A home inspection isn’t something many potential buyers skip. Here are some tips to make the process smoother.
So, You’re Selling Your Home…
You’ve got an interested buyer, but they’d like to have a home inspector take a look at your property. What should you do to sure that the process goes smoothly? In this guide, we’ll discuss eight of our top tips for sellers before home inspections.
Let’s get started!
1. Think About Curb Appeal
Making that first impression is huge when a buyer arrives. But a different kind of curb appeal can make your home’s inspection a breeze.
- Cut back any vegetation to ensure about a foot of clearance between it and the house.
- Visually inspect the siding and trim, if you see any damage, go ahead and have it repaired beforehand.
- Repair missing caulking and trim and fix any exposed nail heads.
- Check the operation of any exterior doors, locks and deadbolts. If you see a gap, have it filled properly.
2. Check Your Roof & Gutters
Florida receives its fair share of rain and wind, so making sure that your roof and gutters are in good working order is a huge priority for buyers. Make sure to:
- Clean the roof of any debris with a blower or pressure washer.
- Repair any damage and replace any missing elements correctly. Temporary fixes like mastic or caulk will be noted as a defect.
- Clean the gutters thoroughly
- Ensure the downspouts and other drains are free of obstruction and are flowing properly. Also, make sure the run off isn’t pooling next to the house.
3. Get Your Interior Ready
Now that the exterior is taken care of, do a quick run through of the inside and make any necessary repairs or replacements to get it ready for inspection. This includes:
- Testing all interior doors and locks
- Checking for leaks under sinks
- Checking the hot water heater for proper operation
- Changing the filter on an HVAC system
- Inspecting all caulking, trim and seals
- Checking smoke detectors for proper operation
- Testing all fixtures, lights and fans
- Visually inspecting all drywall for cracks and nail pops.
4. Tidy Up As Much As You Can
- Check the exterior of your home, as well as the roof, garage, etc. to make sure that the inspector will have access to all of the systems that they must check.
- Take special care to clear away stuff from major home systems like furnaces, HVAC units, utility closets, and other such areas that the inspector must examine closely.
- While you do this, you can also look for any signs that something may be wrong with your property, and make minor repairs as necessary.
5. Be On Time
If the home inspector says they’ll be there at 9:00 am, they’ll be there at 9:00 am – so make sure you’re dressed, prepared, showered, and ready to greet them in the morning. They’re professionals, and they will be there on time – you don’t want to delay them because you weren’t prepared for their arrival.
6. Provide Access to All Areas
Home inspectors will typically examine all buildings on your property, including garages and other such outbuildings, such as “granny flats” or other detached units, so you’ll need to provide them with keys, garage door openers, or door codes for these units.
In addition, if you have a sprinkler system or other systems that have electrical panel boxes or other utility boxes, leave keys and instructions for unlocking them, to ensure that the inspector has access, and can inspect them.
7. Supply Any Relevant Documents
It’s a good idea to make paperwork regarding remodeling projects available to inspectors, in addition to documentation about major repairs and upgrades such as a new furnace, HVAC system, roof, plumbing, and so forth.
This documentation will aid the inspector when they create their report, and help give the buyer more peace of mind, as they will have a more clear idea of when each major component of the home was last inspected, repaired, or replaced.
8. Get Out of the House
The buyer will usually accompany the home inspector during the examination, and will ask them questions during the process. That means they may be uncomfortable if you’re hanging around your house, so plan to have something to do while the inspection is completed. Head to the gym and get some errands done, go see a movie, schedule a coffee date with a friend – whatever sounds good! Take any pets with you or ensure that they are secured. Stay out for at least three hours. Then, head back once the inspection is complete.
Follow These Tips to Ensure Your Home Inspection Goes Smoothly!
If you follow these tips, the home inspection process is sure to go off without a hitch. If you have other questions – or you’d like to schedule your own home inspection before buyers look at your home, feel free to contact Inside & Out Property Inspectors or schedule an appointment today!
