When you are buying a house, what should be inspected?

When you’re looking to buy a new house on Long Island, you want to be careful and basically have EVERYTHING inspected.  You can never be too careful.  After all, for most this is the biggest purchase of their lives.   It’s worth it to make sure that this is a smart investment, and to avoid any costly issues that may arise.


Many people look to reduce the cost of an inspector.  My advice is don’t…if you do, chances are you’ll miss something and that will cost you much more down the road.


You want to make sure that all elements of the house are inspected, especially the roof and basement/foundation.  These are the 2 most common problem areas (and they are often the most costly to fix).  Here in the NY area, it’s often adviseable to do a radon test, as well as termite inspection (usually hiring a specialist for this is best).


If you are buying an older home (e.g. 1920 and before), it’s best to have an inspector who specializes in older homes (which often have more issues with them due to their age).  If you have other specialty items such as a pool/hot tub or septic system, I’d also recommend a specialist for these areas.  Inspectors are great, but they are generalists and often don’t know all the ins and outs on some of these specialty items.


Also, if you’ve noticed a some issues that could be more serious (e.g. cracks in foundation or issues with a roof), you may want to call in a building engineer both to see if these are serious issues and whether they are fixable/how much they may cost.


My overall advice is it’s better to be safe than sorry.  Forewarned is forearmed. If you find major issue, you may want to pass on the house, or consider renegotiating.


If you find yourself on the other side of the equation and you own a house on Long Island that has a lot of issues and you need someone to take it off your hands, here’s a great resource.