A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive examination of the condition of a home, often in connection with the sale of that home. Home inspections are usually conducted by a home inspector who has the training and certifications to perform such inspections. The inspector prepares and delivers to the client a written report of findings. The client then uses the knowledge gained to make informed decisions about their pending real estate purchase. The home inspector describes the condition of the home at the time of inspection but does not guarantee future condition, efficiency, or life expectancy of systems or components.
Termites are nasty customers. They're almost invisible, completely silent and have the potential to cause extensive damage before a homeowner ever recognizes he or she has a problem. Just uttering the word "termite" can make some homeowners shudder, and for good reason. Termites are active in 49 of the 50 states (Alaska is too cold to sustain them), and cause more than $50 billion in property damage every year.
If you're buying a home, having the dwelling inspected for termites beforehand can save you headaches later. Actually, if you're taking out a mortgage, there's a good chance the lender will require that you have a termite inspection (as well as a general home inspection) performed before the sale is finalized.
A termite inspection is typically an expense borne by the buyer, but it's worth the price. Most home purchase agreements are contingent on the results of independent inspections like termite inspections designed to reveal hidden problems and dangers:
Termites eat wood from the inside out. That means they leave very little evidence of their presence until an infestation is pretty far along. Because the warning signs can be subtle, it will probably take an expert to recognize them.
A large termite colony feasting on the wood in a home can consume a pound of cellulose a day but it's usually much less. That can lead to structural damage you won't want to deal with. The presence of termites doesn't necessarily mean a home is unsound, though, especially if the infestation is relatively recent. An expert will know the difference.
A termite inspector can help decipher more than just the warning signs of termites. Most inspectors are trained to recognize the presence of other wood-destroying pests like carpenter ants, too.
If an inspection does reveal termite activity, it might not all be bad news. The signs may be leftover from a previous infestation that has already been dealt with. A qualified termite inspector will recognize the difference between current and past termite activity and provide a guarantee or written statement to that effect. If the home has been treated for termites, the seller should also be able to provide documentation of past termite treatment and any structural repairs that have been made (or may be needed) to fix termite damage.
If there's current termite activity on the property, it still might not be a deal breaker. In some areas of the country, termites are so prevalent that having had a minor problem with them isn't all that uncommon. If an inspection reveals that termites are present but the infestation is minor, and the seller is willing to have the home treated for termites at his or her expense and pay for repairs, the property may still be worth considering. This is one instance where it pays to get expert advice about the condition of the home and discuss the options with your attorney.
A wind mitigation report informs the insurance company of a home's construction in order to determine its stability in the event of strong winds. A homeowner with windstorm insurance can often submit the results of this report to their insurer and obtain discounts on their windstorm insurance.
For instance, in Florida discounts may be applied for certain favorable wind mitigation features as mandated by State law and can total 45% of the original policy's premium.
The purpose of a windstorm or wind mitigation inspection is to determine the appropriateness of a given structure's construction in the event of strong winds, such as those present in a hurricane
In Florida, a wind mitigation inspection is performed by a licensed general contractor, building contractor, architect, engineer, building inspector or home inspector. The information gathered is presented on a standard wind mitigation form, OIR-B1-1802, commonly referred to as the 1802 form. As of Feb 1, 2012, all inspections must have photos showing each feature listed on the wind mitigation form.
The wind mitigation inspection is NOT an inspection of the overall structure of the home and does NOT determine the condition of your home. If you are interested in knowing the condition of the home we suggest also having a full home inspection done in addition to your wind mitigation.
What Is A 4-Point Inspection?
Home Watch Services
A 4-point inspection is a type of home inspection that is required in Florida, either to obtain or maintain insurance coverage. Most insurance companies will only request a 4-point inspection after the home reaches a certain age. Some others will require any newly-purchased home to have a 4-point inspection performed. This varies, based on your insurance company and their underwriting rules.
Home Watch Service
The following activities will be performed on a defined frequency (weekly recommended):
Review the exterior of the home, including pool, for any signs of trouble (water leaks, damage, intrusion)
Review the interior of the home for any signs of trouble (water leaks, damage, AC function, intrusion, infestation)
Turn on water, run all sinks and toilets to ensure drain traps stay full, turn water back off.
Send update to owner after each home watch visit.