WHAT TO EXPECT FROM YOUR WNY HOME INSPECTION

Alto Home Inspection, LLC is your go-to for inspections of homes that you are buying or selling in the Buffalo and Western NY area. A home inspection is an important step in the home buying or selling process, and makes sense not only for single-family homes, but also multi-family, townhomes, and condos.

During the home inspection, Bradley will inspect all of the major components of the home, usually starting with the exterior of the structure.  You are welcome to follow along during the inspection and ask any questions that you might have.

After the inspection is complete, a summary of any problem areas will be reviewed with you, along with items that are considered maintenance or upkeep items.  The final report will be delivered via email, and can be viewed online or as a PDF file that you can download and print, if desired.  Compared to most other home inspection reports, ours appear to come from the modern age, and include great photos of any problems, and explanations of how they can be corrected.  

The checklist (AKA “home inspection checklist”) of items below are included in our home inspection reports, as long as they can safely be accessed our viewed.  Snow, rain and other conditions may make it unsafe to fully inspect the roof, for example.

GROUNDS

  • Driveway & Walkways
  • Grading & Drainage
  • Retaining Walls
  • Plants & Trees that affect the home
  • Decks, Porches, Patios & Stairs

EXTERIOR

  • Siding, Flashing & Trim
  • Window Exteriors
  • Exterior Doors
  • Eaves, Soffits & Fascia
  • Exterior Faucets

ROOF

GARAGE

  • Garage Door Safety
  • Ceiling, Floor & Walls
  • Safety of Interior Door to Home
  • Garage Door Opener

INTERIOR

ATTIC & ROOF STRUCTURE

  • Access Door
  • Ventilation
  • Roof Structure
  • Insulation
  • Exhaust Vents
  • Moisture Presence

ELECTRICAL

  • Service Disconnect
  • Breaker Panel
  • Sub-panel
  • Grounding & Safety
  • Branch Wiring
  • Receptacles/Outlets
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interupters (GFCI)
  • Switches
  • Lights
  • Ceiling Fans

PLUMBING

  • Visible condition of water shut-off
  • Water supply and distribution pipes
  • Flow of supply & drain
  • Sump pump
  • Utility Sink
  • Type of piping, i.e. copper, galvanized steel, PVC, PEX, cast iron
  • Natural gas or propane distribution pipe

HEATING & COOLING

  • Furnace
  • Boiler
  • Air Conditioning
  • Storage tank water heater
  • Tankless water heater
  • Exhaust piping
  • Ductwork
  • Thermostat
  • Registers

BASEMENT & FOUNDATION

  • We access all basements and crawlspaces, unless underwater
  • Concrete, block or even wooden foundations are inspected
  • Framing & floor structure
  • Insulation
  • Water entry into the basement or crawlspaces
  • Cracks are inspected to determine if they pose a risk to the home
  • Read our article about foundation problems

ENVIRONMENTAL

  • We consider the age of the home and advise regarding lead paint concerns or likelyhood that asbestos was used in the home
  • As a New York Certified Mold Assessor (#MA1606) we advise on the presence of mold, or need for further assessment
  • We take care to consider moisture presence in the home, which can lead to mold growth

COMMON HOME INSPECTION QUESTIONS

Yes! We welcome home buyers to learn from us during the inspection by following and watching our process.

You will receive the report within 24 hours of the inspection time.  In most cases you will receive it on the same day.

You will receive a link in your email to a downloadable PDF and an interactive web-based report.

The length of the inspection depends on the size and condition of the home.  For a 2000 square foot house, a home inspection might take 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Larger homes will naturally last longer.

My inspection reports do not contain the words “pass” or “fail”.  The truth is that all homes have problems, and it is the home inspector’s duty to describe the problems as best possible.  If you feel that a specific problem or group of problems is bad enough to not buy the house, then that is OK.  I do my best to provide an unbiased assessment of the home’s condition.  I urge you to discuss the report with your real estate agent.  Often times the seller will credit the price of repairs to the buyer, meaning that you are not on the hook for those repairs.

Almost all home inspections reveal problems, and that is OK.  When I find problems I document them in a professional and unbiased way.  I review any problems with you and discuss how they can be repaired.

Yes!  Home inspection reports are an important part of the home buying negotiation process, and enable you to potentially reduce the selling price of the home.  In New York State, anyone inspecting a home as part of a real estate transaction must be a licensed home inspector.

The price of a home inspection mainly depends on the size of the home.  Multi-unit buildings and very old structures have additional complexities that may increase the price.

We can still inspect almost all of the house when it’s covered in snow.  The roof covering is one area that just cannot be inspected, and the driveway, walkways and decks can have a limited inspection as well.  We still access the attic, if possible, in order to examine the underside of the roof.

If the seller’s real estate agent placed a blue electronic lock box on the home, we are able to unlock it and access the home during our scheduled inspection time.  If the home has a combination lock box, then we usually can obtain the combination as well.

During the inspection, we look at the grounds, exterior, roof, plumbing, heating, cooling, electrical, basement, attic, heating, cooling and other major parts of the home.  Pictures of defects from a few of our recent inspections can be seen here.

Our home inspection and testing services are offered for single-family homes, duplexes, multi-family or investment properties, townhouses, condos and trailer homes.

In addition to home inspecting, we also offer radon testing, mold testing and assessment, wood-destroying organism inspections and septic dye testing.

Since homes that are “for sale by owner” are being sold without the aid of a real estate agent,  the seller does not always disclose the true condition of the property. Extra attention by the prospective buyer and home inspector is appropriate.  We have inspected many FSBO properties and know what to look out for.

I receive calls often from tenants who are frustrated that their landlords are not maintaining the furnace and have bug infestations.  Unfortunately there’s nothing I can do in these situations, but Neighborhood Legal Services (716-847-0650) exists to help resolve these situations.