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Home inspections are a vital part of the home buying and selling process but do you know what home inspectors actually do or if a house can even fail a home inspection? Luckily, we’ve put together the top twenty most frequently asked questions about home inspections and asked the professionals to answer them. Here is everything you need to know about your home inspection.
1) What is a home inspection?
Without a comprehensive home inspection, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in repairs or possibly buy a house that is unsafe.
Here’s an overview of each element of a home that must be inspected.
Foundation: the inspector will take a look at the foundation to examine it for cracking and shifting, and to ensure that water is draining away properly from the foundation and basement
Lot: the lot will be examined for proper grading and drainage and the quality of walkways and the driveway will also be assessed.
Roof: the roof will be examined for faulty shingles, damaged flashing, signs of water damage, and overall integrity
Exterior: the exterior siding, windows, doors will be examined to assess their overall wear and condition
Attic: the attic will be inspected to ensure that it is properly ventilated and insulated
Interior: the interior of the home will be examined, including wall outlets, lighting fixtures, walls, doors, and all other such surfaces and areas
Basement: the basement is inspected to ensure that it is free from leaks and water damage. Issues like mold and water leaks are also quite common in basements
Electrical: your home inspector will make sure that all electrical outlets, switches, and lighting fixtures work
Plumbing: the functionality of the plumbing systems will be checked, including water pressure, hot and cold water, as well as functionality of all sinks, bathtubs, showers, and other systems
Appliances: major appliances will be tested and verified for proper functionality
HVAC: the furnace will be examined for integrity, and problems like cracks or wear and tear. Air ducts and air conditioning systems will also be examined and tested
2) Why do I need a home inspection?
If you are planning to buy or sell a home, it is recommended that you hire a certified home inspector to conduct the inspection. This is one way to learn the condition of the home and potentially gain more negotiating power during the sale/purchase of the home.
When touring a home, pay attention to anything that seems strange as it might be a red flag. Take note of any visible damage as well, as it might not be a problem now but it could turn into an expensive fix later.
These issues don’t have to be a deal breaker. They can, however, help you get a lower price for the home if you’re the buyer. Most home buyers agree that it’s worth spending a few hundred dollars on a home inspection to save a few thousand down the road.
3) How much is a home inspection?
Based on more than 80,000 home inspections conducted during the last year, our data shows that the average home inspection costs $358.
Variables that will affect the cost include:
- Location/region/travel time
- Size of the home
- Age of the home
- How hot or cold the local real estate market is
- How many inspectors are in the area and how busy they are
- Additional services such as mold inspections or radon testing
The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) gives a typical price range of $300-$500, and cautions that “cost does not necessarily reflect quality.”
We recommend that you do your research. Take a look at the website and the reviews of the inspector that your agent recommended. Get a quote from them and a couple of others, and don’t shop on the cost or price alone.
Regardless, decent home inspectors are well worth the investment. Whether it gives you leverage to ask the seller to cover more fixes or sets your expectations for what to budget for, getting a home inspection is one of the smartest investments you can make in your new home.
4) Why can’t I do a home inspection myself?
When you’re purchasing a home there are many things to consider. From negotiating the price to understanding the resale value, the tasks can become overwhelming.
People often turn to their mechanics when purchasing a used car so why wouldn’t you turn to a home inspector when shelling out hundreds of thousands more for a house?
A professional home inspection can turn up issues that otherwise would have went unseen, such as the wrong gauge wire being used in the breaker box inlet, or an incorrectly hung cabinet that could become a hazard.
A home inspector’s job isn’t to spread doom and gloom, they’re your advocate. While we’re sure your realtor has done a great job showing you the house’s features and educating you on the school district, they typically aren’t able to teach you about the house structure or utilities.
Your home inspector will be able to shine a light on vital information that you likely wouldn’t have caught until after you had purchased the house.
