A good home inspector?

chipped foundation brickCheryl emails:

My husband and I are looking for a good home inspector: someone who walks you through everything and explains things thoroughly. Specifically if anyone has experience with old farm houses, that would be preferable.

The specific "old farm house" part might be a little hard to find, but there are certainly home inspectors in this area that have plenty of experience inspecting old (and sometimes really old) houses.

So, got a suggestion for Cheryl and her husband? Please share. You'll win our respect and admiration if you're specific about what you're recommending a certain home inspector.


Matt Smith of Ace Home Inspectors of Upstate New York--727-7091

Tom Corrigan (Framingham Associates) completely saved my ass a few years back when I wanted to buy a cute old cottage that would have been a money pit. He showed me every single structural and electrical problem, some of them code violations, all of them would have cost me tons of money to fix.

I wish I had used him when I bought my present house. I made the rookie mistake of using someone my "helpful" realtor suggested. Naturally since she wanted to insure that the sale went through, she wasn't going to suggest a hard nosed inspector like Corrigan. I'm not saying there was collusion, but the guy was a cream puff when it came to noting problems that I later discovered on my own. And I'll never forgive him for assuring me that while my basement was damp, there would "never" be standing water. Ha! The basement flooded the very day of my closing.

Even if you do decide to buy a house with a lot of problems, you might be able to talk the owner down on price if a good inspector clues you into what you are getting into in terms of repairs.

We highly recommend Ian Robertson of Spec-Pro. He took 4 hours to meticulously go through a house that we had a contract on. Found a mold problem by crawling into a crawlspace that I wouldn't have let my dog go into. http://www.spec-pro-inspect.com/

Inspector Greg! http://www.certifiedhomeinspections.biz/

He was phenomenal, straightforward and very professional!

Greg Sanchez from www.certifiedhomeinspections.biz

Greg helped my wife and I on two houses we were looking to buy and was very thorough and on-time for both. He took the time to walk us through each zone and areas of the house explaining everything without any of the jargon. After each section he took a brief moment to return to his laptop and enter some notes then continued on. Once the entire inspection was complete he printed out a nice bounded report that was huge asset during our negotiations and closing processes. He also allowed me to record the entire inspection audibly on my phone so I was able to refer to his personal suggestions and tips. Overall we were very please with Greg and his service and would highly recommend him.

He provides the big 3 - wood, radon, and mold inspections.

I 2nd Ian Robterson from Spec-Pro. Arrived early, very thorough, detailed report with pictures by that night, and very nice guy all around.

I second the comment on Ian Robertson of Spec-Pro. He was phenomenal! This was the first home my husband and I were buying and Ian walked us through every single detail. My father was there during the inspection (he can be tough to deal with), and Ian was not bothered by it at all. In the end, Ian found multiple issues with the home we were purchasing that would amount in over $60k in fixes prior to us moving in. The home-owner had their own inspector come through the property afterwards and somehow this other inspector only found a few of the issues that Ian found...(??) We ultimately are building a new construction home so we will not need to use Spec-Pro again, but Ian was wonderful and his report that he emailed to us same-day was very thorough.

I am disclosing that I am a licensed real estate salesperson and I always use (for business and personal inspections) Marcus Snedaker - 461-9272. Very professional, calm and always thorough.

My wife and I also used Greg Sanchez, and were extremely satisfied with his service.

The experience that Pike described above was precisely the same that we had. Thorough, descriptive, and helpful in providing tips on things like energy efficiency improvements.

Excelsior Home Inspection is the one Tom Corrigan mentioned to me when Tom retired, Peter Schaming at 768-2713 did the inspection for my son's house. My son is a civil engineer and I am an attorney and we were both pleased with Peter's work.

I'll second chrisck and Neil. Tom Corrigan was such a good inspector that I had real estate agents try to prohibit him from doing an inspection. Indeed, he is retired and recommends Peter Schaming of Excelsior Inspection. He is amazingly good too. He definitely goes the extra mile - climbing into gross crawlspaces to find abandoned cisterns that threaten the foundation of a house, etc. He saved us from buying a money pit.

I don't have to say much more than what has already been said, but we used Ian Robertson from Spec-Pro and we totally got far more from him than we paid.

@Rita, I wouldn't rule out an inspector on your new home just yet. I've had several family members and friends build new and the contractor totally botched the job in several areas. The good news, most contracts allow the homeowner 1 year to go back to the contractor to correct issues that violate local permitting or are generally unsafe. Sadly, so many new homes are cheaply made and don’t stand up like most of the older homes. Based on all the horror stories on new housing stock, I’m glad I purchased an older home, while requiring some TLC here and there, not nearly as frustrating as taking out a mortgage on a $200,000+ newly constructed home, only to face expensive issues right out the gate.

Another vote here for Greg Sanchez. Professional, attentive, smart and a very thorough.

Ian at Spec Pro was the best money my wife and I ever spent...twice. He saved us from purchasing a money pit in Spring 2012. There were major electrical issues, roof problems, lead paint and a host of other problems. When we found our current home a few months later, we didn't think twice to call him. He was as thorough and professional as he was the first time. His inspection reports are incredibly detailed and my wife and I keep a copy so that we gradually take care of the smaller fixes (we took care of the few big items before we moved in). Because of his services, we moved into our new home with ease and felt like we were better prepared for home ownership. Highly recommend him!

I second, Matt Smith with Ace Home Inspections. One of the best inspectors we have ever worked with. Very professional, highly reliable and very accommodating. He also, has a degree in engineering. He has caught some glaring "defects" that others have missed during a pre listing inspection.

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