Hudson River Home Inspections

Phone #:  914-329-2584         E-mail:

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The Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Making the decision to sell your home is a huge step for homeowners.  But once the decision is made to sell, then making your home marketable should be your number one goal.

We, at Hudson River Home Inspections, understand the emotional attachment you have to your home but you must be realistic as well.  No home is perfect and as soon as you realize that, you're on your way to making your home more marketable.  And remember, making your home the most marketable it can be should be your number one goal.

Potential home buyers want to purchase a home that is in tip-top shape, no matter how old the home is.  That's why having a Pre-Listing Inspection makes complete sense.  Also:


Having a home inspection before you put your house on the market will allow you to understand any current or potential problem areas with the home that can be resolved before the buyers arrive.  Therefore, your home will be in better condition for viewing, making it more marketable and this will help you attain the maximum selling price for the home.



Resolving problems prior to the buyer's inspection will save you money in two other ways as well.  First, when you know what needs to be repaired in advance of the sale you can obtain multiple bids for the work that needs to be done and select the best contractor at the best price.  Secondly, the work can be done by the contractor in a time frame that fits his schedule as well, thereby avoiding the "Rush Charges" to get the work completed.



Finally, there is one secret all sellers need to know.  Buyers make their decision to purchase a home based on emotion and justify that decision with logic.  And another thing is equally true:  Buyers can fall out of love with a home just as quickly as they fell in love with it.  So why let the buyers' home inspector develop a long list of items needing repair thereby jeopardizing your sale?  Making the repairs in advance of the sale will save you tons of frustration and disappointment.

So let's review the facts:  Having your home inspected before the first buyer shows up will allow you to sell the home for more money, reduce the cost of needed repairs and minimize your frustration with the entire sales process.  You might spend a few hundred dollars for an inspection, but you could very possibly lose thousands, if you don't have the inspection done and if the asking price is renegotiated after the buyer's home inspector found something wrong or you could even lose the sale.  Where's the down side to getting a Pre-Listing Inspection? 

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Phone #:  914-329-2584           E-mail:

New York State License #:  16000029952

A brief list of the systems and components inspected are:


Roof and Flashings




Exterior Systems (siding, trim, windows and doors)










Basement and Crawl Space


Interior Systems (walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors)


Heating Systems


Plumbing Systems and Fixtures


Electrical Systems


Central Air Conditioning

Roof and Flashings:

Of all the problems you can encounter around the house, roofing problems are by far the sneakiest.  Leaks can develop unnoticed for years causing rot, mold, warping and other expensive damage.  

The roof and flashings will be inspected by walking the roof if possible.  If not possible, for reasons such as height, slope, weather, etc., the inspector will get as close as possible by looking at the roof from atop a ladder, from a nearby window or from the ground with binoculars.  The condition of the roof and flashings can be determined by either of these methods.  The roof will also be inspected from inside the attic, provided there is access.  From here the inspector can tell if the roof is functioning as intended.

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The inspector will inspect structural components including the foundation and framing members by probing a representative number of structural components where deterioration is suspected or where clear indications of possible deterioration exist.  Probing will not be done where this will damage any finished surfaces or where no deterioration is visible or presumed to exist.

The inspector will describe:

bulletThe methods used to inspect under-floor crawl spaces and attics.
bulletThe foundation.
bulletThe floor structure.
bulletThe wall structure.
bulletThe ceiling structure.
bulletThe roof structure.

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Exterior Systems:

The inspector will inspect:

bulletSiding, flashing and trim.
bulletAttached or adjacent decks, balconies, stoops, steps, porches and their associated railings.
bulletEaves, soffits and fascias where accessible from the ground level.
bulletVegetation, grading, surface drainage and retaining walls that are likely to adversely affect the building.
bulletAdjacent or entry walkways, patios and driveways.

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The readily accessible and visible areas of the foundation will be inspected inside and outside for it's general condition.  

Some of these conditions are:

bulletCracks in foundation wall.  Some are normal while others can be very serious.
bulletBowed, bulging or leaning foundation walls.
bulletGround water leaking into basement or crawl space.
bulletMortar deterioration
bulletSpalling material and rot.
bulletPiers and pilasters moving or deteriorating.

