Beyond the Home Inspection: Additional Inspection Issues

My last post discussed the importance of Buyers hiring a licensed professional to perform a home inspection after they have signed the Purchase and Sale Agreement. However, depending on the property, it may be appropriate to perform other inspections. Below is a list of other inspections / issues that Buyers and Realtor’s should consider when purchasing a home:

1. Pest Inspection:  All properties should be inspected for pests. Termites, carpenter ants and powder post beetles all pose a threat to homes. If a Buyer is obtaining financing through government sponsored loan program they will likely need to perform such an inspection as a condition of obtaining funding.

BEWARE: Evidence of pest infestation may be difficult to find during the winter or if portions of the building are inaccessible.

2. Potable Water Test: If the home is served by a private well the Buyer should obtain a water quality analysis and pressure test. Such a test will help determine whether the home has “hard” or “soft” water, verify the level of bacteria is within the limits set by state and federal government and reveal the chemical composition of the water.

BEWARE: Water testing may take ten (10) days or more so your attorney should include a water test contingency to the purchase and sale agreement.

3. Septic System: The Seller is responsible for obtaining a septic system report. The local board of health maintains a list of individuals licensed to perform such inspections.

BEWARE: A septic system or cesspool that passes inspection during favorable conditions may not be adequate for the Buyer’s purposes.

4. Lead Paint: Buyer’s purchasing homes built before 1978 should have the property tested for lead paint; especially when children under the age of six will be living in the home. The Seller or Broker is required to provide potential Buyer’s with notification packets prepared by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH).

5. Accessory Structures: The condition of garages, elaborate landscaping, tennis courts, pools, and docks should be carefully examined as a home inspection may not address the conditions of such facilities. The condition of such facilities may not alter the price of the property but the subsequent replacement or repair work should be ascertained so that the Buyer can determine if they truly wish to move forward with the purchase.

I wish you all the best,

Josh Robbins

Of Counsel

Scafidi, Juliano & Hurd, LLP

310 Washington Street, Suite 201

Wellesley, Massachusetts 02481

(T): 781-210-4710

(F): 781-210-4711



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