5) What does a home inspection include?
As a home is the largest purchase most folks will ever make, a home inspection is always recommended before buying a home. While some little quirks are nothing to worry about, there may be more serious issues that only a professional home inspector can assess.
Without a comprehensive home inspection, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in repairs or buying a house that is unsafe due to issues like water damage, foundation issues, or even asbestos or lead. A certified home inspection should cover the foundation, lot, roof, exterior, attic, interior, basement, electrical, plumbing, appliances, and the heating/cooling system. The primary purpose of these examinations is to identify structural and major system flaws, especially anything safety related.
6) Can a house fail a home inspection?
Contrary to what many people believe, there is no grading or pass/fail system for a home inspection. The home inspector simply evaluates the condition and quality of the home objectively, and then informs both the buyer and seller of their findings.
However, if a glaring issue is found, the seller may be held responsible to fix it before the home can be legally sold. For instance, if asbestos or mold is found in the home or if there is a code violation or other serious safety issue, the seller would have to remedy the situation before they could sell their home.
Additionally, buyers may be allowed to invoke their home inspection contingency and walk away from the transaction if a major issue is found.
Curious what the most common culprits are in a home inspection? Here’s a quick list.
- Roof and gutter issues (leaks, damaged/clogged gutters, etc.)
- Faulty wiring/electrical problems
- Poor grading or drainage around the home
- Dampness or mold/mildew in basements
- Cosmetic wear and tear (peeling wallpaper, dirty/damaged carpets, cracked driveways/walkways, etc)
- Plumbing issues such as leaks, clogged drains, poor flow
- Inadequate ventilation or insulation
- HVAC problems
Whether you’re a buyer or a seller, most home inspection findings are not deal breakers and will simply require you to negotiate a proper rate for the home based on what the inspector finds.
7) When do I call a home inspector?
It is recommended to get a home inspection before you make an offer on a home. At the very least you want to get the inspection completed before you close on a home. This means you still have a chance to pull out of buying the home if the inspection turns up massive problems that you are not willing or cannot afford to fix.
Having a home inspection done before making an offer is the best time to do it. However, even if you make an offer, be sure to have the home inspection done before the closing date or you will be responsible for any problems that may exist with the home.
8) Do I have to be there when the home inspection is happening?
If you’re selling your home and having a pre-listing inspection, it’s a good idea to stick around for the inspection to give you some insight on what you should fix before listing your home. However, if the buyer hired the inspector, there’s no reason for you to be present.
If you’re buying a home, it’s not required that you’re present for the home inspection but it’s a good idea to be there anyway. Attending the home inspection on a property you’re considering buying gives you a great opportunity to get a better understanding of the condition of the home, and any potential issues that may be present. You may be thinking that you’ll just be able to see these in the report, which is true, however, walking through the home with the inspector will make these items easier to understand because they can explain it to you during the process.
Furthermore, being present for the home inspection gives you the opportunity to ask the inspector questions about the home. It’s a good idea to ask about the parts of a home that are most expensive to repair/replace, such as:
- Roof: replacing a roof can cost thousands
- Insulation: insulation has a huge effect on power bills
- Electrical system: rewiring a home can be an expensive task
- Plumbing: plumbing problems can be very costly to fix
- HVAC System: these systems usually must be replaced every 10-15 years
- Structure: if there is any kind of structural damage at all, you shouldn’t buy the home
- Grading/Drainage: improper grading and drainage can cause foundation damage
9) What if the home inspection report reveals problems?
If you find serious issues, you can back out of the sale due to a home inspection contingency clause or you can ask the seller to fix the issues before moving forward with the purchase of the home.
The seller is not required to make any repairs, except those which address structural defects, serious safety issues, or building code violations. Examples include:
- Issues that violate federal or state code
- Structural or mechanical problems
- Defects that cause safety issues
- High radon levels
Cosmetic defects do not have to be repaired before the seller can sell their house, as they are not a hazard. You can ask them to make these repairs but they can refuse.
