Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
What is a home inspection?
There is no universally agreed-upon definition of a home inspection. The inspection can be considered a Florida state-certified inspector's opinion of the current condition and performance of the home's major systems (including the structure) based on visual evidence and functionality. Our home inspection is performed in accordance with the standards of the Florida Statutes.
How long will the inspection take?
A typical inspection will take around 2 hours. The size, age, and overall condition of the home will cause some variability in the actual inspection time.
Should the utilities be on?
The short answer is "yes". With the utilities on, we will be able to check the functionality of the various systems of the house. The absence of electricity, water, and/or gas places restrictions on the inspector.
How much does a home inspection cost?
In our case, fees are determined by the size of the home only (heated space). Other inspectors may charge an additional amount for older homes. For our company, the age and complexity of the home have no bearing on the cost that you will incur. Typical costs are located HERE.
Do you inspect newly built homes?
Yes. Any home you buy, whether antique or newly built is a major investment. It is in your best interest to know everything you can about the house before you buy it.
Will I be able to attend the home inspection?
Certainly! In fact, we encourage our clients to come along on the inspection. It's the best way to learn about the home. It's also the perfect time to ask the inspector questions about specific concerns you may have. Our report, which is both printed and conveyed verbally, will then address these specific concerns along with the items we normally cover.
Who gets a copy of the home inspection report?
YOU are the client. When you purchase a home inspection, what we find during that inspection becomes proprietary to you and your direct representative. You can do with it what you wish. Your report is confidential.
How quickly can I get my home inspection report?
We will provide an electronic version in .Pdf format within 24 hours of the inspection. Normally, reports are completed before the end of business on the same day.
Is the home inspection industry regulated?
Along with appraisals and title searches, home inspections are becoming a standard part of the home buying process. Home inspectors have come under increasing state regulation in recent years. Florida is one of the few states that require a state certification for home inspectors. We perform home inspections in accordance with Florida Administrative Code 61-30 and Florida State Statutes.
Do you have insurance?
We maintain comprehensive Errors and Omissions insurance as well as general liability insurance with a nationally recognized firm. But our most important quality is our accountability as state-certified and licensed inspectors. We stand behind our work and are legally and ethically accountable to you.
Are you certified to do inspections?
We are certified in both Florida and Nevada as home inspectors, having met or exceeded all of the criteria set forth by both states. We are also bound by a code of ethics and state law. We have all of the applicable licenses and certifications on hand for your review. Make sure whomever you choose does!
Can a house fail an inspection?
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verifies compliance to local codes and standards. A home inspector will not pass or fail a house. A home inspection describes the physical condition of a property and indicates what may need repair or replacement. A home inspector won't tell you how long something is going to last, or the value of something.
When do I call in the home inspector?
Before you sign the contract or purchase agreement, make your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated. Contact a home inspector immediately after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Home inspectors are aware of the time constraints involved in purchase agreements and most are available to conduct the required inspection within a few days.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. When the inspector identifies problems, it does not indicate you should not buy the house. His findings serve to educate you in advance of the purchase about the condition of the property. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. If your budget is tight, or if you do not want to be involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.
"I'm pretty handy. Can I do the Home Inspection myself?"
If you would like to do the home inspection yourself, that's absolutely fine. But remember, you must be able to open the electric service panel and determine whether there are any wiring violations. You must be able to inspect roof surfaces to determine the condition of the roofing material, flashing and drains, while noting defective conditions and any faulty methods of installation. You must evaluate the plumbing fixtures, supply lines, waste lines, and gas piping to determine their operational condition and their compliance with accepted building standards. You must inspect the heating system to determine its functional condition. You must crawl under the building and through the attic, searching for and recognizing a vast number of potential construction defects. A complete list of likely problems could easily fill a book.
Who else will attend the inspection?
Many variables affect who attends a home inspection. In most cases, however, Buyers hire us as their private consultants, which means the buyer or buyer's agent should have the last word on who should attend their home inspection.
Real estate agents usually coordinate who attends the home inspection, but circumstances often override their preferences. In some cases, Buyers are unable to attend because they live out of the area or are not able to get time off from work. In those instances, Home Inspectors may be accompanied by the Buyer's agent or a representative on the Buyer's side. In most cases, Buyers will attend all or part of my home inspection. This may occur with or without his/her Agent.
Whether Sellers should attend the inspection is more complicated. Buyers cannot forbid the Sellers from remaining during the inspection. Some Sellers are willing to leave for a few hours, some remain without involving themselves in the inspection, and still, others become actively involved, engaging the buyers in lengthy conversations or shadowing the Inspector on every step. It’s always best to have the Sellers leave for the duration of the inspection if possible. The bottom line is that the confidential inspection report and our labors are contracted by a "client". In most cases that "client" is a prospective home buyer although it can also be a home seller getting a "Pre-Listing" inspection. We have no obligation to provide anyone a copy of the report without written consent from the client.
When is the best time to schedule a home inspection?
The best time to schedule a home inspection is right after the offer to purchase contract is signed, prior to executing the final purchase and sales agreement. However, before you sign the offer to purchase contract, be sure that your Realtor includes an inspection clause in your contract making the purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the Buyer and Seller are obligated.
Will I be able to walk through the property again before closing?
In most cases, you'll be given the opportunity to inspect the home one last time immediately prior to closing escrow. Keep in mind that one of the many services we provide is a "reinspection" of problem areas that were repaired after being called out on the original home inspection. So if there have been some repairs completed and you'd like me to take a look at them don't hesitate to call me.
What shall I do to prepare for the home inspection?
It's helpful for you (or the Realtor) to notify the Seller that all utilities must be on and any gas pilots lit prior to the inspection. We will be looking over all areas of the home and its mechanical systems. In order for us to complete the work properly, we must have access to all areas, including the attic, garage, and all mechanical equipment. If we cannot gain access to certain components due to stored materials or some other reason, the home inspection won't be as complete. This will be reported as "not inspected" and may create surprises for you when you do finally gain access to these areas.
When is payment expected?
Payment is expected at the conclusion of the home inspection and before the report is released. Arrangements are often made for payment to be made at the time of closing. We accept cash, checks, money orders, and credit cards (via Paypal Checkout), and we can accept debit/credit cards at the inspection site. We can accept payment through escrow at the time of closing but additional fees are involved.
Should I include an inspection contingency in my offer?
An “inspection contingency” protects you as the Buyer in a purchase offer, by allowing you to cancel closing on the deal if I (the home inspector) find problems with the property. As soon as the Seller accepts your written offer, the document becomes a legally binding contract. The purchase contract can be written to include a contingency for any repairs found to be needed or related items the seller must take care of before the closing of escrow. If these are not dealt with, and you have such a clause in your contract, you can delay or possibly cancel your closing. If it’s not stated in the contract, you could face losing your deposit. There also may be costly legal implications stemming from backing out of your contract. You have the right to choose your own home inspector (and are responsible for paying for the inspection). In addition to an overall inspection for structural soundness, you can request a satisfactory wood-boring insect report. Contingency clauses should satisfy the concerns of both the Buyer and the Seller. Buyers also can protect themselves by inserting additional necessary contingencies. Indicate which items like curtains and appliances are to remain with the house. Then stipulate that you have the right to personally inspect the home 24 hours before closing, to make sure all is in order.
Who picks the home inspector?
YOU. The person who is paying the home inspector is responsible for picking the inspection company. While referrals are great, and recommendations from realtors are great (of which we are benefactors) you should do your own research and pick a company that meets your needs, is affordable, and trustworthy.
We hope that we have answered all of your questions but if you have anything further don't hesitate to call us.