What are 5 very important things that are inspected in a home inspection

One of the first questions real estate clients ask is, “What do home inspectors look for?” And to put it simply, inspectors are looking for any issue with the home that a potential buyer should know about.

After you’ve found the perfect property that checks all the boxes and you get it under contract, scheduling a home inspection is the next step. Home inspections are the easiest way for the buyer and seller to learn about notable safety issues or repairs that are present. And since no home is perfect, inspection reports almost always include at least a few notes. 

Yet, knowing what a home inspection entails is crucial information that can help any buyer, but especially first-time home buyers. Think of the home inspection as your last opportunity, as a buyer, to learn about any significant problems with the home. This is your perfect chance to walk away or address the issues and negotiate a better price with the buyer.

The upside is that there are many ways to prepare for a home inspection, regardless if you’re a buyer or seller. So, in the following article, we’ll take a deep dive into how the home inspection process works, what they cost, and, more specifically – discuss 5 very important things that are inspected in a home inspection. 

What to Expect During a Home Inspection

Awaiting a home inspection can be stressful for the seller, worried if the sale will go through, and the buyer, who just wants to buy their dream home. As humans, we’re often scared of the unknown, so perhaps if you understand what to expect during a home inspection, it will ease the stress a little. 

With that being said, a home inspector’s job is to look at the exterior and interior parts of the home, including the foundation, HVAC system, plumbing, electrical, and roof. The entire inspection will take two to four hours, but this can vary depending on the size of the property. After the visual inspection is completed, the inspector will provide a report outlining all of the findings. Just be mindful that the report can take a few days to prepare. 

As we mentioned, very few properties are perfect, so don’t get too wrapped up by the number of defects. You’ll find many of them are insignificant and not worth fixing. But do pay attention to any serious problems that arise, as some are deal-breakers for most buyers. If serious problems are found, you should speak with your real estate agent or home inspector to learn more about steps moving forward.

Should the Buyer Attend the Home Inspection?

Absolutely! This is an excellent opportunity to explore your new home more carefully and ask any questions you may have. It’s highly recommended that you ask the home inspector if you can tag along and if they agree, do so. 

In fact, most buyers prefer to attend the home inspection because they learn more than only reading the report. Additionally, you can gain more insight into how minor or severe each problem is. 

How Long Will the Home Inspection Take?

As we briefly mentioned, a home inspection usually takes two to four hours. However, the length of time can vary based on these factors:

  • Number of defects
  • Home size
  • How much the owner prepared for the inspection
  • How thorough the inspector is

How Much Does a Home Inspection Cost?

According to HomeAdvisor, the average home inspection costs around $350 but can range anywhere from $250 up to $400, depending on how large the home is and where it’s located. 

Though, remember, as with most things, cheaper isn’t always better. So, make sure the one you choose is licensed, honest, and reliable. 

Are there follow-up costs?

Experienced buyers, or those alerted by inspectors, may decide to order further inspection reports looking for the presence of: 

  • Mold
  • Radon
  • Asbestos
  • Termites
  • Lead paint or pipes
  • Water damage
  • Other safety concerns

Yet, when it comes to safety concerns such as asbestos and lead, these are primarily concerns with older homes, as these items are banned in the construction of new structures. Some potential buyers even require inspections of the sewer lines and other plumbing components using a camera service.

Who Pays for the Home Inspection?

The buyer generally pays for the home inspection. However, with some offers, the buyer will insist that the seller pays. So, this item is up for negotiation. For this reason, some buyers will contract their own home inspection before placing the home on the market. This helps to reassure potential buyers and gives the seller plenty of time to make necessary repairs. 

It is important to note that not all buyers will accept a report that was paid for by the seller. In fact, most experts recommend that buyers find their own inspector, someone who’s not tied to the seller or the seller’s real estate agent. 

What Are 5 Very Important Things That Are Inspected in a Home Inspection?

Now, for the moment you’ve all been waiting – let’s look at the five most important things that are inspected in a home inspection: 

The Roof

The quality and performance of a roof can make or break a deal. After all, the roof protects the home from wind, rain, snow, and outdoor temperatures. A high-performing roof works well to keep the home insulated and provides adequate ventilation to ensure good indoor air quality. Yet, it’s also one of the most costly items to replace on a home, so it’s at the top of every potential buyer’s list of concerns. 

