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Frequently Asked Questions About Home Inspections


What does a home inspection include?

NYS licensed home inspectors must follow NYS ethics and regulations. These regulations outline what is to be inspected during your inspection. Please visit our services page for details on inspections.


What will the home inspector need access to?

You will need to provide access to the attic, basement, furnace, water heater, and electrical panel, as well as any portions of the cooling system. 


How long will my home inspection take?

The time-frame of your inspection depends on the amenities of the home. If the home has several bathrooms, exterior buildings, or multiple floors, it will take more time. It's important for our inspectors to pay attention to detail and take time to evaluate the condition of the home. A thorough and accurate home inspection should never be under an hour. On average our home inspections range between 2-3 hours. Additional time above this for larger homes.


Do you do property/land surveys?

A home inspector focuses on the exterior and interior safety and performance issues of a home. Surveying services are not performed by home inspectors but licensed land survey engineers. These professionals can document property lines and accurate acreage of your property.  Please contact your local surveying or engineering firm for pricing and answers on land surveying.


Do the utilities have to be on?

It's in your best interest to have the water running, the electricity on, and the house in working order. Make sure all interior and exterior light fixtures are operational and that appliances like the refrigerator are plugged in and running. If utilities aren't on, a meaningful inspection can still be performed.


Does the inspector look under the floorboards or in the walls? 

A home inspection includes anything that is observable but non-invasive. Because invasive procedures cause damage to the home (holes in walls, ripped up floors) home inspectors do not evaluate anything that is not observable. We do perform services such as moisture readings and will report most observable excess moisture in the home. 


When will I get my report?

A multi-page digital report will be sent to you within approximately 48 hours after the inspection. We try to be as meticulous as possible so bigger homes or those with several issues render longer reports and more working hours.


Can you give me an estimate on my home's value or repairs needed?

Home inspectors focus on the observable issues of a home that could be costly to you or put you in danger. The reports, while detailed, do not include an estimated value of a home's worth. In addition, New York State dictates that cost estimates for home repairs are not to be estimated by a home inspector due to conflicts of interest laws. 

Appraisal services are hired by banks to appraise the home based on comps in the area and aspects of the home. Appraisal inspections and home inspections differ greatly and are both needed in a real estate transaction.

Top five questions to ask a home inspector:
1. Are you licensed and insured in New York? 
Home inspectors are required by law to be licensed and insured in order to perform inspection services in New York. Not only does the licensing require education and testing to complete but the State also runs thorough criminal background checks on all home inspector applicants. In addition to licensing, ask where they received their education, what inspection organizations they are affiliated with, and additional education and professional backgrounds. There is no substitution for NYS Licenses. Check licenses numbers here.
Mountain Valley Inspections is 16000062359. Mountain Valley Inspections, the principal inspector is Salvatore Marano.
2. How long will you be on site for? 
A quality home inspection should be a thorough process. It's in your best interest that an inspection takes over an hour to complete. Home inspections should be about 2-3 hours. In addition, reports should not be rendered on-site. A quality inspector will take their time to review pictures, notes, and observations made during the inspection and compile a multiple page document. NYS dictates what should be included in the report. A report rendered on-site is not beneficial to the client and may not be meeting NYS requirements.
3. What's your background?
Although NYS requires home inspectors to be educated and pass a test, not all home inspectors have actual experience in the construction, electrical, plumbing, etc. fields. Having an inspector who has been part of the home building process is an essential attribute of quality inspection.
4. Where can I see your reviews/testimonials?
Make sure to check out an inspector's reviews on sites like Google. Yelp, etc. Several reviews with an above-average score can be a good indication of their reputation. 
5. What type of report do you provide?
You're making big decisions based on a home inspection report. The report should be thorough, easy to understand and help navigate you through this big decision. You'll want to know: Does the report contain a write-up on important components of the home? Will I get a digital copy? Does it include color photographs? Do you use a combination of a checklist and narrative format so I can understand all the major components of my home? Will you take the time to explain anything that I don't understand?
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