Buyer’s inspections are initiated by the home buyer. These inspections are designed to assure there are no hidden surprises and to provide peace of mind to the buyer. A buyer’s inspection is most often a contingency to the close of the real estate transaction. This type of inspection is the most common and is a valuable tool for negotiations during the home buying process.
Pre-listing inspections, sometimes referred to as seller’s inspections, are initiated by the property owner prior to listing the property. A seller’s inspection is used to find unknown defects and to prevent surprises for the home owner when he or she sells the property. Often, sellers are blindsided by unknown and expensive problems discovered by the buyer’s inspector. These issues can be found during a pre-listing inspection, giving the seller time and knowledge to address them accordingly. With a pre-listing inspection, the seller has peace of mind going forward in the real estate transaction and is able to accurately represent the condition of the home, limiting potential liability.
FOUR POINT INSPECTIONS
4 point inspections are for insurance purposes. These companies have become increasingly reluctant to issue Homeowner Insurance Policies on older homes (30 years old or older). They are looking for key characteristics that insurance underwriters use to determine risk. The 4 points are Electrical, Plumbing, Roofing, and Heating. Age, overall condition, material, and basic type are the basic choices in the report. I say “choices” because the insurance underwriters don’t want inspectors to add information about the systems, just the specific items they are looking for. For example, the underwriters want to know if the home has Polybutylene plumbing (PB). PB had its problems and was involved in a class action lawsuit that resulted in the material being removed as acceptable plumbing in 1994, but contractors were allowed to exhaust stock and it has been seen as late as 1998 by some inspectors. The later years of use were the 3rd generation of the design which had no known failures, but the insurance underwriters don’t ask about that. If the plumbing is in excellent condition with no leaks, chances are it will have years more service that way, so the problem becomes getting reasonably priced insurance and not the condition of the system. Also, a home with a roof nearing the end of its service life may fail while under the policy and the homeowner may seek reimbursement from their insurance company for damages to the home or its contents. Similar concerns extend to the working condition of the HVAC and electrical systems of an older home. If these elements are in poor condition, in need of being updated, replaced, or installed inadequately, they may fail and cause fire or water damage to a home.
Wind mitigation is the process of adding features to your home that help withstand or increasing the resistance to high winds caused by major storms or hurricanes. Homeowners can receive substantial credits for adding these features. As residents of Florida, we highly recommend adding these features for two reasons. First is cost savings. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, 15% - 20% of home insurance premiums in Florida can be linked to wind damage risk. Even though there is an upfront cost involved, outfitting your home with these added features will likely result in significant long-term savings. Another reason why we recommend this is safety. As well as saving the homeowner money, mitigating the structure against severe weather can also protect their family in the event of a major storm. Installing hurricane shutters on windows or hurricane straps on the roof reduces the risk of flying debris penetrating the home and putting the family in danger. Here is what you can expect from us during a wind mitigation inspection: We will look for key features and add-ons that reduce the amount of damage your home may be exposed to in the event of a hurricane or strong windstorm.
We utilize the most up to date methods, techniques, and tools to assure that every one of our clients experience the very best service as possible. We can assist you with spotting, recognizing, and consulting on mold and allergen issues, indoor air quality problems, and humidity and moisture intrusion situations. Here are some reasons why you may need a mold inspection:
You are a buyer or a seller in a real estate transaction and need evidence whether airborne mold levels are not normalized, you sense a musty odor smell but don't see any obvious mold, you think you see mold, but you are unsure of what it is, or you are experiencing any allergic symptoms, such as stuffy head, headaches, scratchy throat, runny nose, and not sure why.
FEATURES THAT MAY QUALIFY FOR PREMIUM DISCOUNTS:
1. Roof coverings, such as shingles that meet or exceed the FBC Requirements.
2. Roof decks that have been installed with 8d nails or better with correct spacing.
3. Hurricane clips/straps that hold the roof structure to the walls.
4. Protection of Openings such as windows and glass doors with impact resistant glazing or other protection systems.
5. Secondary Water Resistance that prevents the roof from leaking if the roof covering is blown off in a windstorm.
6. Roof Design, Hip roofs seem to divert the stronger winds and therefore sustain less damage.
7. Garage Doors require reinforcement. Shutters have little value when the garage door is not protected.
This inspection usually takes approximately 15-30 minutes to complete depending on the complexity of the home and the difficulty of access. We will need access to the attic and all exterior sides of the home. Make sure there are no obstacles blocking the attic entrance. Also, if you have pets, please make sure they are secured. If you have documentation on your roof, shutters, garage doors, or high impact windows, please have them ready for us to review.
American Building Inspectors does not guarantee that your insurance provider will offer discounts with this attachment. Contact your Homeowners Insurance agent and ask for details.