What does the inspector look for?

Most inspectors simply climb on the roof and conduct a visual inspection, but others may look at it from a ladder. You may even find that an inspector will use binoculars and do it from below during severe weather. 

During this step, they are looking at every component while ensuring it’s watertight and will last another three to four years after the inspection. 

The main things inspectors look for are leaks, moss growth, and missing or damaged tiles or shingles. However, their review also includes items such as gutters, skylights, flashing, vents, and proper attic ventilation. 

How much is the average roof repair?

In general, minor repairs can cost anywhere from $150 up to $1,500, while a total replacement can average between $6,000 and $12,000. 

The Foundation

The foundation is your house’s workhorse; it must support the structure, furnishings, and occupants. Unfortunately, foundation repairs can be extremely costly and are, therefore, a deal-breaker for most buyers. 

What does the inspector look for?

Home inspectors will walk around the home’s perimeter looking for cracks, sloping, and other settlement issues. If crawlspace is present, it will receive a good look for signs of mold, warping, and moisture that can lead to problems with wood supports. If there are previous foundation repairs, the inspector will also look at those to check the workmanship. 

How much is the average foundation repair?

The cost of foundation repair can vary widely. The nationwide average is $4,500, but it can be as much as $15,000 or more in some cases. 

The HVAC System

Unless you plan to replace it, you’ll want to know if the home’s HVAC system cools, heats, and ventilates the air properly. Just please note that home inspections do not cover every detail, so when you suspect a unit is older, you should hire an HVAC expert to do a more thorough examination. 

What does the inspector look for?

Among the first things, an inspector will do is check that both heating and cooling functions operate as they should. Most inspectors leave the system running during the inspection so they can also ensure the thermostat is working. 

How much is the average HVAC repair?

Again, the cost to repair a home’s HVAC system will vary based on the problem and how complicated the repair is. Typically, it costs anywhere from $150 up to $1,200 for a furnace repair or as much as $6,000 for a replacement. Air conditioners can set you back between $200 and $500 for repairs or $3,500 to $12,500 for a complete replacement.

The Electrical Systems

Did you know that electrical systems are the third most common cause of house fires? Therefore, overlooking issues with a home’s electrical system can be dangerous, so this is a primary concern of a home inspector. 

What does the inspector look for?

The inspector will thoroughly assess the home’s electrical panel to ensure it meets code requirements and all wires are correctly placed and grounded. The inspector will also look for proper amperage ratings and corroded wires. 

Receptacles and switches must work properly, and GFIs (ground-fault circuit interrupter outlets) should be installed in most rooms to prevent injuries and the risk of electrocution.

How much is the average electrical system repair?

Minor electrical repairs can cost between $150 and $500, while whole-house rewiring or panel replacement costs from $1,200 to $2,200 or more. 

Plumbing

Plumbing is the last of our five important things that are inspected in a home inspection. And let’s face it, few things are worse than a leak. When left untreated, water problems tend to cause a domino effect and can lead to severe problems inside a home. Not only can it affect the walls and floor, but it can also damage the subfloor and foundation. 

What does the inspector look for?

The home inspector examines everything that water effects, including bathtubs, showers, piping, sinks, toilets, faucets, and spigots. They check for cracked, leaking, or rusting pipes and any evidence of do-it-yourself repairs. Finally, home inspectors check the flooring, walls, and ceilings for evidence of moisture and areas of contamination or cross-connection issues. 

The Bottom Line

It may not seem like it at the moment, but the cost and headache associated with getting a home inspection are well worth it when everything is said and done. Regardless if you are the seller or the buyer, you should always be concerned with problem areas inside of a home. And with the help of a home inspection that’s completed by someone who’s licensed, experienced, and honest, you can save yourself a great deal of money and stress down the road. 

What’s Included in a 4-Point Home Inspection?

If you’re considering selling your home or you want to get a new insurance policy, you might have been told that you need a 4-point home inspection. This is an inexpensive but helpful way of finding out whether any of your property’s systems are faulty. A good Florida home inspection also helps you determine the condition of your roof, and it can show you what types of repairs you need.