Typically the seller will offer you a repair credit and knock the price of the home down, based on the expected cost of the repairs. This is usually the best option when negotiating because some home repairs, like fixing a roof, can take weeks and become very inconvenient for both the buyer and the seller.
10) How long does an inspection usually take?
While there are no set standards when it comes to the length of time it takes to inspect a home, the process usually takes about two to three hours. For larger homes or homes with additional features, this process will take longer, while for small homes and condos an inspection may only take an hour or two.
Here are some additional factors that impact the amount of time it takes to conduct a home inspection:
- Size of the home
- Age of the property
- Total systems to be inspected (HVAC, electrical, water heaters, pools, multiple kitchens, etc.)
- Accessibility to areas that need to be inspected
- Weather conditions
- State requirements
- Time spent answering clients’ questions during the inspection
- One or more inspectors on site
- Additional services (radon test, mold test, water test, etc)
A home inspection isn’t something you want to rush through. This is an important step in the home buying process and affirms the value of your investment.
11) What’s included in the home inspection report?
A home inspection report is a valuable tool that can give you an array of information on your new home, expose potential problems, and address hazards that aren’t easily seen by an untrained eye. So, what’s included?
The home inspector will visually inspect the roof for damage, including shingles, gutters, downspouts, skylights, chimneys, ridge caps and evaluate for any potential roof penetrations. You’ll also get an overall grade on the general condition of the roof.
To ensure your home is breathing well and is maintaining a good level of efficiency, the home inspector will evaluate the condition and operation of the insulation and ventilation in crawl spaces, attics, and foundation areas as well as any exhaust systems.
A full walk around the exterior of the property and an up-close inspection of the following:
- Exterior doors and locks
- Flashing and trim
- Drainage systems
- Basement and foundation
The home inspector will go over the HVAC systems with a fine-toothed comb, checking for leaks, proper operation, thermostat locations, and evidence of proper maintenance.
Busted pipes and leaky valves can create thousands of dollars in repairs. Your home inspector will ensure the proper state of the home’s plumbing, which includes checking for leaks, venting systems, hot water heater operation, etc.
Lastly, home inspectors will spend a large portion of their time inspecting necessary but potentially dangerous parts of your home.
12) How do I know if a home inspector is qualified?
Here are some things to consider while searching for a qualified home inspector:
Most home inspectors are licensed by the state in which they inspect. If an inspector is state-regulated, see if there are any reports of complaints against the inspector.
You should also check to see what other credentials the inspector has, such as:
- The International Association Of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI)
- The American Association Of Home Inspectors (ASHI)
- The National Academy of Building Inspection Engineers (NABIE)
- The All American Association of Home Inspectors (AAAHI)
- The North American Association of Home Inspectors (NAAHI)
In some states, there are no requirements for home inspector licensing or certification. If you’re looking for a home inspector in one of those states, it’s a good idea to check their reviews. Yelp and Google are great resources, as opposed to the inspector’s website where they can remove negative reviews.
Find Out What They Inspect
Home inspections should be thorough, so you’ll need to find an inspector who will leave no stone unturned. If an inspector is able to inspect everything from the plumbing system and foundation, to the attic and electrical system, they will be your best bet. You should also ask for a sample report so you know what you’ll be getting.
13) Does the inspector need to be specialized in residential structures?
General home inspectors specialize in residential structures, whereas some obtain additional training and certifications to inspect commercial properties as well. While inspectors tend to specialize in one or the other, some do both.
You don’t necessarily need to hire a property inspector that specializes in residential inspections. Just because an inspector specializes in one particular area doesn’t mean they are better than their competition who might offer a variety of other services.
Do a quick online search to find a list of home inspectors in your area and then dig deeper to find one you trust based on their reviews and credentials.