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It is difficult to overemphasize the importance of lot grading.  Where houses have basements, wet basements are the most common complaint that home inspectors here.

When surface water is drained away from the building, there are fewer water problems in crawlspaces and basements and much less risk of deterioration to the foundation due to hydrostatic or frost pressures.  Ground sloping toward a building funnels water from rain or melting snow against the building and may cause considerable damage.  Most problems with wet basements come from improper slope around the building and discharge from gutters and leaders.

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The attic is one of the more important areas of the building to inspect.  From this point we will be able to find out if the roof and flashings are doing their job and if there are any signs of water leaks.  Adequate insulation and ventilation are also very important.  The structural components of the roof such as the rafters, collar ties and sheathing and ceiling joists below are inspected for rot and wood destroying insects and organisms.  

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Because of wall, floor and ceiling coverings very little of the insulation in the building is ever exposed enough for inspecting but there are signs or indicators that lets the inspector have a pretty good idea whether or not there is adequate insulation.  

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Basements and Crawl Spaces:

Dampness or water in basements and crawlspaces is the source of more complaints from homeowners than any other issue.  Water in basements or crawlspaces is typically from one of two sources:

bulletSurface water from rain or snow that lands on the ground around the house or on the roof.  This accounts for more than ninety percent of wet basement and crawlspace problems.
bulletGroundwater -- the water that's in the earth below grade level.

The roof of the house presents a large, impervious surface.  Water that lands on the roof runs off and accumulates around the outside of the house unless we control it.  Gutters and downspouts are supposed to be designed to collect this roof water and carry it to a safe discharge point.  

Basement window wells and exterior basement stairwells are natural collection points for surface water. If there are no drains to remove the water that collects at these points then they need to be covered to keep the water out.

Virtually all foundation systems have flaws that will allow water to penetrate if it is not controlled properly.  The more flaws there are, the more severe wet basement problems can be.

We should emphasize, though, that if no water collects against the outside of the foundation wall, the basement will be dry no matter how leaky the foundation wall is.  That's why the best line of defense is the surface water control we talked about with gutters and leaders and downspouts and lot grading.

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Interior Systems:

The inspector will look at the building interior for a number of reasons.  It provides clues to structural problems and is often the area where water leakage is first detectable.  The interior finishes themselves usually reflect the overall building quality, and their condition helps indicate the level of overall maintenance.

The house interior contains the distribution points of the major systems.  For example, each room should have an adequate heat supply and sufficient electrical outlets.  The concern of the home inspector is function rather than appearance, and emphasis is placed on whether the room will work as it was intended.  We do not comment on matters of personal taste.

The major components of the interior inspection are:

bulletwalls, ceilings and floors
bullettrim, counters and cabinents
bulletwindows and doors
bulletskylights and solariums
bulletbasement and crawlspace leakage

While we always encourage clients to follow us on inspections, we find that they are most interested in being with us as we move through the interior.  This is the area where they will have spent most of their time looking at the house and most of their questions will be related to this area.

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Heating Systems:

Central heating systems are most typically gas (natural gas or propane) or oil fired furnaces and gas and oil fired hot water and steam boilers.  While we do see some electric baseboard systems and electric heat pumps, they are very few because of the cost of electricity.  

The heating systems are run to check that they are functioning properly.  The inspector will also check to see if all the components that are supposed to be in place are installed and installed correctly.

The distribution system, in most cases, could be hot water piping with baseboards or radiators or hot air ducts and registers.  These will be inspected to see that there is adequate coverage in all rooms.

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Plumbing Systems and Fixtures:

The supply plumbing is how water gets into the house from the street if you have municipal water supply or from the well if you have a private water supply.  From there it is distributed throughout the house through the interior plumbing system.  It supplies water to all your plumbing fixtures such as sinks, showers, toilets, etc. and also to components such as hot water heaters and hot water boilers.

The drain, waste and vent piping system gets rid of the waste that comes from the plumbing fixtures in the house which includes solids, liquids and gases. The solids and liquids flow through the drain system by gravity and finally makes its way out of the house into the city sewer system or an onsite facility such as a septic system to name one.  The sewer gases are vented to the atmosphere through the plumbing venting system.

