Having a home inspection done on a property you are interested in buying or already own is no small matter. The findings of such an inspection can have a serious impact on whether or not you finalize a real estate purchase, how much you pay for your new home, or on what kind of homeowner’s insurance rates you get.
It behooves all homeowners and prospective homeowners, therefore, to select their home inspection company and inspector with the utmost care.
Here are some of the major criteria to use in deciding on whom you should trust for a reliable, timely, and professionally done home inspection in the state of Florida.
1. Fully Trained, Certified, & Insured
To legally administer a professional home inspection in Florida, you first have to meet a number of state-imposed requirements.
First of all, home inspector candidates must go through 120 hours of instruction on how to conduct home inspections and then pass a state-approved home inspection examination. Normally, the FHIE (Florida Home Inspection Exam) is the test that is used.
To obtain a home inspector’s license in Florida, you must also pay the application fee (currently $125), pass a background check, and buy a commercial general liability insurance policy with at least $300,000 worth of coverage.
2. A High Level of Experience
After training and certification, experience level is the next indicator to check out. Of course, everyone has to start sometime, but you also want someone who is fully capable to do the job.
Thus, you want to use a home inspection company that has been in the business for some time and has a sterling reputation.
The individual inspector is much more likely to have plenty of experience when the company as a whole does – and when someone new breaks in, they are going to be there with someone more experienced to back him or her up.
3. Customer Service & Communication Skills
A third thing to look for in a home inspector is a high level of customer service. That means, first of all, honesty and integrity in his/her work.
It also means good communication skills. The inspector needs to be able to explain the home inspection checklist to you, for example, in language you can readily grasp.
Finally, attention to detail and an overall strong work ethic must be a part of the traits that describe your inspector.
4. Knowledgeable of All Home Systems
A good home inspector should have a comprehensive knowledge of all major home systems and components.
There is a lot more to know about what makes up a house and what makes it properly function than most people realize. It requires as extensive knowledge as, say, a mechanic must have of automobile parts and systems.
Consider that for a 4 point inspection, the HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and roofing systems must be thoroughly inspected. And there are many other elements besides these to know. This is no job for the uninitiated!
5. Familiarity With Possible Problems
No home is perfect. But a home inspection helps to ensure that there is no significant problem that you are unaware of before buying a new home.
Good home inspectors, then, need to not only know how a home’s systems are supposed to work but also be familiar with the potential problems that can occur. This takes a bit of experience. You have to know what to look for and how to evaluate each component.
Given that a major defect could cost the home buyer a lot of money down the road if it goes undetected during the home inspection, you should never skip having a home inspection done pre-purchase. And you want an inspector with a keen, critical eye for possible flaws.
6. Inspectors Should Know Both Older & Newer Homes
Another key is to get an inspector on the job who is familiar with both old homes and new homes. The way you inspect and “score” each is somewhat different at points.
For example, while moisture buildup is never good, it is much more of a problem in newer homes than in older ones since wood in old homes is dryer. Also, it’s not uncommon for older homes to be under different coding requirements than newer ones.
For some homes, a full home inspection may be in order, while a 4 point inspection might suffice for others. And there are other types of inspections, like wind mitigation inspections, to consider. Whatever the age of the building, your home inspector should be able to make appropriate recommendations and conduct the home inspection in a proper manner.
7. Look for the Latest Home Inspection Tools
Finally, you want an inspection company that equips its inspectors with the latest technology. Better tools lead to better inspections!
Infrared cameras, radon gas detectors, moisture meters, and more are a part of the modern home inspector’s repertoire. These kinds of tools may reveal hidden problems that would otherwise go undetected.
To learn more about home inspections in Florida, or to get a free quote on having a home inspected, contact Super Inspection Pros in Central Florida today for a free consultation!