Pre-Purchase Home Inspections for Buffalo & WNY Buyers

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

Buyers of homes in Western NY, including Amherst, Hamburg, East Aurora and all of our towns and seek out home inspectors in order to gain an understanding of the problems and condition of their investment

Many buyers are aware of the importance of a home inspection, but don’t quite know what to expect from a home inspection or what inspectors look for and assess.  

Home inspectors are licensed by NY state, and are required to inspect and report on certain items, as detailed in the NY Home Inspector Code of Ethics. 

The code of ethics is a very minimal set of standards, and we exceed them in terms of detail of the inspection, quality of the home inspection report and service to our clients before and after the inspection. 

During the home inspection, we 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.  

What Does a Pre-Purchase Home Inspection Include?

We start the inspection at the outside of the home

After meeting you or your real estate agent, we typically start our inspections on the outside of the home.  Depending on weather and schedules, sometimes we shift around the order of the inspection. 

The Grounds of the House are Inspected

A home inspection doesn’t just include problems with the structure of the house itself.  A good inspector will pay close attention to issues on the surrounding property that may affect the safety, longevity or structure of the home.

  • Drainage of water from precipitation, sump pumps and runoff from neighboring property
  • Overgrowth of trees or shrubs that may affect the structure of the house
  • Driveway, sidewalks and other walkways
  • Retaining walls
  • Decks and Patios
We Move on to the Exterior

The exterior of a home is critical in keeping water, bugs and other animals out.  Weather and time can create big problems with the exterior, so a large part of the inspection is focused there.

  • The condition of the roof, including shingles and flashings
  • Trim and soffits
  • Gutters and downspouts
  • Siding
  • Doors & Windows
  • Electrical service entrance
  • Electrical outlets
  • Water faucets
The Attic Inspection is Next

We make special effort to gain access to all unfinished attic spaces, simply because they can reveal a lot about the integrity and condition of the home.

  • The underside of the roof is assessed.  Signs of water damage are of particular importance.
  • Adequacy of roof ventilation
  • Condition of visible electrical wiring
  • Plumbing vent stacks
  • Depth and type of insulation
  • We determine if bathroom and kitchen vent fans are properly vented
  • Presence of moisture or mold growth
We Move Indoors

The interior inspection includes the areas of the house that are usually occupied.  We move throughout the house, inspecting many items as we go

  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry room
  • Fireplaces
  • Electrical outlets, lights & ceiling fans
  • Visible plumbing
  • Condition of walls
  • Condition of floors
  • Windows
  • Stairways
  • Fire alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
Electrical Inspection is Critical

We pay special attention to items that may affect the safety or health of our clients, and the electrical system is by far the most important area in terms of safety. 

  • Service disconnect/main breaker
  • Main electrical panel/breaker box
  • Grounding
  • Branch wiring
  • Outlets/receptacles
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interupters (important safety devices near water)
  • Lights
  • Switches
  • Ceiling Fans
We Assess the Plumbing

Plumbing and its effects on the home are inspected as we move through the home, but the basement is special because this is where we often see leaks that start high up in the home.

  • We locate and inspect the main water shutoff valve
  • Water supply and drain pipes
  • The visible portion of the main water line
  •  We assess if the water flow and drainage are normal
  •  Basement sump pumps, their drain lines and safety
  •  The condition of any basement utility sinks
  •  We take of the types of pipe used in the home, and special considerations with each
  • Natural gas or propane supply pipes
  • Water heaters, including storage tank, tankless, air-source heat pump and geothermal
Heating and Cooling are Next

Furnaces and boilers tend to last a long time, and the quality of installers varies wildly.  We take our time inspecting these systems, along with central air conditioners.

  • Safety of ventilation piping and their connections
  • Operation of all thermostats
  • General functionality of forced-air furnaces and boilers
  • Registers and radiators are checked, using thermal imagery, to ensure that they are operational
  • The operating condition of furnaces, identifying problems with burners,
  • Condition of the external air conditioner system
The Foundation Structure Visible from the Basement & Crawlspace

No inspection can be considered truly complete unless the foundation of the home and other components visible from below are checked out. We access all basements and crawlspaces, as long as we can get into them.

  • Poured concrete, cemement block, cinder block, stone and wood (they exist) foundations
  • Floor structure
  • Insulation on foundation walls, rim joists and the subfloor
  • Basement concrete slab
  • Cracks in the slab or foundation
  • Water entry
On-Site Review of the Home's Condition

The interior inspection includes the areas of the house that are usually occupied.  We move throughout the house, inspecting many items as we go

  • Kitchen
  • Bathrooms
  • Laundry room
  • Fireplaces
  • Electrical outlets, lights & ceiling fans
  • Visible plumbing
  • Condition of walls
  • Condition of floors
  • Windows
  • Stairways
  • Fire alarms and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors
The Home Inspection Report is Finalized

Your report will be completed and delivered to you electronically within 24 hours of the inspection. We are happy to discuss with you any questions about the report, either right away or months down the road.

  • The report is web-based and mobile friendly
  • Links to download the report in PDF are also sent to you
  • Descriptions of findings and recommendations are clear, and include clear photos
  • The report is easy to share with your real estate agent, and we can send directly to them
  • The report includes a summary view, that includes all major problems in a condensed form
Professional Home Inspection Report

Who Should Inspect a House Before Buying?

In general, it makes sense for most buyers of residential real estate to have a detailed home inspection.  Home inspections can reveal defects with the property that require very minor repairs such as cracked drywall, larger problems with a roof or foundation, or even widespread, systematic issues caused by amateur flippers. 

We are contacted not only by buyers of family homes, but also real estate agents and residential property investors.

Our assumption during the inspection is that you are buying the property, and view our role as an adviser that provides you with information that you need to make your own decisions about the house. 

Pre-Purchase Home Inspection in Buffalo, NY

Alto Home Inspection, LLC is the go-to home inspection service in Buffalo, NY and Western NY towns and villages. 
We are commited to a detailed report of home your home, including high-quality photos of problem areas and plain language explanations of how to correct most problems.

We specialize in assessing all residential property types, including single-family houses, townhouses, condos, duplexes, and larger investment homes.

Call or Text Us

Call or send us a text and we will work with you to schedule your home inspection and other services. Our normal business hours are Monday-Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday 8am-2pm.

Schedule Online

View our available appointments and schedule your home inspection in real time.  We will contact you after scheduling to confirm your appointment and collect any additional details.

Email Us

Use this easy form to send us a message.  We respond quickly and work with you or your real estate agent to schedule your inspection.

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We inspect homes throughout Western NY, and are available for quick scheduling 7 days a week. 

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