Call a few inspectors to get more information before making your decision. Schedule a phone interview to ask any questions you may have, such as:
- How much will my inspection cost?
- When can you examine my home?
- How long have you been working in the industry?
- Do you have insurance coverage?
- What happens if you miss something?
- How long after the inspection will I get the inspection report?
Ask for a copy of their standard home inspection checklist or a sample inspection report. This will give you a better idea of what parts of the home will be inspected if you hire that inspector— and what’s not included. For example, some home inspections won’t include things like pools, chimney, irrigation systems, sewer scope, asbestos, lead, radon, mold, or termite inspections so you may need to hire other professionals or pay additional fees to have these systems checked.
14) What is the difference between a home inspector and an appraiser?
When you’re getting ready to buy or sell a home, having a home inspection and appraisal is part of the process. Because it’s such a huge investment, your home needs to be evaluated. Some people think that appraisals and inspections are the same thing but they are, in fact, very different.
An appraisal is a concept of pricing a home based on specific factors, such as:
- Location of the home
- Proximity to desirable schools and other public facilities
- Size of the lot
- Size and condition of the home itself
- Recent sales prices of comparable properties
The appraiser’s primary goal is to protect the lender against owning overpriced property. That’s why an appraisal is required before you can get a mortgage on your home. Appraisers do not conduct in-depth inspections of the home but they may take note of visible signs of neglect. This includes cracked walls, chipped paint, broken windows, damaged flooring, etc.
An inspection is a much more thorough overview of your home. Whereas an appraisal is required in order to get a mortgage, an inspection is not mandatory but it’s still a good idea to get one. A home inspector examines every aspect of the home, looking for issues that could negatively affect the buyer’s investment. While the appraiser is obligated to protect the lender, the home inspector is most often there to protect the buyer from making a poor purchase.
15) What is the process of a home inspector?
Home inspections are an important part of buying a home. Without a comprehensive home inspection, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in repairs or buying a house that is unsafe due to water damage or foundation issues.
During the inspection, buyers are encouraged to tag along with the inspector and ask questions about the home. Upon completion, the inspector usually gives the client a verbal overview of their findings. Most home inspectors provide a comprehensive inspection report in a web-based or PDF format within a day or two of the inspection. Home inspectors are usually happy to answer any questions you have about the report.
16) Do I need a home inspection for a new construction?
Your newly built home is likely to have all of the latest energy-saving features and comforts that you could ever want. But it’s always a good idea to get a home inspection, even on a newly constructed home.
There may be undisclosed issues or shoddy workmanship. Just because a home is brand-new doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s been built with the highest workmanship standards in mind. The plumbing could have serious issues, the roof may be installed incorrectly, there may be issues with the chimney, and so forth.
Just like a regular home inspection, you won’t know about these problems unless the home is inspected. Even a single careless contractor or a tiny mistake made when building the home can cause serious damage. It’s possible the home may only be up to minimum standards.
Building inspectors only have to sign off on the construction of a new home and make sure that it’s up to code. These inspectors don’t work for you, they work for the county. They are only there to determine if the house doesn’t violate any building codes. So if the house just barely meets standards, they’ll likely sign off on it.
For a truly deep look at your home’s systems, you need to hire a home inspector. If you don’t, you’re taking an unnecessary risk.
17) Can a home be inspected if it’s covered in snow?
Snow can pose a challenge for home inspectors, as a large amount of snow limits what can be inspected properly. Those areas include the AC unit, roof, and checking for proper drainage.
All other areas of the home can still be properly inspected during the winter, however, and it may even bring more issues to light that may have been missed were it to be inspected in the warmer months. Extreme weather conditions cause damage and stress to a home that is only visible to a trained professional. If that damage goes unnoticed it can quickly snowball into an emergency situation when the season changes.
Homes with pipes that have frozen and cracked underneath the house cause slow leaks and water intrusion. During the winter months, those failures aren’t always recognized due to freezing temperatures. Pipes and sprinkler systems that may not have been properly winterized could be an expensive surprise in the spring.
