Buyer Resources - Articles

Buying Your Home - Home Inspections

Do I need a home inspection? 

Yes!. Many times, an inspection may reveal issues or potential issues that the owner did not know about. Most homes in this area are sold in AS-IS condition. The seller is not required to make any repairs. If these issues are noted during your inspection period, you are not required to move forward either. If the inspection(s) reveal issues, sometimes the seller may be willing to make those repairs or negotiate down on the sales price. Major repairs on homes can amount to thousands of dollars. Plumbing, electrical, AC and roof problems represent significant and complex systems that are expensive to fix.

How do I find a home inspector?

Inspectors are listed in the yellow pages or on-line. Your realty agent should have a list of inspectors. You are free to choose whatever inspectors or types of inspections done. You are responsible to choose what inspector you want to work with, what types of inspections you want done. Most inspectors will need to be paid in advance. You will need to arrange payment with them directly. Once you choose which inspection company you want, please have them contact your agent to schedule access to the property.

What’s a home inspection, and what does it cost?

A home inspection is when a paid professional inspector or contractor, inspects the home, searching for defects or other problems that might later plague the new owner. The cost of your inspection or inspections vary. It depends on how many different types of inspections you choose, is it a rush job, the size of the home etc. You should plan on at least $400 to $675 minimum. Feel free to shop around, but you will need to get your inspection scheduled quickly. Inspectors can be booked days, or even weeks in advance.

Time is of the essence! Getting everything done during your inspection period.

Once you have a fully executed sales contract. The deadlines for the buyer’s performance begins. The “typical” inspection period is 7 to 15 days from the effective date. During this time frame, you have a lot to do! A knowledgeable and caring agent will help keep you on track with what is needed. Don’t forget about making your escrow deposit(s) within the required time frames.

Is the property you are buying a condo or in a community with a HOA?

If the property you are purchasing is in a community with a condo or home association - Don’t forget to contact the condo or home association manager or management company as soon as possible. Get your questions about rules, restrictions, fees etc., answered before the end of your inspection period.   

Can I cancel the sales contract after it is signed?

Depending on what contingencies we have in the sales contract, your home inspection period may be the only time you have to cancel the contract. You know the old saying, “speak now or forever hold your piece”.

A Florida Home Inspector's License is required for only FOUR types of Inspections.

Over the years, Florida law has made the Inspection options even more complex for consumers.  The info below may help to explain some of the different Inspection types available.

1. Home Inspections. A general Inspection of the major components of a home: Exterior, Structural, Roof, Interior, Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC.

2. Four Point Insurance Inspections. This is usually an inspection of older homes for insurance purposes. These types of inspections only cover the Roof, Electrical, Plumbing, and HVAC systems. Please contact your insurance company ASAP – before ordering your inspections! Why? Because your insurance company may require a Four Point Inspection report, and/or a Wind Mitigation report in order for you to get insurance.

3. Roof Certification Inspection. A roof inspection should verify the age, overall condition, and estimated remaining life of a roof for insurance purposes.

4. Uniform Wind Mitigation Verification Inspection. An Inspection verifying the age, roof construction type, and installed hurricane protection of a property for possible insurance discounts. Once again, check with your insurance agent about this issue prior to ordering your inspections.

What other inspections may a buyer want or need?

WDO-Termite Inspection. This inspection requires a special license issued by the Florida Department of Agriculture. Even if no termites are found, wood rot, is a wood destroying organism (WDO). Depending on the type of financing a buyer is seeking, something as simple as a rotted door jamb could prevent the buyer from getting their mortgage if not repaired. Since most homes are sold AS-IS, a small issue could turn into a big issue. A knowledgeable and caring agent will try not to have you waste money on home inspections without discussing these issues with you prior to you even making an offer. Picking the right agent does matter!

Mold Inspection. This type of inspection requires a special license issued by the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation. If mold is observed during a home inspection, it should be noted. However, a mold inspection is a separate inspection, and you will be charged for that inspection.   

Chinese Drywall Inspection. No license is required. There is no such thing as Licensing or Certification for Chinese Drywall Inspections. EXPERIENCE is the only qualification. Fortunately, finding homes with defective drywall is not as big of a problem here is SWFL as it was before. Most homes that were identified as having defective drywall, have been remediated. Some of the most problematic years were homes built between 2004 to 2008.  

Radon Inspection. This inspection requires Environmental Certification.

Lead Paint Testing. This inspection requires Environmental Certification. All homes built prior to 1978 may have lead based paint. Your agent is required to discuss this with you and provide the required disclosures.

Septic Inspections. This inspection requires special license issued by the State of Florida.


Although it is unlikely that you will find a Home Inspector that also holds qualifications and licenses for ALL Inspection types in Florida, it is recommended that you interview potential Home Inspectors for recommendations on how to proceed with the above listed "Specialized" Inspections.


A professional home inspection firm should not simply state "We don't do that type of Inspection", but should provide guidance on necessary Inspections and try to coordinate any additional Inspections with you, and/or the Real Estate Professionals working on the file. If possible, finding "One Stop Shopping" source for your desired inspections is great. This may not only save you money, but it may also save time for everyone by allowing the Home Inspector to coordinate everyone to be on site at the same time!

 

Andrew Lussier has a small list of inspectors, you may want to contact. You are free to choose any inspector you want. Once again, choosing the right agent really does matter! Andy call be easily reached by a text message to: 239-826-7253.