Some unbelievable, but true,
examples of problems that
licensed home inspectors missed

Roof Inspector

A support beam was out of code:

In 1999 a home inspector nearly missed the fact that the main support beam in a 1986 home was out of code. Because he caught the problem on a second go around – and not all inspectors will return to a property – he was able to guide the buyers to a structural engineer to assess the problem. The seller footed the repair bill and payment to the structural engineer.

A Termite inspector almost missed the termites: 

In Massachusetts termite inspectors work separately from home inspectors. In one case a house was built on sandy soil. Termites love to breed in sandy soil and were having a great time under the stoop of this mock Tudor house. If the termite inspector had not been outside and turned around to say goodbye to the seller, he might not have seen the termites. Luckily, the infestation was restricted to the stoop area and the seller was able to fix the problem in under a week, so it did not have to be declared to the buyer.

The cost of fixing the damaged wood was $700. This seller knew that the buyer – a semi-retired lawyer with a history of specious litigations – would want to double the repair price. Until the termites were removed, and the stoop repaired, the seller was anxious. He didn’t want to lose a sale when the buyer was going to pay $405,000 in cash for the house! The seller knew that the only way to secure the sale at the agreed-upon price was to exterminate the termites and replace the rotting wood in the least expensive way possible. And boy, was he relieved when the repairs were made before the closing.

How to pick a licensed contractor

Larry Miller said that both the buyer or seller should always hire a licensed contractor not a friend or relative. Contractors, he said, are not home inspectors. Most of them will not visit a property unless the prospective customer meets the contractor’s assessment of the work the building owner wants done.

Miller said there are many reasons to hire a licensed contractor. He explained that in some Massachusetts cities or town a contractor must be licensed. “I had a situation not long ago where a chimney hooked up to a pellet stove in the dining room and was too close to the wall. It didn’t burn down the house, but the buyer wanted a report from the installer.” In this case, Miller represented the seller who provided the information to the buyer.

Over the period of the 45 years, he has been working in real estate Miller said his knowledge of the law, and what makes sense for both buyers and sellers, has kept him from “having a problem blow up a sale.” He said the exception has been asbestos and lead

Richard Prunier, Northeast Home & Energy president, said there are two ways that prospective customers can be advised by Northeast Home & Energy’s expert repair people. They can connect on the company website via the Chat tool and they will be forwarded to the appropriate staff member. Or they can call the office and speak directly to sales representatives.

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