What is a home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual examination of the home’s major structure, systems and components that are visible and safely accessible. The inspector should substantially adhere to a standards of practice that outlines what should be covered during a general home inspection, as well as what is excluded.
Some inspectors may strictly follow the standards of practice, while others may exceed the standards and inspect other items, or perform a more detailed inspection. Whatever the inspector includes in his or her inspection should be discussed prior to the inspection – this is known as the scope of work.
The inspector should be able to provide you with a copy or online link to the standards of practice they follow. The inspector should provide you with a written report, which may include photos and/or recommendations, of his or her findings of the inspection.
Why should I get a home inspection?
Buying a home is typically the biggest investment you will ever make, so it’s important to get a home inspection because the inspector should be able to discover and document defects that may or may not be obvious to you as a prospective buyer. Such defects can range from simple replacements or repairs, to severe damage or safety and health concerns. Additionally, most mortgage companies require a home inspection on a property before approving the home loan.
How can I be sure that a home inspector is qualified?
It is important to choose a home inspector who is qualified and holds a license or certification in the field. Many states do not regulate home inspections, meaning that anyone could call themselves a home inspector. The state of Florida requires each home inspector to undergo a background check, submit proof of qualifications, and obtain a license.
We have a combined total of over 2,000 hours of home inspector education and we have performed hundred of inspections. We are Certified Professional Inspectors with InterNaci. We are so confident in our qualificaitons, we participate in the InterNACHI Buyback Guarantee Program. If we miss any details in your home inspection, we’ll buy your home back!
How much does a home inspection cost?
Our home inspections start at $350. The cost will vary based on the scope of the inspection to be performed and the size of the home. Before the inspection, we will establish what will be included (and what won’t) and your total cost. These details will be outlined in our inspection agreement which you will need to sign prior to the inspection.
How long does a home inspection take?
Depending on the home’s age, size, and location, as well as the home inspector’s own work protocols and ethic, your home inspection may take up to three hours. Adding square footage, outbuildings, and/or ancillary services (such as mold or radon testing) will increase that time. It may be necessary for your inspector to bring in a helper for a very large property. If your general home inspection takes significantly less than 1 hour, it may indicate that the inspector was not thorough enough.
At what point in the real estate transaction should I schedule a home inspection?
A home inspection is usually scheduled after an offer has been made and accepted, but before the closing date. That way, the inspector can rule out any major defects that could be dangerous or costly. In rare cases—due to timing or contractual issues—the inspection can be scheduled after the closing date. If this is the case, the home buyer should schedule the inspection for the earliest possible date after closing.
Should I be present for the inspection?
While attending the inspection is not required, you should consider it. You can learn a lot about your new home. You will certainly gain a better understanding of the home’s condition, which will give you insight into its potential sale points and defects.
If you cannot be present for the inspection, our reports are detailed with photographs and easy-to-read narratives. You can download a sample report here.
Can the home inspector also repair any defects he or she finds?
What if your home inspector is also a licensed contractor? Sounds great, right? Not always. Although it may seem convenient to have an inspector who is also a contractor, it poses a conflict of interest. According to InterNACHI’s Code of Ethics:
The InterNACHI member shall not perform or offer to perform, for an additional fee, any repairs or associated services to the structure for which the member or member’s company has prepared a home inspection report for a period of 12 months. This provision shall not include services to components and/or systems that are not included in the InterNACHI Standards of Practice.
If an inspector financially benefits from finding any defects, this can impact the accuracy of the report (whether intentional or not). Make sure the inspector you hire abides by a Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.
What happens if the inspection reveals problems?
If your home inspection reveals any problems, it is important to understand the severity of the defect. For example, a missing shingle or dirty air filter can be easily fixed at a low cost. However, if the defect is more extreme, such as a major foundation crack, wood-destroying organism infestation, or evidence of mold, you should find out how these problems can be addressed, and whether you can negotiate their cost with the seller.
Do Florida inspectors have to be licensed?
Yes, only inspectors licensed by the Florida Home Inspector Licensure Board are permitted to perform home inspections for hire. To qualify for licensure, inspectors must satisfy education and experience requirements and pass a state licensing examination. Inspections must be conducted in accordance with the Board’s Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics.