When house-hunting in Florida, one thing you need to keep in mind in regard to the home-buying process is the need for a home inspection. While it’s true that it’s not a legal requirement to get a new home inspected, it’s nonetheless a virtual necessity.
You can order a comprehensive home inspection, a wind mitigation inspection, and various other types of home inspection if the need arises. But the most basic and most common inspection-type is the 4 point inspection.
There are many good reasons why a prospective homeowner in Florida should definitely have a 4 point inspection done before finalizing the purchase. Here are the top four such reasons.
1. To Ensure You Buy A Fully Functional Piece of Real Estate
A 4 point inspection gives you a detailed rundown of a building’s four major systems:
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC).
- Electrical system, including wiring, panels, and meters.
- Roofing system.
Inspectors are going to note any other major, obvious issues should they pop up too. But the focus is on the four major systems that constitute a “fully functional house.”
Consider the immense importance of these four systems to any home:
- The roof is the only thing standing between the weather and the entirety of the building below.
- Poor electrical systems are an unacceptable fire hazard.
- Without good HVAC, your home will be uncomfortable to live in, you could be breathing in dirty air, and mold and mildew may get out of hand.
- And there are few things more dreaded by homeowners than plumbing problems!
2. Your Homeowners’ Insurance Company Will Require It
Even if the state government does not require you to get a 4 point inspection, your home insurance provider will require it. That’s the second big reason to make sure you don’t skip this step in the home-buying process.
You may save a little bit on premiums by having this done, but the main reason is just to get approved. You really can’t afford to go without homeowners’ insurance, not only because of the risk you would carry otherwise but also because the mortgage lender is going to require you buy homeowners’ insurance.
Someone may ask, “What if the house doesn’t pass the 4 point inspection?” The answer is that this is not a pass/fail type of test technically. However, if there are major problems with the home’s roofing, HVAC, electrical, or plumbing systems, they may need to be corrected in order to get approved for homeowner’s insurance.
You might be able to find an insurer who will insure you regardless, but that would likely mean excluding the problem (like excluding water damage if you have inferior plumbing, for example) and/or paying higher premiums. That’s not something you want to do – it would amount to starting life in your new home “on the wrong foot.” This underscores why one should never skip having a 4 point inspection done.
3. A 4 Point Inspection Is Crucial With Older Homes
While any home purchase should be accompanied by a 4 point inspection and/or other types of home inspections, it is especially crucial with older pieces of real estate.
Home insurers will be especially insistent that you get a 4 point inspection done on any property 30 years old or older in the state of Florida. You don’t necessarily need a full home inspection, but if you do opt for one, the 4 point inspection can be included as “part of” the full inspection. In some cases, a full inspection would not be in your best interests, while a 4 point inspection would be.
At the same time, older homes are more likely to reveal issues during a home inspection. Some problems that might come up during a 4 point inspection and need to be repaired or upgraded in order to get a good insurance quote include the following:
- Damaged or very old roofing (say, asphalt shingle roofing over 20 years old and past its manufacturer’s warranty.)
- A hot water heater that is old and inefficient. Anything 18 years old or more is a problem.
- Zero central air/heat in the building.
- Lack of proper insulation.
- Polybutylene plumbing pipes. This material is very high-risk as to burst pipes.
- Electrical wiring that is high risk as to house fires, such as aluminum or knob-and-tube.
- Electric panels made by brands that have demonstrated a higher-than-normal fire-hazard risk over the years.
The good news is that a major problem with any of the home’s four major systems can be discovered before the purchase is finalized. The seller may correct the problem or reduce the asking price so that you have extra money to correct it yourself post-purchase.
4. 4 Point Inspections Are Fast, Easy, & Inexpensive!
While a 4 point inspection is very important, it is not at all difficult. They can be done on a single day in a matter of hours by a trained, licensed, and insured professional.
You should plan to be there during the inspection – and you have that right if you have paid earnest money on the house and have a contract, but you don’t have to attend. You can send someone else in your place or just rely on the inspector if you wish.
Finally, note that most 4 point home inspections cost somewhere in the range of $50 to $100. That’s really a minor expense when you consider their importance and benefits. Plus, a 4 point inspection is good for three years in case you decide to switch home insurance providers within that time frame.
To learn more about 4 point inspections or to get a free, no-obligation quote on a 4 point or another type of home inspection in Florida, contact Super Inspection Pros today!