After your inspector has concluded their tour of your home, they will send you a report that shows whether the property has passed or failed its inspection. If the home has done well, you can use this document to prove to your insurance company that you are a low-risk prospect or to show potential buyers that the house is in great condition. Read on to find out more about inspections and how they can help you make the most of property ownership.

What Is Included In a 4-Point Home Inspection?

During a four-point home inspection, various systems and aspects of an existing property, including the HVAC system, the electrical system, the plumbing, and the roof, are examined. This is a common type of inspection that is popular with homeowners who need to get a new insurance policy and people who want to know what they need to fix before putting their property on the market.

Compared to a general inspection, the four-point inspection is quicker and cheaper. The exact duration of your inspection depends on the size and complexity of the property, but in most cases, it only takes two to four hours. Despite this, it can tell you a lot about your home, and it can guarantee the quality of your real estate, therefore making the property easier to sell.

The HVAC System

HVAC stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning, and it is one of the most important systems on your property because it controls the climate. If the HVAC system doesn’t work properly, the residents won’t feel comfortable, and problems such as mold and dampness can occur. What’s more, a lack of heating and air conditioning can lead to a range of physical health problems.

During your inspection, the professional will check that your heating and cooling unit is of the appropriate size and that it is fully functional. Although units such as fireplaces and oil furnaces will be examined, they aren’t considered primary heating and cooling systems due to their inefficiency. Once the inspector has determined whether your unit has passed or not, they can also inform you about its life expectancy and future maintenance requirements.

The Electrical System

A home’s electrical system needs to be kept in good condition because it could otherwise cause safety issues. Every area has certain rules and regulations, and your inspector will check that your home meets these criteria. For example, they will make sure that the size of the electrical system is appropriate for the size of the house and that all electrical outlets are properly grounded.  

Even if there is a problem or code violation, that doesn’t mean your system fails automatically. It all depends on the type of issue and how easy it is to fix. The inspector will also take the potential risk into consideration. If there are any parts of your system that are uninsurable, such as cloth wiring or a double-tapped breaker, your inspector might have to fail your system, in which case you’ll have to upgrade it.

The Plumbing 

The final system examined during your four-point inspection is the plumbing. This is crucial because faulty plumbing can lead to unsanitary conditions and put the residents’ health at risk.

The most important factors considered are the materials, the age, and the functionality of your drain and supply lines. Your inspector will look for any leaks and weak spots to figure out whether future problems are likely. Additionally, they will examine the condition of your water heater to make sure your water is distributed efficiently throughout the property.

The Roof

In most cases, the roof examination is the most comprehensive part of your four-point inspection. Your roof is a crucial part of the home, and it contributes to the property’s energy efficiency and safety. Your inspector will check for health and safety risks, such as the potential for mold accumulation, which could impact the well-being of those living on the property.

Age is an important factor because old roofs are less secure, and they were often built with unsafe materials. If your roof is poorly designed and prone to leaks, your inspector will ask you to have it replaced. They will also consider the shape of the roof since some shapes are more likely to withstand adverse weather conditions like heavy winds than others. Nowadays, hip roofs are considered the safest.

Who Can Benefit from a Florida Home Inspection?

As you can see, a 4-point home inspection is quite comprehensive and can help homeowners, insurance companies, and potential buyers understand the condition of the property better. So, when do you need to get an inspection, and is the four-point inspection always the best choice? The answer is that there are many reasons to get your property examined by a professional.

For instance, it’s always good to know more about the home’s condition if you’re considering putting it on the market. Similarly, an inspection might be required if you’re getting insurance or a mortgage. People who are worried about the condition of their home or those looking to purchase a newly built property could also benefit from the knowledge an inspection provides.

You’re Selling a Home

Getting a four-point inspection is a good idea for sellers because it gives them an idea of the value of their property. If your home is in great condition and passes all four points, you can expect to get a much higher price for it than if it is in need of serious maintenance.

A home inspection gives you more options and allows you to consider the best way forward. Depending on the results and your desired outcome, you can leave the issues for the new owner to fix, or you can make the necessary repairs and sell the property for more money.

