The most recent real estate boom began in the early 2000s with prices peaking in 2006. As real estate agents and brokers enjoyed the large number of buyers and sellers actively engaging the market, they weren’t the only ones who benefited from these market conditions. Real estate related service providers including Mortgage Loan Originators, Appraisers, and Contractors also benefited from the increased demand for their services.
While home inspections were previously performed by a licensed general contractor, the increased opportunities and demands for home inspection services created a whole cottage industry of unlicensed and unregulated home inspectors. Feeling that the general public might be harmed, new regulations in Florida and many other states were imposed requiring that an official home inspection report must be provided by a licensed home inspector who has undergone specialize training. These licensed professionals, who are trained and tested, provide valuable information about properties that are under contract and about to be sold.
Why is a home inspection important?
Regardless of the property that you are purchasing, it is recommended a thorough home inspection by a licensed Home Inspector be completed. While a property may seem sound upon a visual walk through, costly repairs may be hiding behind the walls, in the attic, and even down to the foundation. The clues are many times telltale and often overlooked by the untrained professional. It is imperative that the buyer is aware of any potential problems associated with the property before closing on the purchase.
Home inspectors are highly trained on evaluating the condition of the property. Special tools are used to detect problems that would otherwise go unnoticed. As a result, the reports are very detailed and instrumental in understanding the true condition and value of the property being purchased.
Examples of common items on an inspection report:
Electrical– When inspecting the electrical system, home inspectors are looking to make sure the electrical panels are to code, wiring connections are made in approved electrical boxes, there are no signs of arcing within receptacles, and GFCI-type circuits are function properly. These are just a few of the common electrical items that inspectors are looking at.
Plumbing– Plumbing is a very important part of the home inspection as repairs can involve a substantial amount of work. Home inspectors use moisture detecting devices to search for leaks behind walls, visually verify that the plumbing is done correctly, check the condition of the hot water heater, and verify vents and sewer lines are free of leaks.
Roof – Home inspectors will evaluate the condition of the interior and exterior surfaces of the roof, inspect for leaks, and ensure that the roof is structurally sound to determine the remaining life expectancy of the roof covering.
Pool & Spas – For houses with swimming pools and spas, the home inspector will inspect the pool surface, document cracks in tiles and copings, look for deficiencies in the drains and valves, check the pool pump and filtration system, and report any needed repairs.
Appliances– Major appliances including the dishwasher, food disposer, range exhaust vent, ovens, microwaves, and garage door openers will be checked to verify proper function during the home inspection process. Any appliances that need repaired or replaced will be documented in the report.
A/C & Heating– The entire air conditioning and heating unit will be inspected for damage, evidence of leaks, proper function, and wear and tear in order to gauge the life expectancy of the unit.
While there are costs associated with having a home inspection performed, the value of the information provided is worth every penny. When issues in major systems including the roofing, electrical, or plumbing are detected, buyers often find it beneficial to negotiate to reduce the price of the property to adjust for repair costs, or request that the seller have the repairs made at their expense. By combining the findings of the home inspection report with the appraisal, buyers get a better understanding of the true value of the property.
As always, make sure you are hiring licensed and insured home inspectors and contractors. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. Gold Coast Schools is Florida’s leading construction and real estate school, and is dedicated to providing useful information on industry related subjects. Browse all of our news stories for other informative articles.