The supply and drain, waste and vent plumbing systems and the plumbing fixtures are inspected for their condition and functionality.

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Electrical Systems:

The inspector will start the electrical inspection from where the wires enter the house whether they come in from overhead or from underground.  Overhead wires can be too low, damaged or frayed, interfered with by trees or vines, too close to doors or windows, not well secured to the house, poor connection between the service drop and the service entrance or inadequate clearance from roofs.

The main service panel and any sub-panels will be opened for inspection if they are accessible.  Here we can determine the size of the service, check to make sure that the panels are properly grounded, make sure there are adequate distribution circuits and that there are no electrical issues.

Like plumbing pipe, the branch circuit wiring or distribution wiring is mostly hidden by wall and ceiling coverings, however,  we can inspect the exposed wiring in the attic and in the basement.  We can also check to see if there are an adequate number of receptacles, lights and switches in each room and that the receptacles in the kitchen, bathrooms, garages and outside are GFCI protected.  We will check to see if the receptacles are grounded, have open neutrals, are reversed polarity, inoperative or wrong type of receptacle.  

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Central Air Conditioning:

We will inspect the location of the compressor/condenser unit to make sure there is adequate air circulation, that the unit is not too close to any gas appliance vent or dryer vent, that the cabinet parts and cabinet base are

rust, impact damage from lawn equipment and check the condensing coil for damaged fins or being clogged 

The indoor components of the system are inspected and the system is run if the unit has not been shut down for the season and the weather permits.  We check for normal temperature differential between input and output air, unusual operating noises, visible damage or defects and a variety of other possible defects. 

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Call for An Estimate or to Schedule Your Inspection Today!

Phone #:  914-329-2584           E-mail:

Areas Served in Westchester:  Amawalk, Ardsley, Ardsley On Hudson, Armonk, Baldwin Place, Bedford, Briarcliff Manor, Bronxville, Buchanan, Chappaqua, Cortlandt Manor, Crestwood, Crompond, Cross River, Croton Falls, Croton-on-Hudson, Crugers, Dobbs Ferry, East White Plains, Eastchester, Elmsford, Goldens Bridge, Granite Springs, Greenburgh, Harrison, Hartsdale, Hastings-on-Hudson, Hawthorne, Heathcote, Irvington, Jefferson Valley, Katonah, Larchmont, Lewisboro, Lincolndale, Mamaroneck, Maryknoll, Millwood, Mohegan Lake, Montrose, Mount Kisco, Mount Pleasant, Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, North Salem, North Tarrytown, North White Plains, Ossining, Peekskill, Pelham, Pleasantville, Pocantico Hills, Port Chester, Pound Ridge, Purchase, Purdys, Rye, Rye Brook, Scarborough, Scarsdale, Shenorock, Shrub Oak, Sleepy Hollow, Somers, South Salem, Tarrytown, Thornwood, Tuckahoe, Valhalla, Verplanck, Vista, Waccabuc, West Harrison, White Plains, Yonkers, Yorktown, Yorktown Heights,

In Putnam:  Brewster, Carmel, Cold Spring, Garrison, Kent, Lake Peekskill, Mahopac, Mahopac Falls, Patterson, Putnam Valley, Southeast,

In Dutchess:  Amenia, Annandale, Arlington, Bangall, Barrytown, Beacon, Beekman, Billings, Castle Point, Chelsea, Clinton Corners, Dover Plains, East Fishkill, Fishkill, Glenham, Holmes, Hopewell Junction, Hughsonville, Hyde Park, LaGrange, Milan, Millbrook, Millerton, North East, Pawling, Pine Plains, Pleasant Valley, Poughkeepsie, Poughquag, Red Hook, Rhinebeck, Rhinecliff, Salt Point, Staatsburg, Stanford, Stanfordville, Stormville, Tivoli, Union Vale, Verbank, Wappinger Falls, Washington, Wassaic, Wingdale,

New York State License #:  16000029952

Last modified: September 28, 2011