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Why You Should Inspect Your Home: An Interview with Jim McDermott of JMC Associates, Inc.

By Jim McDermott

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

JMC Associates has been in the home inspection business for 27 years. We are a small firm, our inspectors carry multiple licenses, for construction and real estate as well home inspection. We have a full understanding of all the aspects of the property and each party's involvement in what is the most important purchase of most people's lives.

What are some of the services your company provides?

Our company provides a comprehensive inspection of residential and commercial buildings. We work for buyers, to evaluate every aspect of a home and its systems, so they and their Buyer's Agent can negotiate the best price and buy with confidence.

Also we work for sellers and their agents who want a Pre-Listing Inspection to determine what the condition of a property is. Sellers know the buyers will have an inspection and they do not want any surprises. These type of inspections are helpful in determining what needs fixing before the property goes on the market. Seller's agents can use it to help determine market pricing.

An inspection covers systems as a whole; the roof, gutters, windows doors and sidings, foundations, landscape and drainage. These are all interconnected as the exterior envelope of the building. The interior includes the structure of the foundation, framing of floors, walls, roofs, insulation, the heating and cooling systems, water heaters and plumbing, electrical systems, appliances, chimneys and fireplaces. We check for any evidence of hazardous materials on pipe coverings, signs of mold in basements attics, in baths and laundries, insects and rodents, we also offer testing for radon gas. We're thorough.

In general, how often do you recommend people inspect their homes?

People will almost always have it inspected when buying, sometimes when they are selling, and while they are living in the home. It is easy to tell once we show up.

They should perform their own inspections at least seasonally for certain things as home maintenance. Pick an annual date like daylight savings to do your check list. Things like smoke and carbon monoxide detectors should be tested semi-annually. Air filters on furnaces, every three or four months, (more often with pets), water filters in the fridge or under the sink. While you're down there look for any signs of leaks from the dishwasher hose, water or drain pipes.

They should keep the inspection report handy to use as a guide for exterior maintenance as well, look at the roof, clean the gutters, and watch the rain run off during a heavy storm, you may need to do some landscape work to keep the basement dry.

How can someone judge for themselves whether or not they should get a home inspection?

A home inspection is always a good idea. The buyer can get things repaired before the sale and often saves many time the cost of the inspection off the price, though maybe not in this current market were paying over asking happens more often. Take heart the inventory will pick up, things even out.

What is a generalized list of reasons as to why people should have their homes inspected?

Inspections generally happen for a real estate sale, for a buyer or seller, a bank, relocation company, or as a guaranty of work performed correctly for insurance companies. This is where our construction background pays dividends for clients.

What value does a home receive from an inspection, if any?

The value of a home inspection is evident for either party. The buyer can negotiate a lower price if there are multiple issues. The seller can increase value by making repairs prior to a listing. Alternately a seller can acknowledge items needing replacement and price for an "As Is" sale and offer the buyer a copy of the report thus (saving a second inspection fee).

Is the home inspection process lengthy?

There is no typical length of time for a home inspection, the time frame will depend on the size of the property as well as the number and condition of the systems, a single could be from 2 to 3 hours, at the property, and multi families may take longer. Then the report has to be complied, photos uploaded, and reviewed. There is a lot at stake for all parties, a quick check list is not in your best interest, but you will have the report in 24 to 48 hours.

What are some potential negative situations you've seen occur because someone did not get a home inspection when they should have?

People buying properties that were hastily renovated or flipped by unlicensed contractors, developers. It happens a lot, shoddy work, performed without permits means the town building inspector never laid eyes on the rough plumbing, electrical or carpentry, insulation etc. This is a buyer's worst nightmare.

What is the best way for people to get in contact with you or your company?

They can call me, Jim McDermott, direct at 617-620-5302. Email me at or visit our website at Our main number at 617-600-7171.

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About The Author

McDermott carriers the following licenses: Licensed Massachusetts Home Inspector,...

Phone: 617-600-7171

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