While you can’t have some systems accurately tested in the winter, you can account for it in your home purchase contract. As a buyer, you can request a seller “reserve for repairs of uninspected areas” that can be negotiated and agreed upon.
18) Do home inspectors inspect pools, fences, or other outside structures?
Typically, basic home inspections don’t include comprehensive overviews of areas like pools, fences, and outside structures. When buying a house with a pool or other unique feature, it’s vital that each part of the purchase receive the same attention. That means you need to call a professional who knows these features and their potential pitfalls. Your home inspector may be able to provide inspection services for these areas at an additional fee or refer you to someone who can.
According to ASHI‘s Standards of Practice, section 4.2, E, “the inspector is not required to inspect out-buildings other than garages and carports.” Some home inspectors offer outbuilding inspections as an add-on service and some include it in the home inspection even though it’s not required. That’s entirely up to the inspector and local regulations. If local regulations require an inspection of every building on the property, then the inspector needs to follow those rules and include in the home inspection.
19) Do home inspectors tell me if I should buy the house?
While a home inspector cannot necessarily tell you whether or not to buy a house, they will give you an unbiased opinion of the current condition of the property and let you make your own decision. A home inspector will be honest and tell you if an expensive repair is needed but because everyone’s situation is different, that may not necessarily be a deal breaker for you. Some buyers might be looking for a good deal on a fixer-upper.
Some common home inspection deal breakers are:
- Foundation issues: Issues with the home’s foundation are one of the costliest repairs, running tens of thousands of dollars – maybe even more for large homes with major problems
- Outdated wiring: Old wiring can pose serious safety issues and fire hazards
- Termite infestation: Although you can get rid of termites and then protect against them returning, you need to consider the structural damage they’ve already done to the home
- Mold: Most molds aren’t toxic and can be easily removed with some special spray, however, other molds are very serious, potentially deadly health hazards
20) I’m selling my home, should I get a home inspection before putting it on the market?
A seller’s home inspection is less common than a buyer’s home inspection but home sellers are realizing more and more that there are benefits to having their homes inspected before they even list their homes to sell.
The biggest benefit of a seller’s home inspection is to know all the potential issues before they are brought up in the buyer’s inspection report. This allows the seller to make sure any repairs get done ahead of time and most likely at a better price than the buyer would ask for as a concession during negotiations.
Home sellers can also be more realistic in their asking price, depending on any problems you want to leave “as-is.” Sellers can also include the inspection report with the disclosure statement, reducing their liability for any new findings.
Getting a home inspection prior to selling a house can sometimes even find safety hazards before agents and visitors tour the home, as these hazards could turn into a very expensive liability. The last thing a seller wants is for someone to fall down a flight of steps and get injured due to the lack of a safety railing that they didn’t even know they needed.
This article originally appeared on Redfin
Information courtesy of Wendy Griffis, Realtor at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Lifestyles Realty of Jacksonville, Florida.
When you purchase a home in the Sunshine State, it helps to do your homework. First, you shouldn’t buy any property without exploring its potential problems. Obtaining a certified home inspection from a professional who is licensed to practice in Florida will help prospective buyers to better understand any work that a home might require in the near future.
Understanding these anticipated costs may, in rare cases, change their purchasing decision. Such projected expenses may be a negotiating point that buyers can use as leverage. Buyers may wish to negotiate a lower selling price or get the sellers to pay for some closing costs.
Ultimately, knowing a property’s condition protects buyers by making sure you understand the investment you’re about to make.
1. What kind of inspection do you need in Florida?
Many prospective buyers seek an inspector who performs a “Four Point Inspection,” which includes a review of the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, the electrical panels and wiring, the plumbing fixtures and connections, and the roof. Expect a report that only covers these four areas, while not addressing other aspects of the property. This is not recommended in place of a full home inspection. These inspections generally are for insurance purposes when the home is 25 years or older.
