what you should know about home inspections
1. DO I NEED A HOME INSPECTION?
We get this question quite often and have gone back and forth on how best to answer without being biased. The truth is that you wouldn't buy a used car without having some sort of inspection done by a trained professional. So why should home inspections be any different? As quite possibly the single most expensive investment one makes in a lifetime, a home should be checked top to bottom to make sure there are no safety issues, hazards, or otherwise costly damage that can require immediate attention. Even new construction homes deserve to be inspected!
2. HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY FOR A HOME INSPECTION?
Home inspection prices vary quite a bit depending on the location, size and condition of the home. The individual services an inspector offers may also sway the price one way or another. In South Florida we have found that general inspections can start as low as $250.00 and go as high as $600.00 for a single family home between 1000- 3000 sqft. For many, inspection price is a deal breaker. It's no secret that come purchase time, funds are limited across the board. However, you shouldn't let cheap prices entice you. The rule of thumb should always be "you get what you pay for" or for our Hispanic customers "Lo barato sale caro" which loosely translates to "whats cheap always turns out costing more in the end." Home Inspectors tend to factor price on their experience and service. New or inexperienced home inspectors who have yet to built a solid business foundation tend to offer drastically reduced prices and include various services otherwise separate from general inspections in order to attract customers. This should be a big indicator as to whether this inspector is right for you. Choose your home inspector based on recommendation and research. Look at their website and find reviews. Reviews are a home inspectors bread and butter. Last but not least, find someone who is willing to answer all your questions and provides the most reasonable bang for your buck.
3. ARE HOME INSPECTORS LICENSED?
Home Inspectors are licensed by the State of Florida. Much like many other contract services, Home Inspectors are required to obtain a certification and pass a state exam. We rarely get asked if our inspectors are licensed but always welcome the question when asked. A Home Inspector is required to know the basic ins and outs of various home styles and structures. It is important that we be in good standing with our accreditation. Make sure to check online and see if your inspector is licensed! All of our inspectors are constantly training and taking continued education courses.
4. HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE DO YOU HAVE?
Every home inspector varies in background and experience. Some inspectors have history in the general contracting world and others in non related trades. In the industry, home inspectors consider themselves seasoned when they have a few hundred homes under their belt. This is a very vague way of gauging experience but can demonstrate that an inspector has seen his fair share of obstacles. When asking about experience a home buyer should ask an inspector where his primary areas of operation is/ has been. Home construction varies from state to state and sometimes city to city!
5. WHAT IS COVERED IN A HOME INSPECTION?
By definition, a home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination and or "snapshot" of a home. This means that home inspectors are restricted to examining the items or concerns that are readily available and or visible within a home while making sure not to disturb any personal items. The snapshot portion of the definition refers to an inspectors ability to examine the condition of the home as it is in the moment that he/she is there. An inspector cannot be responsible for issues arising after or before his/her inspection. The average inspection covers items such as roof system, attic condition, HVAC system, plumbing, electric systems, and various items in between. It is important to ask your inspector what items he or she does not cover. Our inspectors are very thorough in their inspections and make sure to cover most items pertaining to the home itself (for example. we do not cover gates or fences). We can provide a list of the few items we do not cover in our basic home inspection. You'll be surprised with how much we do cover!
6. WHAT OTHER SERVICES DO HOME INSPECTORS OFFER?
No two inspectors are the same. Every inspector and or inspection company chooses to provide the services they feel fit the needs of their clients. For the most part, inspectors in South Florida offer general inspection services and a variation of specialized services such as mold testing and termite inspections. Different services require different levels of training so its safe to say that asking what an inspector offers is key in assessing the condition of your home. We at CR Pro offer a wide variety of services ranging from laboratory testing to sewer cam and ac coil cleanings. We are constantly adapting our services to the needs of our clients!
WE ARE NOW OFFERING: AC COIL CLEANING AND EXTERIOR PRESSURE WASHING!
7. DO I HAVE TO BE AT MY HOME INSPECTION?
You do NOT have to be present at your home inspection but it can be a great opportunity to review your inspector's findings and ask any questions. Many client's like going to their inspection to take another walk around the property before closing (decide where you want to place your couch and big screen tv!) . We normally ask that our clients come the last 45 minutes of an inspection. The inspection process is detailed and slow moving. For this reason, we ask our clients to visit towards the end and avoid waiting around for an hour or two. Questions are always welcome but please note that your inspector is focused on being efficient and effective. Too many questions can keep your home inspector from doing the best job possible.