You’re Worried about the Condition of Your Home

Even if you’re not ready to move out, you might need to get a Florida home inspection if you’re worried about the condition of your home. Owners who notice issues with their HVAC system, their electrical system, their plumbing, or their roof should contact a specialist as soon as possible to find out what the faults are. The inspector can determine the current condition of the property and then make suggestions for its improvement.

You Need to Get Insurance 

Most insurance companies will require you to get a four-point inspection if your home is more than 20 years old because older homes are more likely to experience problems than newly built ones. An inspection helps the insurers to define the risk they are taking on.

If your property is in great condition, the inspection can be beneficial for you as a homeowner because you will pay a lower premium. If not, you should consider upgrading your property’s systems and replacing the roof in order to lower your insurance costs and make sure you don’t run into problems in the future.

You’re Building a Home or Buying a Newly Built Home 

Newly built homes are usually in good condition, and it’s likely that many of the systems come with a warranty. Despite this, getting the home inspected before you purchase it or move in is always a good idea. A new construction inspection can tell you a lot about a property, including its small defects and future problem areas. Buyers who are still negotiating with the developers or sellers can use the results of the inspection to negotiate a better price.

You’re Buying a Home

When you’re buying a home, you should consider getting a general inspection, not just a four-point inspection. While this option is more expensive, it is almost always worth it because it allows you to know as much as possible about a property before you commit to purchasing it.

In addition to the four aspects mentioned above, a general inspection also includes the foundation and structural components of the building. The inspector will walk around the outside and inside of the home for several hours, examining it in detail. The resulting report can tell you whether there are any serious problems and how much you’re likely to spend on repairs in the next few years.

Find Out More With Us!

A 4-point home inspection includes your HVAC system, your electrical system, your plumbing, and your roof. It is a great option for homeowners who would like to sell their property, and it is also appropriate for those who need to get a new insurance policy. To figure out if a Florida home inspection is right for you, you should get in touch with the experts. Call us now at Frontline Inspections. Our friendly staff will be more than happy to welcome you.

How Long Do Home Inspections Take?

The home-buying process can be stressful and difficult. Once you’ve finally found your new house, you’ll want to sign on the dotted line as soon as possible. But don’t be tempted to skip the inspection because it could prevent you from making a mistake that ruins your financial future. So, how long do home inspections take? Will the examination significantly delay the buying process?

Fortunately, most general inspections only take a few hours, so they can fit into even the busiest schedule. If you’re looking to buy a commercial property, you might have to wait a bit longer, since there are more elements to inspect. Today, we’ll have a look at the various inspections offered by Frontline and discuss how long they might take, so you can figure out which one is right for your situation.

How Long Do Home Inspections Take?

There are various types of property inspections, and the time they take depends on the size of the building, the complexity of its structures, and the level of detail required. The quickest option is the four-point inspection, which might only take one to two hours. A more comprehensive solution is the general inspection, which is suitable for individuals considering a home purchase.

People who are looking to open a business in a new location must get a commercial inspection, which can reveal any problems with the business’s building. This can take much longer, especially if the company is large. A new construction inspection is the most comprehensive, and inspectors often work together with developers for weeks or even months to make sure the property is constructed solidly.

A General Frontline Inspection 

A general inspection is usually performed on a home before you buy it. The aim is to check all the readily accessible components for issues and therefore give you a better idea of the condition of the property. The time it takes for this kind of inspection varies depending on the size and accessibility of the home. On average, you can expect the inspector to remain at the house for about 2-2 1/2 hours. If you have a condo, they might be done within 1-1 1/2 hours.

During this time, they examine both the inside and the outside of the property and check the electrical components. The inspection isn’t designed to address cosmetic defaults but rather issues that could affect the safety, resale value, and livability of the home. Once the process is complete, the inspector will send you a report of their findings, and you can decide whether the property is worth buying.

A 4-Point Inspection 

A 4-point inspection is shorter and less comprehensive than a general inspection because it only includes your HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and roof. Therefore, your inspector might not need to stay for more than one to two hours, and they won’t charge as much. The 4-point inspection is often required by home insurance companies because it allows them to better assess your risk levels and give you an accurate quote.

