Why A Buyer Should Have A Home Inspection Performed
You've found the home you want, at the right price, and the house looks like it's in good condition. But always keep in the mind, particularly when the home is for sale by the owner, the home has been "dressed up" to show its best features and minimize its potential flaws. Before you close on the purchase of a home or sometimes even before you make an offer, you should insist on an independent home inspection by Tropical Inspections. Many sellers have had inspectors and appraisers look at the home for purposes of the sale, and are aware (or should be) that buyers will likely ask for another inspection independent of their own. Below will focus on why inspections are necessary, what to look for during your home inspection.
Why Home Inspections Are Important
You've seen the shiny floors and granite counter tops, and maybe you've even flushed the toilets, but before you put down a deposit and agree to take on a huge mortgage, you need to make sure that everything you do not see is in good working order. You'll want to make sure the heating or A/C unit is in working order, and the roof is in serviceable condition. If you arrange for a home inspection by Tropical Inspections before the sale goes through, the problem is still the seller's. If you choose not to have a home inspection done, the problem, unfortunately, becomes yours. According to home inspectors, homes are sometimes not particularly well cared for by homeowners, who are slow to fix leaky faucets, replace heating or A/C filters. If homes with homeowners living in the property can be uncared for, imagine what conditions a foreclosed home can hide. Because of the importance of a proper house inspection, you should make the purchase of the home contingent on your approval of Tropical Inspections home inspection report. When making a written offer for the home, simply make the home inspection a condition of the purchase. If your home inspection comes back clean, you can proceed with the sale with confidence. And if the report is negative, you can reduce your offer, make the seller pay for any repairs, or even back out of the contract altogether.
What a Home Inspection Entails
It is important for buyers to know what they should expect when paying for a home inspection. Home inspections vary according to the person or company that performs them. Generally, a home inspection will include a report on the type of the home's heating and cooling system, electrical system, plumbing system, interior, exterior, foundation, roofing, installed appliances, safety concerns & maintenance items on the home.Items in the inspections are excluded such as termites, chemicals and gasses (such as asbestos or methane gas), lead, etc. You should inquire into the presence of such problems. Inspectors may be more willing to share such information "off the record" (because of their education of certification in a particular area) and then you can call a licensed professional in that field to give you a further analysis. For example, you might ask an inspector if there is a termite problem, and he may tell you that there are visible or not visible signs, but not put it in his report. It would be incumbent upon you to get a professional pest inspection of the house to get an official report.
Note that a home inspection generally covers only moderate to serious issues and does not detail each and every scratch and dent in the home. If you want a more exacting report, you should discuss this with your inspector (a higher fee is likely) and walk through the home with him during the inspection if possible. Not only will you learn more about the process and what to look for, he may give you information on small flaws that he may not include in a report but you might want to be aware of for the future. A house inspection will run from $250 to $500, depending on the factors such as the size of the home, age and type of home.
What to Look for In a Home Inspector
The first thing to note is that most states do not have a certification or licensing process for home inspectors. Florida does have licensing criteria, there are organizations such as FABI (Florida Association of Building Inspectors) which Tropical Inspections is a current member, which are recognized as maintaining and requiring a certain level of expertise and competency from their members. You should make sure that your inspector is a member of such an organization or is a licensed professional in home inspections. Because you want the home inspection to be independent of the seller, you should not take the seller's inspection report at face value. Ideally, you want someone licensed and part of a professional organization. Referrals from friends or local homeowners work best, as you can take their advice and learn from their past experiences.
As noted above, general inspectors are not licensed to inspect for particularized issues such as WDO, pest, gases, etc. It would be in your best interest to get at least a WDO (termite) inspection performed, particularly if there is no history on one being performed in the past or your home is in a risk area.