Redfin Article Featuring Silver Maple Home Inspections By: Holly Hooper

What Buyers and Sellers Need to Know About Getting a Home Inspection in New York

October 10, 2023

by Holly Hooper

Updated on October 17th, 2023

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Nestled in the heart of the Northeastern United States, New York’s rich tapestry of history and culture finds reflection in its eclectic array of New York-styled homes, spanning from timeless classics to contemporary gems. In this dynamic setting, the process of home inspection becomes a journey through layers of historical significance and modern innovation that define a property. For prospective buyers, it offers a glimpse into the integrity and personality of a potential new residence, showcasing its charm and revealing of concern. Meanwhile, sellers can utilize this process to transparently showcase their property’s value and proactively address any issues.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a historic townhouse in Downtown Brooklyn or preparing to list your property in the bustling neighborhoods of Rochester, this Redfin article provides comprehensive insights into navigating the home inspection process in New York. Featuring advice from local home inspectors, it equips you with the knowledge needed to confidently navigate the competitive New York real estate market. So, let’s delve into the world of home inspections in the Empire State.


Why should you get a home inspection in New York?

“In today’s market, the idea of considering waiving a home inspection to win a bid is one of the riskiest things you could do,” warns FullScope Home Inspection, Inc. “Sellers only need to say “unknown” regarding potentially major issues that you will inherit. A home inspection by a licensed professional can save you untold dollars and emotional stress caused by simply not knowing.”

“A thorough home inspection by a reputable and experienced Home Inspector, and who will provide an especially detailed report to follow, is a great way to prioritize any needed maintenance, and also potentially needed repairs, to components which may be experiencing yet to be detected issues which, if not addressed in a timelier manner, can lead to far bigger issues, and far greater costs to address,” says A Plus Home Inspection.

“With the market the way it has been, and with low inventory and much competition, the idea of waiving inspections to make for a ‘more attractive’ offer to a seller has, unfortunately, become all too common. This rarely, if ever, is in the best interest of the buyer, and with some real horror stories starting to come out after the fact, from having done so, and sometimes to the tune of 10’s of thousands of unexpected, needed foundation repairs, etc. While no substitute for a full inspection, hiring an experienced, reputable inspector to, at minimum, take an abbreviated look at the typically most crucial components, to help to better limit the risk, should also be an option, and with a more in-depth inspection to be scheduled later, should an offer be accepted and after close.”

Are there any specialized inspections that New York buyers should consider?

“Specialized, yes, get a RADON Test,” says High Peaks Home Inspectional Srvs. LLC. “It causes cancer why not test for it. Additionally, here are more specialized inspections:

  • Mold assessment – Mold is a known health concern. If we find it we should do something about it.
  • Well testing for certain loans. (FHA) – Well flow test, bacteria samples etc.
  • Water quality sampling – Find out the quality of your drinking water.”

Are home inspections required in New York?

“While New York State (NYS) does not mandate home inspections when purchasing a house, given the current market situation and the limited supply of homes for sale, we believe it is even more important for home buyers to exercise due diligence and safeguard their most significant lifetime investment,” recommends J² Home Inspections.

How much does a home inspection cost in New York?

Expert advice for New York buyers before they get a home inspection

Ask your inspector questions

“Home buyers are drawn to the cosmetic appeal of a home, while a professional home inspector looks past the cosmetics and reports on what’s not appealing,” says  VERIFY Home Inspection. “When hiring a thorough inspector, ask for sample inspection reports, ask about their physical ability to inspect the hard to reach areas such as the roof, attic and basement areas. Ask about additional certifications and review their references.”

Select an inspector that is thorough and detailed

“I feel it is important to pick an inspector who is willing to get into all accessible areas of the home,” suggests Silver Maple Home Inspections. “Most home owners are not spending much time in their attics or crawl spaces. However, there are a multitude of issues that can be seen in these areas. Such as water intrusion, pest infestation and mold.”

When to get a home inspection

“In New York state, you cannot perform a home inspection without the seller’s consent,” says Professional Home Inspection Service. “For this reason, the majority of buyers and sellers agree to a home inspection after a contract is already written and signed. Additionally, according to New York state law, home sellers are required to disclose any health and safety information found during a home inspection to the next buyer. 

You should not proceed until you get the results back from your home inspection unless otherwise directed by your realtor or real estate attorney because you may then be locked into buying a home with several safety and health problems. The best option is to include an inspection contingency clause in your contract so you are not forced to move forward and purchase a home with several issues you were previously unaware of. 

If the home inspection report does find any issues, you have several options:

  • Reduce your offer 
  • Ask the seller to make certain repairs before the deal is closed
  • Agree to move forward with the deal and make the repairs yourself
  • Withdraw your offer”

Be present at the inspection

“A home inspection is a critical part of buying any home. We would like it if every client were able to attend their home inspection,” suggests Square One Professional Home Inspectors, Inc. “Unfortunately, this does not always happen. Attending your home inspection is a great way to learn, visualize, and better understand the aspects of your home, especially for first-time buyers. It is important to know what is not included in a home inspection. By definition, a home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of the accessible areas of a residential property, performed for a fee. Its purpose is to identify defects within specific systems and components defined by these standards, which are both observed and deemed material by the inspector. The scope of work may be modified by the client and inspector prior to the inspection process.”

New York home inspection: the bottom line

In the dynamic realm of New York’s real estate, where historical and modern elements blend seamlessly and a wide array of climatic conditions presents distinctive hurdles, home inspections are an essential component. Whether assessing centuries-old estates or newly developed properties, the critical aspect lies in delving beyond the surface to grasp the property’s complete state. In the New York real estate arena, both buyers and sellers recognize the pivotal role of a comprehensive home inspection, facilitating informed decisions, transparency, and the realization of successful property transactions.


About Andy Lewis Home Inspector

Andy Lewis, Owner of Silver Maple Inspections has been local to Ulster County since 1998. Andy Lewis graduated from SUNY New Paltz with a Bachelors Degree in 2003. Soon after he started work as a carpenter, and has since performed all aspects of home construction and repair. From project management, framing to finish, to electrical, plumbing and mechanicals. Most recently he moved into building inspection in 2017. These many years of experience go in to every home inspection report produced by Silver Maple Inspections.

Leave a Comment