2. Do you need more than a 4-point inspection?
If you will make a large investment in a home and plan to occupy it within the foreseeable future, you need something more. However, there could be many potential issues in a home to be discovered inside and outside of the structure. This inspection type is recommended for insurance only.
3. Do you need information on Wind Mitigation in the inspector’s report?
Some property inspectors specialize in Wind Mitigation Reports. They help consumers understand how a structure’s roof might perform (in its present state) during hurricane-force winds. Some buyers obtain two home inspections, one from a 4-point inspector and one from a wind mitigation expert. This the only inspection that can reduce your home owners insurance. Generally a good idea when a newer roof has been installed.
4. How long will the inspection process take?
A typical inspection lasts 2 to 3 hours. While you’re encouraged to be at the inspection and ask questions, you also want to give the inspector an opportunity to focus on the home and their findings!
5. When will you get the report?
Some home inspectors use modern reporting technology and deliver the report within 24 hours and in some cases shortly after the inspection. A good inspector will also walk through a summary of the findings with you after the inspection.
Digital reports with lots of photos are a plus!
6. What is Errors and Omissions Insurance?
Inspectors use this kind of professional liability coverage to insure professional mistakes they might make on the job. They don’t want to be sued for omitting important facts from their report. Buyers and sellers could bring false claims against them or assert that they should have discovered a property’s specific issue. Most home inspectors do not carry this due to the cost. Inside & Out Property Inspectors carries 1 million in coverage.
7. Should you get more than one inspection?
If you only need a certificate to give your property insurance company, then a 4-point inspection might suffice. If you want to live in the home without making too many repairs after taking residence, you will want to understand the structure’s integrity. You will want to locate common problems like termites, mold, and Chinese drywall.
8. Should you let the same inspector fix the home’s problems?
In Florida, it is illegal (and a huge conflict of interest) for home inspectors to call out issues on your home and also remedy them. The only exception is WDO (Wood Destroying Organisms) Inspections & Remediation. Some inspectors also have Pest Control businesses. Beware of home inspectors that say they can do repairs.
9. Can you take the property inspector’s word for it?
The inspector has no emotional investment in the inspection process. He or she will give you the straight facts about the home’s condition. You decide how much action (or reaction) to take in response to the expert’s report. Your inspector should have the communication skills to talk you through various findings.
10. What if there are lots of recommendations or defects?
It’s a home inspectors job to point out maintenance items, regular defects and safety hazards. Every home has common issues, so just because a home has a lot of items on the home inspection report doesn’t mean it’s a money pit!
Work with your agent to determine what are priority items that would impact your quality of life. The reality is most homes are safe and ok to live in. Each one will have varying levels of TLC that need to be put in it. Remember, buying a house includes routine maintenance that comes with the responsibility of being a home owner!
A homeowners’ insurance policy is one of the best insurance policies available in the insurance market in Florida. With this special type of insurance, homeowners can protect their homes and belongings against damage or loss caused by vandalism, theft, fire and other similar causes.
There are many homeowners in Florida who are wondering how much does this insurance cost. There is no straight answer to this question because the cost depends on different factors like the property’s location, the overall value of the home, the unique features present in some homes and even on some seemingly unrelated things like the type of electrical wiring in the home. This is quite logical because there are different types of wiring and some of them are better than the others.
Cloth Wiring Explained
One of the types of electrical wiring systems that were quite popular in the past (before the middle of the 20th century) is cloth wiring. Many homes in Florida have this kind of wiring even today. The reason why people used cloth is simple – cloth is a great insulator. In addition, it was easier to get cloth compared to plastics.
Even though cloth has proven to be an excellent insulator, the truth is that it tends to become brittle after some period of time. As a result of that, it simply falls off the electrical wires. When something like this happens, the risk of fire and injuries is increased.