It can also be a good idea to complete this type of inspection if you’re ready to sell your home. That way, you’ll know whether any repairs are outstanding and what price you should charge for the property. However, the 4-point inspection isn’t a great option for people looking to buy a new house because it isn’t comprehensive enough, and a structural problem might be overlooked.

A New Construction Inspection 

While a home is being built, quality control is crucial. To help developers stay on track, we also offer evaluations of building schedules, either before, during, or after the construction process. This type of inspection can make sure that plans for newly built homes are sound, and it can indicate whether the building works have been executed to a high standard.

In addition to having a look at the home’s structures, including the foundation, framing, plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, we can evaluate a site’s location, drainage, orientation, and more. That way, there won’t be any surprises once the property is built. Because a new construction inspection is more extensive and may involve several visits, it can take much longer than general inspections.

A Commercial Inspection

Commercial inspections work just like general inspections. They are designed to evaluate commercial buildings, such as malls, shops, and factories, before they are purchased by a company. Our inspectors can help you determine the condition and life expectancy of a building’s foundations, roof, floors, walls, ceiling, HVAC, electrical system, and plumbing.

The inspector will create a report about all of these systems and structures, and they will also double check the property’s documentation to make sure everything is in order. The time a commercial inspection takes varies greatly depending on the size of the building and the complexity of the setup. A small cafe or office might be examined within one to two hours, but a large hotel, factory, or mall might require several inspectors to work for several days.

What to Expect from Your Inspection 

Now we’ve answered the question “how long do home inspections take?”, you might wonder which parts of your property will be examined. During a standard inspection, the professional walks around both the outside and the inside of your home and observes the structures related to your roofing, exterior and interior walls, electrical system, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning.

At the end, they will produce a report that details the findings. If there are any problems, you can ask your inspector for more details and for an estimate of how much the repair will cost. Because our employees are highly trained and have extensive experience with a variety of homes, they can judge whether a house is in good condition and needs minor repairs or whether there are major issues that could make it a bad investment.

Exterior Inspection 

Your inspector will closely examine the exterior of the home to find out whether there are any problems such as leaks. They will check for issues with the sidewalks, driveways, gutters, walls, fences, patios, decks, and gradings. Then, they will move on to the roof and make sure that the flashing, coverings, skylights, and vents are all in working order.

It’s also important to note that a home inspector can evaluate the structural integrity of a home’s foundation. This is extremely useful, since problems with a property’s overall structure aren’t always easy to spot unless you are a trained professional. By finding issues with the property’s foundation, your inspector can let you know whether the house will be safe and reliable long-term.

Interior Inspection 

Once the outside has been examined, the inspector will move indoors and walk through every room of the home. They will look at the walls, windows, ceiling, stairs, floors, doors, and smoke detectors. If there are any issues with the insulation, such as insufficient air and vapor barriers, your inspector will be able to point out the problem and potentially suggest solutions.

Your inspection also includes all the systems that provide you with your utilities, including the plumbing, your electrical system, the heating, and the air conditioning. The professional visiting your home will make sure that all the circuits are intact and that there aren’t any issues with the installation of these systems.

How to Choose an Inspector 

To find the best inspector in your area, you should visit providers’ websites and have a look at their “About Us” information. Great companies have extensive experience and offer detailed reporting, but they also focus on good customer service. Since getting a quote is free, you should reach out to see what your inspection will cost. If the inspector gets back to you with a reasonable offer within a few hours, it’s likely that they will provide you with a great service.

What to Do with the Results 

During the inspection, the professional will highlight both the issues and the positive aspects of the home. They might give you an indication of whether the property is a good buy, but ultimately, it’s up to you to decide whether you’d like to purchase the building. Before going ahead, you should find out more about any unexpected issues that were uncovered. How much will it cost to fix them? Will you have to find alternate accommodation in the meantime?

In some cases, you might be able to negotiate with the seller, who will either lower the price of the property or pay for the repairs. It’s important to remember that every deal is negotiable, and an inspection gives you the information you need to obtain the best result.

During your inspection, the professional will walk around the outside and inside of your building and run various tests. That way, they can figure out whether the home’s foundation is strong, the structure is durable, and all systems are working well. Get in touch with us at Frontline Inspections to find out more about the various options or to schedule a property inspection.