Luxury Homes Versus Modest Homes

Inspecting large luxury homes and estates versus more modest homes

Large luxury homes and estates are typically much more complex and time-consuming to inspect than more modest homes. Smaller homes typically have one electrical panel, one heating system, one air conditioner unit etc. Larger luxury homes and estates may have 10 or more electrical panels, several heating systems, several air-conditioning units, several attics, etc.

Larger homes and estates may take a single inspector more than a full day to inspect. It can be overwhelming, which may cause the inspector to get tired and gloss over important items. Whereas smaller homes can typically be inspected in a few hours by one inspector.

We at Safe Harbor inspections Inc. feel that large homes and estates should be inspected by a team of inspectors, each focusing on a different aspect of the home. We typically bring three or four inspectors to a large home or estate. The inspection can be done efficiently and completed within a few hours. Buyers, sellers, and agents all appreciate the faster and more efficient inspection. And believe me, the inspectors appreciate it too!

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What makes Safe Harbor Inspections Inc. different?

The most important goal of our inspections is to help our client understand the subject property. One of the most effective ways we do that is to review our findings with photographs on site at the end of the inspection.  This process enables us to clearly convey our findings to our client.

If the seller is there, and/or the listing agent, and, if everything is friendly and copacetic, and, very importantly, if our client agrees, often we invite the seller and listing agent to see our photographs and hear our summary. This enables everyone to be on the same page and expedites the inspection part of the real estate transaction. It can also greatly assist in negotiations (if there are any). Our summary is done with a cool, calm, collected, non-alarmist approach. When we are done, everybody leaves the inspection pleased that they know and understand our inspection findings.

If you are interested, all our previous newsletters are available on our website blog. Click on the following link and it will take you right to it.

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Large Beige House


Safe Harbor Inspections Inc. is dedicated solely to being the best building inspectors and providing the best Long Island and New York home inspections the area has to offer. We are a full-service Long Island and New York home inspections company focusing on high quality residential home inspection services and commercial property inspections with state-of-the-art photographic reports.

This report is available shortly after the inspection on a secure website for your viewing 24 hours a day seven days a week from anywhere in the world and will remain there indefinitely.

We encourage our clients to accompany their home inspector during the home inspection service because our goal is to enable you to truly understand the inspection findings. We want you to know more about that real estate than anyone else. We accomplish this in 3 ways:

  1. Firsthand during the inspection: You join the inspector during the actual inspection and see things firsthand (along with explanations from the inspector). We take photos of all issues.
  2. Verbal Summary with photo review: At the end of the inspection, we will load all the photos we have taken during the inspection into the laptop computer (right there at the inspection) and review them with you. This serves as a great summary for all present and is unique to Safe Harbor Inspections Inc. According to NY State home inspection law, the findings of the inspection are your confidential property. However, our clients often want us to share this information with the agents and the Seller for negotiating purposes.
  3. The Inspection Report: all the photos will be in the report along with concise explanations. This gives you a third look at the findings of the inspection. Our report is designed to be easy to understand and fast to read (the photos really help!)

Our Mission:

Create such positive relationships and make our clients so happy with our services that they will want to refer Safe Harbor Inspections Inc. to their friends and family.

Provide the best property inspections and inspection reports on Long Island and New York.

Use the highest level of technology available to provide timely, easily accessible, and accurate information to our clients.

Put our inspection findings in the proper context through thoughtful and concise explanations and reports.

Continue our reputation for responsiveness, reliability, and honesty in all our dealings with clients, associates, and other professionals and the general public.

If you are interested, all our previous newsletters are available on our website blog. Click on the following link and it will take you right to it.


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Multi-family home inspections are typically done for property investors.

Depending on the size of the structure(s), representative sampling plays a big role in determining the degree of detail in terms of items to be inspected. For example, representative sampling of the electrical outlets, windows, doors, and plumbing systems will be inspected.

This type of inspection is typically performed on behalf of the client to get a “big picture” perspective on the investment property. The degree of representative sampling will be discussed and agreed upon between the investor and Safe Harbor Inspections during the scheduling process.

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Luxury Home with a gate


Luxury home inspections include the systems and components of a typical home inspection plus other items as follows: 

  • swimming pool
  • cabana
  • landscape irrigation
  • Guesthouse
  • Wood destroying insect inspection (termites).
  • indoor air quality, including asbestos, and mold.
  • Because of the size and complexity of luxury homes, we usually assign an inspection team: 2, 3,or 4 inspectors normally make up the team.


If you are interested, all our previous newsletters are available on our website blog. Click on the following link and it will take you right to it.


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Rear view of a male plumber writing a repair order while crouching in front of a kitchen sink

Pre-Market Inspections

Pre-marketing inspections can make the buyers inspection process go smoother and put more money in the seller’s pocket.

Here’s how it works: before the house goes on the MLS, a pre-marketing inspection takes place, and the findings of the pre-marketing inspection are explained by the inspector and reviewed with the seller and the listing agent. In addition, a detailed report is generated by the home inspection company. If defects come up as a result of a pre-marketing inspection, the seller has the opportunity to take 1 of 3 approaches,  1) disclose it, 2) fix it, or 3) do nothing.

