About Home Inspections
All home inspections in Massachusetts must conform to the Standards of Practice
published by the The Board of Registration of Home Inspectors. In addition, the Board has published Definitions
and a Code of Ethics
to be used in conjunction with the Standards of Practice.
A standard home inspection is a visual examination of the physical structure and major interior systems of a residential building consisting of one to four dwelling units. It should be understood that there are certain risks inherent in the purchase of property and a home inspection is inherently limited in its scope and depth. The information gained from home inspection conforming to 266 CMR 6.00 may reduce some of those risks, but the home inspection is not intended to provide the client with protection from all of the risks involved.
An inspection can be likened to a physical exam by a physician; however, it should be clearly understood that a home inspection is not to be confused with an appraisal, a building code inspection, a guarantee of any kind, and/or an insurance policy on the condition of the property.
During an inspection, the inspector will review the readily accessible exposed portions of the structure of the home, including the roof, the attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, basement, and foundation as well as the heating/air conditioning systems, interior and electrical systems for potential problems.
Home inspections are not intended to point out every small problem or any invisible or latent defect in a home. Most minor or cosmetic flaws, for example, should be apparent to the buyer without the aid of a professional.
Timing of the Home Inspection
A home inspector is typically hired by a potential homebuyer right after the offer to purchase contract is signed, prior to executing the final purchase and sales agreement. However, before the potential buyer signs the offer to purchase contract, he/she should be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract making the purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
During the Home Inspection
While not necessary, it is recommended that the buyer present for the inspection. This allows the buyer to observe the inspector, ask questions directly, and obtain a better understanding of the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. The written report may be easier to understand if the buyer was present during the inspection.
It is important that you provide safe access and sufficient lighting so that the inspector can inspect the property.
Inspectors must provide a written evaluation report based on the standards of compliance in accordance with CMR 266.6.00
At the conclusion of the home inspection, the buyer should be well informed of the condition of the home. It should be known if there are visible, apparent problems, if repairs need are required, or whether or not there are any risks of concealed damage, and whether further investigation is recommended and/or required.
Other Inspections and Tests to Consider
It is strongly recommended that potential buyers consider having the following inspections and/or tests performed prior to signing the final purchase agreement:
- Lead Paint
- Water quality (is it drinkable)
- Wood destroying insects, including termites.
- Air quality, including
- Fungi, and allergens.
While some home inspectors are qualified to offer these services, these inspections and tests are not part of the basic home inspection and should be contracted through qualified licensed professionals (of your choice and hire) in those fields.
Striler Home Inspections, Inc. currently offers radon in air testing, water quality testing, and water quantity testing at an additional fee.