8. CAN I ASK MY HOME INSPECTOR QUESTIONS DURING THE INSPECTION?
You can absolutely ask your inspector questions. We encourage our clients to ask away!
9. WHO SHOULD I BRING WITH ME TO A HOME INSPECTION?
You should strive to limit the amount of people at an inspection. Normally the immediate buyer(s) and their agent are present. It is tempting to want to bring your aunts, brothers, sisters, parents and twice removed cousins and show them your new home. Unfortunately, having too many people in the house makes the space chaotic and can interfere with the inspection.
10. HOW LONG DOES A HOME INSPECTION LAST?
The length of an inspection typically depends on the size and condition of the property. A home between 1000 and 3000 sqft normally takes between an hour and a half to two and a half hours. There are inspectors who advertise inspections completed within an hour. We recommend staying away from any such service. The rule of thumb is as follows : your house took a few months to build so why not a few hours to inspect?
11. WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT A HOME INSPECTOR TO REASONABLY FIND?
A home inspector is typically concerned with identifying key issues that can be hazardous to the structure and the family living in it. Cosmetic issues are not usually a focal point in any inspection but can/ usually are included in an inspection report. Inspectors will be looking at your roofing system, electrical , HVAC, plumbing, appliances and overall functionality of the home.
12. HOW SHOULD THE BOOKING PROCESS GO?
Every inspector books appointments in their own way. Some prefer the old pen and paper method while newer inspectors rely heavily on automated processes. We take our bookings on the phone, via our website, email, and even text messages. We make sure to ask for a clients full name, email address, phone number, the property address, and square footage of the home. We always ask what a client's availability is and make sure to accommodate to their schedule as best as possible.
13. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF HAVING A HOME INSPECTION?
A home inspection can provide peace of mind and understanding. A home has many complex systems that require regular maintenance. An inspection will give a direct view into what the property is lacking and may need for the coming future. The inspection report serves as a good negotiating tool and repair guide.
14. WILL MY INSPECTION REPORT INCLUDE REPAIR COSTS?
Most inspectors include repair costs. Our reports have very general repair costs. We have noticed, over many inspections, that repair costs vary widely on type of material and labor costs. In South Florida, labor can come at virtually any price. For this reason, we limit the repair prices and ask clients to get estimates based off of their choice in contractor or specialist. We do, however, offer general repair costs if asked.
15. WILL MY INSPECTOR TELL ME WHAT IS OR ISN'T UP TO CODE?
If a serious hazard is present, your home inspector will definitely make note. It is important to note that home inspectors are NOT code enforcement officers. It is not a home inspectors duty to determine if something is or is not up to building code.
16. WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A MAJOR AND MINOR CONCERN IN HOME INSPECTIONS?
A major concern is something that can seriously inhibit someone from living in the home or lead to to injury. Minor concerns are items easily repaired or considered cosmetic in nature
17. WHAT CONSTITUTES A DEAL BREAKER FOR HOME BUYERS?
Few items pertaining to an inspection should ever be considered "deal breakers." If a home peaks a buyers interest the rest is up to negotiation and terms. A realtors job is to identify all issues pertaining to the transaction of a home and see how best to see that their client is fairly taken care of. The only instances which we ever see resulting in a lost deal are poor negotiations on behalf of either buyer or seller. Remember, anything is fixable!
18. WHEN WILL I GET MY REPORTS?
You should expect to see your inspection report from an inspector within 24 hours. Our reports are delivered same day!
19. CAN I HAVE FOLLOW UP QUESTIONS ONCE INSPECTION IS COMPLETED?
Absolutely! questions normally come up after the inspection report has been delivered. For this reason, we give our clients our direct contact information and make sure to be readily available to answer any and all questions.
20. SHOULD I WAVE THE INSPECTION CONTINGENCY?
NO! always get an inspection. You never know what surprises are hidden away in a home. You wouldn't buy a used car without looking at it first right? Even new construction homes have issues and often need inspectors to come and re-inspect. Talk to a home inspector before deciding to waive your inspection!