Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Home Inspections & Warranties

Do I need a home inspection?
Yes. Buying a home "as is" is a risky proposition. Major repairs on homes can amount to thousands of dollars. Plumbing, electrical and roof problems represent significant and complex systems that are expensive to fix.  Depending on the age of the house, many inspectors suggest to a buyer to have an independant tank sweep.  Many houses in our area have (or have had) oil tanks.  This is not an issue if the tank is above ground (or in the basement), but it is important to be sure there are no undergound tanks.  Also, a part of the home inspection should include a termite inspection, as well as radon.

How do I find a home inspector?
Inspectors are sometimes suggested by your attorney, or you might know a friend who recently bought a home who was very pleased with their inspection.  I have a number of inspectors that I would highly recommend-

Total Home Inspections-Nigel Turner and Neil Lewis-201-406-5213

Bob Oliveto-973-746-0229

Ebert Home Inspections-973-239-6880

Bob Schwalenberg-structural engineer-suggested for older homes which might require more thorough inspection-973-744-5310

Keystone Inspections-Bill roth/Dan Ernst-973-486-02028.  Report generated in portal which is very user friendly.


In order to find a home inspector, Dian Hymer, author of "Buying and Selling a Home A Complete Guide," Chronicle Books, San Francisco; 1994, advises looking for someone with demonstrable qualifications. "Ideally, the general inspector you select should be either an engineer, an architect, or a contractor. When possible, hire an inspector who belongs to one of the home inspection trade organizations."

The American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) has developed formal inspection guidelines and a professional code of ethics for its members. Membership to ASHI is not automatic; proven field experience and technical knowledge of structures and their various systems and appliances are a prerequisite.  Rates for the service vary greatly. Many inspectors charge about $500, but costs go up  considerably with the scope of the inspection.

What's a home inspection?
A home inspection is when a paid professional inspector  inspects the home, searching for defects or other problems that might plague the owner later on. They usually represent the buyer and are paid by the buyer. The inspection usually takes place after a purchase contract between buyer and seller has been signed and attorney review is over.  The buyer usually has 7-14 days to have this completed.  The report is then sent to the buyer, his attorney and myself.  If there are any issues that arise (and there usually are), a letter is sent to the seller's attorney.

Barbara Gargiulo
Barbara Gargiulo