Is a home inspector the same as a building code inspector?

The short answer is: No. If you are buying a home in Worcester or surrounding regions in Massachusetts, you will, at some point, undoubtedly deal with a home inspection. If problems arise regarding the findings of the inspection, it could cause significant delays to your projected closing date.

To alleviate any confusion you might have regarding the job of a home inspector versus that of a building code inspector, remember that a code inspector checks to determine whether the property you're buying meets the current local building codes in its area.

Basic job description of a home inspector

A home inspector has nothing to do with building codes. Instead, the person doing this job is checking the functionality and safety of your prospective new home. You can expect the following things to be part of a home inspection:

  • All elements of the house will be closely observed to determine whether there are any safety or usability issues.
  • All separate outbuildings on the property will undergo the same scrutiny.
  • All components of plumbing, heating, electrical and air conditioning systems are subject to a home inspection.
  • An inspector may inform the homeowner if he or she notices a code issue (even though he or she is not a building code inspector) if it is a serious issue that should be immediately addressed.

Generally speaking, a home inspector will walk the perimeter of the home, then check the roof and any garage or outbuildings. Finally, the inspector will enter the home and check all things listed above. Inside the home, a typical inspection goes from top to bottom, meaning the inspector will begin on the highest level or room of the home and work down toward the basement or lowest level.

What happens next?

The time an inspection takes from beginning to completion depends on several factors, including the most obvious: the size of the home and property you are planning to purchase. Most inspectors can visit two to three residences per day. After inspecting a home, the inspector must file a report. If you are the consumer, you can usually expect to receive comprehensive report results by the following day.

If the home inspection report draws your attention to major flaws in the home you are preparing to purchase, you may submit a request that the seller make necessary repairs and rectify the issues before closing the deal.

Negotiating home inspection issues

If one or more things on the home inspection report have caused you concern as a buyer, you may seek assistance from a skilled negotiator to resolve the problem. Many sellers will try to talk you down to accept a purchase price reduction rather than make repairs themselves. You may or may not think this is a good idea. By acting alongside skilled and experienced representation, you can protect your rights and secure as favorable an outcome as possible in a timely and economically feasible fashion.

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