. There are several ways the client can insure quality and competence from their inspector. First is to inquire if the inspector holds membership in the one of the top trade associations in the industry. For example membership in the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) is difficult to obtain. This professional trade association has rigorous guidelines and requirements for membership including testing, strict standards of practice and code of ethics and continuing education. Checking with the local Fair Business Council (FBC) will reveal whether the company has had past problems or complaints. The FBC typically keeps records for about three years. Also "word of mouth" is a great way to find out first hand if you are able to speak to someone who has used a home inspector in the past.

Ask whether the inspector will allow the client to participate in the inspection. This will allow you, the client, to become very familiar with the house and have a clear understanding of any problems right away. This also allows potential problem areas to be fully discussed as they are found. Inquire as to whether the inspector invites follow-up calls for further questions and consultations.

Home inspections can also be performed for reasons other than home buying. Sometimes a home seller will have an inspection completed prior to putting their house on the market. This lets the motivated seller get problems fixed beforehand, saving time and money. Other homes, not on the market, are inspected periodically simply to have a professional assess the condition of the home and to make recommendations as to repairs needed and when they should be done.

Some home inspectors are also able to perform single-service jobs such as testing for Radon, carbon monoxide, or lead present in a home.

Knowing that you are buying a sound house is well worth the cost of an inspection. A professional home inspection will educate you on the existing condition of the house and what to expect in the future from the house, and provide information on how to deal with it, thus giving you peace of mind.

For more information on home inspections, talk with your REALTORŪ or a professional home inspector.


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Voice 585-349-3900 - Fax 585-349-3834
2767 Dewey Avenue - Rochester, NY 14616

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