Whats outside the Home Inspection

Hi all,

I have a really through agent who referred me for an inspection and he sent me the following materials and questions. I have quickly reviewed the materials and find his questions/concerns to be reasonable but I’m wondering if this is getting to be outside the realm of a home inspection, to be going over HOA guidelines and municipal Master plans? It seems to me that question #1 is more in the realm of a lawyers domain. And that #3 is just above and beyond, to be looking up the cities “Master Plan” and offering judgement on why the listing agent added that and how it affects ownership.

Only #2 seems to really be in my realm.

Would appreciate your thoughts!


I believe that my buyer clients have scheduled home inspection with you for the single family property located at xxxxxxx. For the inspection at 3pm next Monday, Sept 12, I am concerned about 3 potential issues:

  1. Driveway is asphalt. Guilford HOA may require it to be concrete. (See the attached Guilford HOA documents.) Do you know anything about this issue?

  2. Water leak in basement. The listing agent said that there had been a water issue in the basement and the yard was graded and patio was made. The basement has no sump pump, and is not water proofed with French drain as far as I know. I don’t know whether the area underneath the basement hardwood floor (Pergo?) is secure for water leak either. Do we need to hire water proof expert or is there a way to tell the water issue in the basement?

  3. The listing agent recently added “Baltimore City Master Plan Disclosure” to the contract of sale (=offer document). Are you aware any city’s Master Plan or anything that might affect the ownership of this property?

I have not expressed my concerns to my clients yet, and would appreciate if you could address these issues in your inspection.
I am in New York state, and will come back to Baltimore tomorrow (Sunday) night. I look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Thank you so much.

4 attachments — Download all attachments
charter.pdf charter.pdf
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deed_agreement.pdf deed_agreement.pdf
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architectural_guidelines.pdf architectural_guidelines.pdf
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bylaws.pdf bylaws.pdf
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Moisture tester time here.

I’ll let the client know after the inspection.

Seems as if you are being confused with the Appraiser and the Attorney. Newby Agent? Inform him/her of the facts asap to give her a heads up to get to work on doing her job professionally or finding someone (broker) to assist her that is.

I agree Jeff and you’re right he is a newbie realtor ( ex-neuroscientist! ).


So he went from studying brains to selling Real Estate?? He must not have learned much! He could sure get lots of practice right here on this message board!! :mrgreen:

This is a question for HOA management.

Explain that items (basement slab) that are not accessible are excluded from a home inspection and your SOP and agreement (hopefully) cover that. Let the brain doc know that you will offer a recommendation following the inspection if you feel that additional investigation is warranted regarding any suspected moisture intrusion issues.

A question for the title company or appraiser. That’s why they are part of the transaction.

Clearly explain that you will offer no recommendations in your inspection report that are outside the scope of the inspection.

Thank you Darin for the thoughtful response.
I’ll keep your suggestions in mind as I write up the report this evening.


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I concur 100% with Darin in his reply.

As an added note, Whenever I’m asked, and I am all the time, “does the basement leak”?" or will the basement ever leak"? - I tell them I can only report what I see the day of the inspection. If I see stains I call it out as a possible leak. If I see wet stains I call it out as a leak.

I also tell people that 2 years ago, Cincinnati had a record rain fall for the season & that there were basements that were leaking that had not leaked in over 100 years.


Are you actually suggesting that Tom provide a vendors contact information so HIS CLIENT may contact the vendor IF the Client so desires??? :shock:

What a concept!!! :mrgreen: