The 4-Point inspection is the go-to service for real estate transactions, but there are other times when it’s wise to schedule a home inspection.
When It Makes Sense to Schedule a 4-Point Inspection
During these inspections, we closely examine four of the most critical systems in the home: roof, electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. All of these play essential roles in protecting the structural integrity and safety of your home. And from an insurance carrier’s point of view, these four systems are the most expensive to replace when they’re not properly maintained.
Therefore, it makes sense to schedule a 4-point inspection if your home hasn’t been looked over in a while or if you notice some telltale signs.
5 Signs It’s Time to Schedule a Home Inspection
1. You haven’t performed routine home maintenance in two or more years
Regular home maintenance is essential to protecting the structural integrity of the home and for home systems to function as designed. A quick review of your homeowner’s insurance policy (or a call to their customer service representatives) reinforces this fact since proof of routine maintenance is required before the insurance company pays out.
If you haven’t done any of the following in the past two or more years, we recommend scheduling an inspection so you know where things stand:
- Scheduled a roof inspection to ensure the roof is in acceptable condition.
- Replaced HVAC filters at least every three months.
- Scheduled annual HVAC maintenance with a licensed technician.
- Addressed any signs of moisture damage, leaks, or mold/mildew.
We completely understand if these items have been on your “to-do” list for longer than anticipated. However, don’t wait any longer. Failure to address issues with your roof or HVAC can have disastrous results.
2. You’re considering putting your home on the market
We mentioned above that 4-point inspections are the go-to inspection for prospective homebuyers. This is the inspection they schedule when they’re in contract but before the close of escrow.
It informs buyers (and their agents) of any issues that should be addressed before a sale, that may require a seller’s credit to facilitate the sale, or that may even lower the final sales price or send buyers elsewhere if the work is more than they planned for.
However, if you’re a homeowner who hasn’t had their home looked at or inspected for a while, and you’ve also put routine maintenance recommendations on the back burner, a 4-point inspection is a good idea. By scheduling the inspection before listing your home, you and your agent can discuss what work – if any – should be done beforehand. Or, if you do nothing, you’ll know what prospective buyers will find out – allowing you to price the home accordingly and have realistic expectations about a practical price point.
3. Your home was built 30 years ago or more
The age of your home is a major factor in what type of inspections to consider. If you live in a home that’s 30 years old or more, a full home inspection may be a better option because we inspect systems and areas of the house that may have serious issues but might not reveal themselves – or just aren’t included – in the 4 point inspection format.
Now, if you’ve been a homeowner who lives in a 30-year-old home, but you’ve replaced the plumbing and electrical work, have had the septic tank or sewer lines evaluated and repaired, and so on, this might not be necessary. However, if you’ve taken an “everything seems fine, so why bother” or “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” approach – it’s time to schedule an inspection.
The 4-point is a great place to start. From there, our experienced InterNACHI-certified inspectors let you know if they see evidence indicating other specific inspections should occur.
4. You’re shopping for homeowner’s insurance
It’s no mystery that Florida has one of the nation’s most challenging homeowner’s insurance markets. Our notably high winds, extreme storms, and escalation of hurricanes have put insurance carriers on edge, and they’re getting stricter about what it takes to qualify for their insurance.
The age of your home, its roof, homeowner’s maintenance obligations, and other factors determine whether or not your home can be insured at all and also impact how much you’ll pay in premiums.
If you’re shopping for homeowner’s insurance, the carrier may require a 4-point inspection before offering coverage. Even if a carrier will insure your home without an inspection (very rare), you may save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year by addressing any red flags in the final inspection report.
5. You notice common signs that something’s wrong
Finally, scheduling a home inspection should always follow any indicator that something is wrong with certain aspects of the home. These include things like:
- Current or historic roof leaks that haven’t been officially addressed by a licensed contractor.
- Musty or stale smells or elevated humidity levels, which indicate moisture damage or mold/mildew.
- Frequently tripping breakers, lights that flicker, electric outlets that only have two prongs (they’re ungrounded!), outlets or lighting fixtures don’t work correctly, or feel warm to the touch.
- Slow-draining sinks, toilets, tubs/showers, or unusually notably soft, damp, and lush areas of the yard (indicating septic or sewer line issues).
- HVAC systems that cycle on/off more than they should or atypical increases in utility bills (often a sign of issues with a roof, attic, insulation, air sealing, or the HVAC system itself).
We tell homeowners to go with their gut. If you suspect something isn’t quite right or that the home isn’t functioning like it used to, look into it. In some cases, this might mean contacting licensed professionals in a specific industry. If it feels like a comprehensive or mult-fold issue, a 4-point inspection is an affordable way to get the information required to take the next informed steps.
Super Inspection Pros Provides Critical Information About Your Home’s Status
If it’s been a while since you’ve looked into your home’s critical systems, or you’ve been lax in completing routine home system maintenance, give Super Inspection Pros a call at 386-279-0802. We’ll listen to what you’re experiencing and any evidence you’ve noticed and let you know whether we feel a 4-point inspection is the best option for you.