It’s not hard to find a home inspector in Florida. But when you purchase a home in the Sunshine State, it helps to do your homework. First, you shouldn’t buy any property without exploring its potential problems. Obtaining a certified home inspection from a professional who is licensed to practice in Florida will help prospective buyers to better understand any work that a home might require in the near future.
Understanding these anticipated costs may, in rare cases, change their purchasing decision. Such projected expenses may be a negotiating point that buyers can use as leverage. Buyers may wish to negotiate a lower selling price or get the sellers to pay for some closing costs.
Ultimately, knowing a property’s condition protects buyers by making sure you understand the investment you’re about to make.
1. What kind of inspection do you need in Florida?
Many prospective buyers seek a home inspector in Florida who performs a “Four Point Inspection,” which includes a review of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, the electrical panels and wiring, the plumbing fixtures and connections, and the roof. Expect a report that only covers these four areas, while not addressing other important aspects of the property such as the structure. This is not recommended in place of a full home inspection. These inspections generally are only for insurance purposes when the home is 25-years or older.
2. Do you need more than a 4-point inspection?
If you will make a large investment in a home and plan to occupy it within the foreseeable future, you need something more. However, there could be many potential issues in a home to be discovered inside and outside of the structure. A 4-point inspection is recommended for insurance use only, and not for information when deciding to purchase a home.
3. Do you need information on Wind Mitigation in the inspector’s report?
Your property home inspector in Florida may specialize in Wind Mitigation Reports. They help insurance companies understand how a structure might perform (in its present state) during hurricane conditions. A buyer might obtain both a 4-Point inspection and a Wind Mitigation inspection, in tandem, and they are usually done at the same time as the full general home inspection.
However, they are also performed when clients are shopping around for quotes on homeowner’s insurance. The Wind Mitigation report is the only inspection that may qualify you for discounts on your homeowner’s insurance. This is especially a good idea to get done when a newer roof has been installed. These inspection reports are for insurance companies only and should not be relied upon when making a purchasing decision about the home.
4. How long will the inspection process take?
A typical home inspection lasts 2 to 4-hours. While you’re encouraged to be at the inspection and ask questions, you also want to give the inspector an opportunity to focus on the home and their findings!
5. When will you get the report?
Your home inspector in Florida use modern reporting technology and deliver the report within 24-hours and in some cases shortly after the inspection. A good inspector will also walk through a summary of the findings with you after the inspection.
Digital reports with lots of photos are a plus!
6. What is Errors and Omissions Insurance?
Inspectors use this kind of coverage, also known as professional liability coverage, to insure against mistakes they might make on the job. They don’t want to be sued for omitting important facts from their report. Buyers and sellers could also bring false claims against them or assert that they should have discovered a property’s specific issue. They are not required to carry this insurance, and not all inspectors have it.
7. Should you get more than one inspection?
At a minimum, you should get a full, general home inspection. If you want to live in the home without making too many repairs after taking residence, you will want to understand the structure’s integrity. When considering additional inspections, if you only need a certificate to give your property insurance company then a 4-Point inspection might suffice, but we think you should also get a Wind Mitigation inspection along with it. You will also want to identify problems like termites, mold and Chinese drywall, which may require an additional inspection.
8. Should you let the inspector fix the home’s problems?
In Florida, it is illegal (and a huge conflict of interest) for home inspectors to call out issues on your home and also remedy them. It’s also against the InterNACHI Code of Ethics. The only exception is WDO (Wood Destroying Organisms) Inspections & Remediation, for issues such as termites. Some inspectors also have Pest Control businesses, which requires a separate licensed from home inspectors. They can identify and treat WDO concerns. Just beware of home inspectors that say they can do repairs.
9. Can you take the word of your home inspector in Florida?
The inspector has no emotional investment in the inspection process. He or she will give you the straight facts about the home’s condition. You decide how much action (or reaction) to take in response to the expert’s report. Your inspector should have the communication skills to talk you through various findings.
10. What if there are lots of recommendations or defects?
It’s a home inspectors job to point out maintenance items, regular defects and safety hazards. Every home has common issues, so just because a home has a lot of items on the home inspection report doesn’t mean it’s a money pit!
Work with your agent to determine what are priority items that would impact your quality of life. The reality is most homes are safe and ok to live in. Each one will have varying levels of TLC that need to be put in it. Remember, buying a house includes routine maintenance that comes with the responsibility of being a home owner!