What Are the Different Types of Home Inspections?
One of the most important steps when buying a home is the inspection that helps you determine whether the house is worth the price. These inspections are designed to identify any structural issues with the house, allowing buyers to avoid issues and avoid expensive issues down the line. But as you look for homes for sale in Minneola, you may be surprised to discover that there are actually many types of home inspections that you can carry out. In addition to a general inspection, a savvy buyer may opt for one or multiple of these inspections to address specific concerns.
General Home Inspections
A home inspection is a traditional part of most due diligence in real estate, and each inspector will usually look for a common list of issues. They are looking for details most buyers wouldn’t think to look at, like wiring and insulation, to ensure a home is safe for a buyer and doesn’t need any major structural repair. Inspectors are required to list certain issues while not mentioning any cosmetic concerns.
However, inspectors are generalists and do not look into the details of every system they inspect. In some cases, they will be doing a visual assessment to ensure there are no signs of damage or nothing requiring further research.
Investing in Inspections
It is unlikely you need to invest in all 17 types of inspections listed here, but at least one is usually going to apply to your situation. Better understanding the home’s condition may be a way for you to negotiate pricing and other contract terms, or it may be a reason you pull out of a deal that would have ended badly. Ultimately, the potential cost of issues that go unnoticed during the due diligence period could far exceed the cost of specialized inspections upfront.
Who Needs Specialized Inspections
Based on the home’s age, location, or condition, there are scenarios where certain inspections become important for your home search. A general inspection will give you an idea of the house’s overall state at a point in time, but they will not usually test for potential future dangers like mold or asbestos. New construction homes do not need a general inspection, but any other home will. However, if you are concerned about any aspect of the home or want more assurance, there are a variety of inspections you can use. Keep in mind that these will usually be at the buyer’s cost, but compared to potential costs for issues in the future, it can be worth it.
Types of Specialized Inspections
Below are several specialized inspections you can choose to have done on a home.
A standard home inspection will assess the roof for obvious issues like dark streaks, stains on the ceiling, and loose shingles. However, this is done visually and without climbing onto the roof. A roof inspector will perform a more thorough inspection, looking for issues that aren’t visible to others, like leaks and the condition of the gutters.
Chimneys are often a good way to identify potential problems in the firebox or flue, like buildup and blockages, which a seller would normally fix before selling a home. The inspector will look for any visible issues like cracks or damage in the mortar and clear the chimney of buildup, which may combust if not treated. The goal of these inspections is to prevent future chimney fires and smoke, as well as to stop odors from seeping inside the home when the fireplace is used.
While your roof may be secure from the outside, structural damage in the attic can be easily missed during a general inspection. These structural issues can lead to problems with insulation, making it difficult to properly cool or heat your home without a huge energy bill. A trained attic inspector will also look for signs of mold and moisture, which may compromise the integrity of the foundation.
Wiring in a home, whether it is new or older, should always be up to date and comply with all city codes. Wires that are frayed or damaged from wear and tear could be a fire hazard that needs to be addressed before you purchase the home. In addition to safety concerns, this will help ensure your home is energy efficient.
Especially in Florida, a functioning air conditioning system is critical almost year-round. Any sound or smell that you notice could be a sign of an underlying issue, from inefficient HVAC systems to needing an entire replacement. Skilled inspectors will not only identify issues but give you recommendations on energy-efficient upgrades.
Mold is known for being incredibly dangerous but also difficult to see, especially when it is within the walls or caused by water damage. A specialist who is trained in mold treatment can conduct a visual assessment in addition to sampling the air and surfaces in the home to identify any mold present. Some inspections will even use thermal imaging to locate damp or cold spots behind walls where mold can be hidden.
Termites and other pests that live off of wood can cause serious issues, many of which are not covered by home insurance. General inspections can identify areas that may attract these pests, but a trained specialist will be able to identify the continued presence of pests. In addition to termites, they may identify carpenter ants, rodents, or spiders, as well as determine how long the pest has been there and how large an infestation is.
Homes built prior to 1978 are most likely to contain lead-based paint, which is known to be dangerous even in small levels, especially if you will have children in the home. It is highly recommended that a specialist test the home, looking for peeling or chipped paint and collecting samples to test.
Some of the most common issues new homeowners encounter have to do with plumbing, from a sewer backup to a failing water heater. A full plumbing inspection will allow a professional to conduct a visual inspection or use a diagnostic camera in order to verify that all fixtures and appliances are installed properly and in working order. They will also check for signs of water damage under and behind the appliances.
If the home you are looking at has a septic tank, a separate inspection can be important. Septic inspections can be performed separately from plumbing inspections, in which a professional locates and assesses septic tanks, sludge layers, and absorption areas to be sure everything is working properly. They will also ensure that the tank is properly sized relative to your home.
While basements aren’t common in Florida, areas where they are can be a good reason for a radon test. Most sellers will have a previous radon test they can share as a point of comparison if you do have this done.
In homes built before 1975, there is a possibility that asbestos was present in the original construction materials. A certified asbestos removal company can conduct an investigation. These can take a long time but are very thorough to ensure no asbestos is present. If any is found, have this addressed before continuing on with a sale.
Pools are a great selling point in a Florida home, but they should always be thoroughly inspected. Both the structure and equipment, like pumps and filters, could cause problems. An inspection should ensure the pool is leak-free and solid, as well as look at safety covers and hardware.
The condition of a property’s soil can help determine how sold the foundation is, especially during floods and rainstorms. A professional can perform a soil analysis to help prepare for any issues, like the probability of erosion, gillies, or mudflows.
Large cracks in exterior or interior walls, uneven floors, gaps between walls and the ceiling, and doors that won’t close are all signs that there is a foundational issue with the home that has not been noticed. Structural engineers can identify these problems so that you can ensure they are addressed before proceeding with a sale. Foundation issues will need intervention to prevent worsening over time.
In areas with high humidity, like Florida, crawl spaces can be particularly troublesome. Moisture condensates on surfaces in these spaces, leading to mold, wood rot, and termite infestations. A professional can look for signs of rotting in the crawl space to ensure you are not facing a costly issue down the line.
During the 1960s and 1970s, before natural gas became widely used, underground oil tanks were used to heat homes. Some of these, especially those over 25 years old, were not decommissioned properly and can lead to rust and leakage, leading to large amounts of damage. You can have your soil screened for environmental toxins as a precursor to determining these issues.Posted by Florida Realty Marketplace on