Here’s a short video explaining it

  1.  Here’s the first approach, disclose it and sell “as is”. Let’s say the roof is 30 years old and deteriorated. The seller can disclose it to the buyer and sell it on an as is basis (having disclosed the defect). So, when the buyers inspector says the roof needs to be replaced, the buyer would say “yeah, I know, the seller already told me”. This avoids an attempt by the buyer to negotiate the roof issue and could save the seller money and aggravation.

  2.  Here’s the second approach, fix it. Let’s say the pre-marketing inspection discovers termites. This gives the seller the opportunity to get a termite
    treatment and take the issue off the table. Let everybody know up front that there was a termite treatment, the issue disappears. Otherwise, it could be a real sticking point with the buyer. This approach can be used for a plumbing leak or an electrical safety hazard, for example.

  3.  Here’s the third approach, do nothing. The pre-marketing inspection report recommends GFCI outlets in the bathrooms and kitchen. The seller can let it ride and do nothing because it’s so minor. Many times, very minor issues come up during an inspection for which the seller need do nothing but anticipate that it may come up during the buyers inspection.

 Sometimes during a buyer’s inspection an issue comes up that surprises everybody. Sometimes, the surprise can cause the buyer to walk away. Pre-marketing inspections eliminate surprises.

Pre-marketing inspections can reduce negotiations and put more money in the seller’s pocket. Pre-marketing inspections can eliminate surprises. Pre marketing inspections can make the buyers inspection go smoother, with less aggravation.

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New white kitchen

Should the Seller be present during an inspection?

Usually sellers leave on their own before the inspection, often at the suggestion of the listing agent.  Most inspectors are fine either way, whether the seller is there or not.

We feel that it is better for all concerned if the seller is present.  Why?  Because there are often questions that can easily be answered by the seller if they are present.  For example, we can’t get the gas fireplace to operate because we can’t find the remote control.  The seller knows exactly where it is and can turn it on to demonstrate that it functions.  Sometimes there are multiple thermostats throughout the house, some of which are air conditioning and some of which are heat.  The seller typically knows exactly how they’re set up.

Let’s say there is a stain on the ceiling that may be a plumbing leak.  We ask the seller who explains that yes, there was a leak, but they had a plumber fix it.  There is a depression in the yard which looks like it may be a cesspool issue, but the seller explains that they had a tree stump removed.  We suspected inground oil tank because oil feed lines go through the foundation wall near the boiler.  The seller explains that they had the oil tank abandoned and they have the paperwork.  We see signs of old termite damage; the seller explains that they had it treated and it’s under guarantee.

Sometimes there are issues that we discover that the seller wasn’t aware of, for example a leak developing in the water heater.  We bring it to the seller’s attention, and they get a new water heater because we explained that it could get worse quickly and even flood.

If the seller is not present, all these questions will likely end up in the inspection report which can make the report longer and more concerning than it needs to be.  Conversely, if all the questions are answered during the inspection it’s better for the seller, the buyer, and the agents!  We regularly see transparency between the buyer, seller and agents.  Often, everybody leaves the inspection on the same page, which is obviously a good thing!

These are just our observations over the years for your consideration.

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Rear view of a male plumber writing a repair order while crouching in front of a kitchen sink

Avoid some of the most common inspection issues

Here are 8 things that as an inspector I feel make sense for a seller and listing agent to be aware of when selling a house because of the potential issues they may cause. Talking about these things with your seller in advance may be beneficial.  I realize this is extremely condensed and I would be happy to elaborate on any thoughts/questions you may have. Just reply to this email or give me a call.

  • Roof leaks – fix it, repair or replace.
  • Aluminum wires – hire an electrician.  Repair if needed (pig-tail).
  • Possible Asbestos – consult with a removal contractor. Depending on type, do nothing, encapsulate, or remove.
  • Mold- remove it, get a dehumidifier.
  • In-ground oil tank – convert to gas, and/or abandon tank. Or disclose in advance.
  • Basement water leaks – fix it. Check gutters and leaders, get a water proofing contractor if needed.
  • Old HVAC – consider updating, or disclosing upfront, or do nothing.
  • Get a termite inspection and annual contract/guarantee. Treat if needed.

Please feel free to respond back with any thoughts or questions on any of these items.  Let’s talk!

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We don’t give repair estimates

During our inspections, we’re constantly asked, “how much will it cost?”. Our answer is: “It’s against company policy to give estimates, we suggest calling a contractor.”  Even when they say “they won’t hold us to it, we just need a ballpark,” we still won’t give estimates.

There are too many variables for us to try to get involved with estimates.  The only way to get a valid estimate is to get one from a contractor, someone that’s willing to do the job for the price they quote.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject so feel free to reply.

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Fail/Pass Signs

Home Inspections DO NOT Pass Or Fail

Sometimes people (often the sellers) think buyers home inspections either pass or fail.  That is a misnomer.  We don’t pass/fail home inspections. The town building/code inspector may pass or fail a code inspection, but, a buyer’s home inspection is a physical conditions assessment and can’t pass or fail; as Yogi Berra would say, it just is what it is.

You probably already know this but we figured we’d mention it anyway.

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