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MA Home Inspections?

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  • MA Home Inspections?

    I tried searching online to find something about it, and turned up with nothing....and my town offices are closed...so posting here to see if anyone knows what this is about!

    A man stopped by the farm today saying that he was here to do a home inspection, as required by MA law every ten years, and to do the whole property would take about two hours. He wanted to measure the buildings, as well as come inside the house....I told him that I didn't have time and that he would have to make an appointment. (He just randomly showed up with a 100' measuring roll and a clipboard in a regular Subaru wagon..) He took down the phone number, and left without much of a fuss.

    Is this something that's "real"? Not that I necessarily think he's out here casing the joint, but am I required to let him into my home? What exactly is he going to be looking for? He wasn't overly forthcoming with details..


  • #2
    Was this an assessor?

    That just doesn't sound right. I know when the individual towns/cities want to assess/re-assess homes for property tax purposes they will ask if they can come in your home. But you do not have to allow them in. Have you heard about your town changing assessments? I would call the town hall to make sure that this is legit.
    I have lived in my nieghborhood in MA for over 35 years. The only time the assessors come out is when the town is raising assessments to collect more taxes, or after you have completed additions/improvements on your home. (They have only come out to my house 2 or 3 times that I remember in the past.) I have never heard of a law on the books about a required inspection of homes every 10 years. That would just suck too much money out of city/town budgets. And its just not necessary. And if he didn't have a town idea on him as a clipped on badge, then I think he was casing your farm.


    • #3
      Goforagallop, check out my post about the guy trying to break into my sister in law's house in MA two weeks ago over on the firearms thread.

      I work part time in a town office and I have never heard of anyone showing up unannouced to go through your property like that. Did you ask for an ID? I think you should run it by your local PD, and call your town assessor's office. Unless you've applied for any kind of building permit or abatement on your taxes, I can't imagine why anyone would randomly show up to go into your home like that.

      Call the police. As they told my sister in law, they are there to be called if something doesn't seem right.


      • #4
        I live in Somerville. They come every 5 years or so, but they always call from the City first and make an appointment. I agree that sounds really fishy. Call the tax assessors office or Inspectional Services and see if they sent this guy out. If not, call the police.
        Somehow my inner ten year old seems to have stolen my chequebook!



        • #5
          Never heard of a home inspection, but all legitimate agencies/visits I've ever had stop by over the years have been dripping with official ID, and they are pulling it out to show you immediately up front. Most recent in the last few months was the Census guy (I'd just mailed it; crossed in the system), and he had enough credentials to float a boat. Even the power company sends out notices ahead when they will be inspecting lines, might be on your property, and they, too, are ID'd to the hilt and are very interested in showing you how legit they are.

          I'd be extremely suspicious.


          • #6
            I'm in Mass too and our town sends someone around every five years or so to inspect the house for the assessors. They want to see whether we've added any new structures or done substantial improvements, like finishing a basement or something, that would change the assessment. It is a guy driving a regular car and wearing regular clothes, not someone "official looking", he's contracted by the town, not a full-time town employee, since they only do these inspections occasionally. He does, however, call ahead to make an appointment and carry ID and paperwork from the assessors office. I would not let someone into my home if they showed up without an appointment and without proof, ID and paperwork, of what official business they are on.


            • #7
              Don't ever let anyone in your home without proper ID, and before you let them in you call the company and confirm their identity. It is very easy with todays laser and color printers to make fake ID, and you could be letting a robber or murderer into your house. And calling the police is always appropriate when you are suspicious.
              You can't fix stupid-Ron White


              • #8
                No, no, no and NO. I live in MA. That is super shady to me. The assessors come by every couple of years, but we get a postcard first, from the town, and then a phone call FROM THE TOWN, telling us to call to set up an appointment. They do not randomly show up and demand to be let inside the house! Also, they show ID before they come inside.

                Call the police and report it.

                Edit: And it does not take two hours!! Ten minutes to count the rooms inside the house, and another 15 minutes outside.
                I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                • Original Poster

                  Thanks guys, shocking to see this thread come back from the dead!

                  He never called to make an appointment. A friend who lives in the same town but rents a house had him show up, and told him that he would have to contact her landlord if he wanted to do anything...again, landlord was never contacted.

                  Sooooo....either the town was very lax about the assessments getting done, or he was up to no good. Very odd.


                  • #10
                    They don't come in your home...they are only interested in # of bedrooms and # of bathrooms and if you added a room or refinished you basement thus adding living sq footage to your living space. Thus adding value to taxes.

                    Get the lisense off his car??


                    • #11
                      In our town (Norwell, MA) they do barn inspections and the guy shows up unannounced. I do know who he is so have never asked for ID. Altho he has official paperwork he fills out and has me sign. He says he is paid $15 a pop and just does them at his convenience. But I have never had anyone come to inspect the house unless we refinanced. We did do that several times and the last time was ridiculously detailed, unlike before. They measured every room inside, whereas before they just looked at the outside. So the banks requirements are more, maybe the towns have gotten that way too. But again, our town hasn't done that. If they do they are very lax if they hire an independent contractor who just shows up with no credentials. I would not let them in and report it too.


                      • Original Poster

                        Originally posted by judybigredpony View Post
                        They don't come in your home...they are only interested in # of bedrooms and # of bathrooms and if you added a room or refinished you basement thus adding living sq footage to your living space. Thus adding value to taxes.

                        Get the lisense off his car??
                        Again guys, thanks, but seeing as how this situation happened over a year ago, it's a little too late to get his plate number or call the police.


                        • #13

                          Well, if he ever comes back, you have a plan of action!
                          I realize that I'm generalizing here, but as is often the case when I generalize, I don't care. ~ Dave Barry


                          • #14
                            House inspection is the process of examining and evaluating the condition of a residential building which are then administered by certified house inspectors either by the local city government or some private groups or institutions. This process is very helpful to find out a house of good quality.