Posted in Real Estate Sales Tips

Do I Need a Home Inspection?

image 1
 

Doing Your Due Diligence?

 

In Florida, home sellers (and their listing agents) are required to disclose any defects that are not readily observable and materially affect the property value. (Ch. 475.2701, F.S.) With that being said, there may be times when certain defects are unknown to the current homeowner.

The home inspection is a major step in the due diligence process of purchasing real property and serves to protect the buyer from expending money on a property that may be worth less than anticipated if material defects later become known. Moreover, oftentimes the lender will require a home inspection and/or a Wood Destroying Organism (WDO) report prior to approving a loan for closing.

Q:  What does a home inspector examine?

A:  The home inspector will examine the exterior and interior construction of the property, the mechanical and electrical systems, as well as the plumbing system. Below is a list of the common elements observed during a home inspection.

Exterior Inspection:

  • Topography and foundation or crawlspace
  • Driveway, sidewalk, porch & patio areas
  • Walls, siding, trim, windows & doors
  • Roof
  • Garage(s) and/or carport(s)

Interior Inspection:

  • HVAC and/or wall unit(s)
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing, well/septic system
  • Energy efficiency

Environmental Inspection:

  • Radon gas
  • Lead-based paint
  • Asbestos
  • Radiation
  • Other external concerns

Are home inspectors licensed?

A:  In the state of Florida, home inspectors are required to be licensed. Check with your state’s division of licensing or ask your local real estate agent.

Action Steps:

  1. Use a Seller’s Property Disclosure Statement when you are buying/selling a residential property.
  2. During your walk-through, inquire of any observable defects/recent repairs.
  3. Contact your local government’s permitting department to inquire of any open/closed permits on the subject property. The most important aspect of this step is to ensure that any work done in the past was permitted, up to code, and that all permits are closed. Finding out there is an open permit prior to closing can cause delays and frustrate the closing process, not to mention the potentially high repair costs that may surface.

In closing, it is highly recommended you hire a licensed, insured, and experienced home inspector, ask the seller for a property disclosure statement, and check the property history with your local permitting department. While these tasks may be a bit tedious, your real estate professional should be there to guide you through the process and ensure that you have a smooth closing!

 

Author:

John W. Tanner became a published author in 1994 with a poem titled “Above the Sea.” In 2012, he wrote and self-published a modern fiction novella entitled “Faithfully” and has since published four other fiction and nonfiction works on Amazon's CreateSpace and Kindle Direct Publishing, including his recent publication titled “Entrefluential Networking in Real Estate” (available at https://www.amazon.com/dp/B086VFV4SN), a self-help textbook on advanced real estate marketing and brand development strategies. John holds a Juris Doctor degree from Florida Coastal School of Law, a Master of Science from Florida International University, a Bachelor of Science, with concentrations in literature and computer science, from Excelsior College, an Associate in Arts from Miami Dade College and has extensive experience in the fields of real estate appraisal, mortgage finance, and sales. He is the Broker-Owner of Coleman Tanner Realty in Florida, as well as the Executive Director and Chief Legal Officer of REX Cinema Productions.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.