The Impact of Cloth Wiring on Homeowners’ Insurance Policy Cost
Insurance companies are well-aware of the fact that cloth wiring is prone to deterioration. They know that the risk of fire and shock is relatively high with this type of wiring. Obviously, no one can blame the insurance companies because their assumptions are correct. So, if your home has cloth electrical wiring, you can expect higher insurance rates. (2) In some cases, insurance companies are not ready to work with homeowners that have homes with this type of wiring.
How to Solve This Issue in the Best Way?
First of all, you will have to determine the condition of the electrical wiring in your home. It is a great idea to use a professional electrical home inspection. They will examine the electrical system in your home and highlight the possible problems. Electrical home inspections are highly recommended when buying a home, after a renovation, after adding powerful appliances and when the home is older than four decades.
After that, you should call a certified electrician. These professionals will check and fix the wires and take care of the insulation. Once they are done, they will provide a certification. You can use this certification to convince the insurance company that you have chosen that the electrical wiring in your home is safe. In addition, there are many homeowners who are considering upgrades. This is a more expensive option, but the initial expense will pay off in the long run. There is no doubt that insurance companies are ready to lower the insurance cost if the home is using standard, modern wiring.
How Much Will It Cost to Replace Cloth Wiring?
As with most things, the cost of replacing your cloth wiring depends on whether you decide to do it yourself or hire a professional. In this case, DIY isn’t recommended unless you have a background in electrical wiring – but if you do, it can save you a lot of money. (3) If you decide to do it yourself, here’s what you’ll need:
- soft, pliable non metallic/Romex wiring ($30-$45 for 100 ft)
- junction boxes ($75-$100)
- grounded receptacles ($5-$10)
- breakers ($10)
- ground fault circuit interrupters ($20)
Before you begin, be very certain you’ve turned off the power. Check it twice!
If you decide to hire a professional you can expect to pay roughly $60/hr for labor plus call-out fees if they split the work into several jobs. It’s a good idea to shop around before hiring any contractor, and this isn’t a cheap job. You can expect to pay several thousand dollars to replace all the old cloth wiring in your home with newer safer alternatives.
Additional Tips for Florida Home Buyers
Buying a new home can be exciting however stressful, especially for first-time home buyers in Florida. One of the most significant aspects of your home purchase will be the inspection. Major concerns in Florida home inspections are much the same as they are in other states, but the added humidity, and the hot, moist climate do affect the prevalence of some major issues. Most home buyers are likely to run for the hills as soon as they find out that a home that they’re interested in buying has major issues, like signs of mold or a damaged roof.
Hopefully, these articles will help you make the right decision regarding your cloth wiring.
InterNACHI Certified Electrical Inspector
How To Prevent Mold From Destroying Your Home
Believe it or not, mold is actually an important part of Nature and the source of food and medicines. Mold plays an important role in breaking down organic matter like dead leaves and limbs. It is also used to make penicillin and in the making of some cheeses, such as brie. But mold in your home is not only ugly, but can be dangerous to your health.
Mold spores need damp or humid conditions to grow and spread. While mold can be cleaned, it is much better to try to prevent it.
Here are 10 ways to prevent mold from growing in your home:
- Make sure you have proper ventilation in your home, especially basements, attics, bathrooms, laundry rooms, kitchens and anywhere else where moisture is present.
- Turn on the ventilation fan when cooking or taking a shower to remove moisture from the room.
- Use mold-resistant sheetrock and paints when building or renovating.
- Use a dehumidifier.
- Clean up any spills, leaks or puddles in the home immediately.
- Routinely check windows and ceilings for signs of condensation that may indicate moisture is getting in.
- Poor air circulation can cause moisture to be trapped in closets or other closed areas. Keep doors open and use ceiling fans to keep air circulating.
- Keep gutters cleaned out and in good repair.
- Make sure water drains away from your home and does not puddle up around the foundation.
- Cover cold water pipes with insulation to prevent condensation.