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Pre-Purchase Home Inspection

A Pre- Purchase inspection is what most people are referring to when they mention a Home Inspection.  This is an inspection that is made when you are buying a home.  This is a visual inspection of the readily accessible parts of the home.  It includes the roof, foundation, structure, electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems.  The inspection is done according to the NACHI Standards of Practice

The purpose of this inspection is to help you become more familiar with the various components of the home so you know their true condition.  This way you can be in a position to make a better buying decision.   Is this the home for you or does it need to many repairs. 

Remember, no home is perfect.  Not even a new home.  Most of the items discovered during the inspection will be minor maintenance type issues.  These are easy to deal with and every home will have some of them.  There may be more important issues that are discovered.  This is when knowing the actual condition of the home is valuable.  You can decide whether or not to deal with one or two more major issues if you know that most everything else is minor.

Pre- Listing Home Inspection

A pre-listing inspections is often referred to as a "Seller's Inspection".  This is when a home seller has the home inspected before a buyer requests an inspection.  Why would a home seller want to have the home inspected?  For some very good reasons.

First of all, when you finally do get a contract on the home, the buyer will most likely have it inspected.  They will then come back and re-negotiate to either have ther repairs done of ask for you to lower the sales price.  Many times the amount they want the price lowered is unreasonable in comparison to the actual cost of having the repairs made if you take the time to shop around.  This can lead to increased tension, on both sides, and sometimes a lost sale.  If you have the home inspected ahead of time, you can shop around and save money on getting the repairs made.  You could also disclose the items and not have to worry about making repairs.

If the home is in good condition, and the inspection reflects that, you can provide a copy of the inspection to the buyer and they may even forgo the inspection contingency.  This will make the completion of the sale go much more smoothly.

If they still have the home inspected, their inspector will probably come up with a few things (all inspectors do not look at things exactly the same way) but you will already be aware of most of the issues.  This will just leave a couple, most likely minor, issues to discuss.

Providing the inspection helps show good faith and helps with ensuring you have made full disclosure in compliance with the laws.  It is difficult for them to say you did not fully disclose everything when you have provided them with a copy of an independent inspection.

Having the home inspected can make everything go much more smoothly.  The last thing you need is more tension.   Any way it turns out, it is to your advantage to do a seller's inspection.
Investor Inspections

An "Investor Inspection" is similar to a "Pre-Purchase inspection" except that it is not as indepth.  An investor is usually not interested in the minor details of the home.  He is most interested in the major systems such as the roof, structure, HVAC, plumbing, electrical and grading.  He is  not planning to live in the home but wants to make sure that the home is sound and does not need any major repairs.
New Home Construction Inspections

Homes are already inspected by the building department so they don't need a home inspection, right?  That can be a costly mistake.  Having worked as a Quality Control Manager for two local builders, I could go on and on about all the structural and function defects that would have become part of the final home had someone like myself not discovered them and required that they be corrected before the home continued progress.

The truth is that you are at the mercy of the individual superintendent in charge of the home.  He may sound very concientious, but does he really know what he is doing (and even more importantly, does he take the time to make sure that things are done correctly).

The problem is that as home construction slowed, many builders let the most experienced superintendent go because they had higher salaries.  You are now dealing with people in charge of building the homes that have very little experience.  In addition, most superintendents are paid bonuses on how quickly they get the home built, now how good the home is.  Faced with this problem, many of the superintendent do not know what to look for and even if they do, they are inclined to ignore the problems because they will make more money.

If you are relying on the building inspector to catch the problems, you might be disappointed.  The building inspector only inspects that the home meets the building code.  The building code is the minimum standard to which a home can be built and still be legal.  If that is not enough of a problem, most building inspectors will only have 20 to 30 minutes to inspect the home because they have more homes to inspect.  Because of this, although they try hard, they tend to miss too many things.

A knowledgeable home inspector will take much more time and help make sure that thing have been built properly.  In addition, the home inspector can look for things that will cause problems later, not just the building code.  You can then go to the builder and demand that these problems be corrected before they are covered up only to surface after you are living in the home.

It is best to have the home inspected at each stage of construction so any problems can be corrected before it is covered and can not be easily fixed.
New Home Construction Consulting

If you are acting as your own contractor or working with an independent contractor, you could use some help.  How much do you know about building a home or remodeling an older home?  Have all the steps been completed on the project that the contractor is asking you to pay for?  You could stand to lose a lot of money if they are not.

New Home Construction Consulting can be tailored to whatever help you need.  From a one time inspection to helping you step by step.  You could end up with a much more enjoyable home and one that is properly constructed instead of missing opportunities to pan for future improvements or finding later that you did not get what you paid for.
Four Point Insurance Inspections

If you are buying an older home or getting new insurance on one, you might be asked for a Four Point Inspection.  A Four Point Inspection is an inspection that is requested by the insurance company to ensure that the home meets their underwriting requirements. 

A Four Point Inspection is not a home inspection.  This is a limited inspection to document the age and condition of the roof, electrical system, the plumbing system, and the HVAC systems.  The insurance company wants to know how old the systems are and if they have been upgraded since the home was originally constructed.

Having an experienced inspector perform the inspection properly and on the proper paperwork can mean the difference between getting insurance at a good rate and finding out that you can not get insurance at all.
Wind Mitigation Inspections

A Wind Mitigation Inspection (often called just a Wind Inspection), is an inspection to document features of the home that help it resist damage from high winds and hurricanes.  Florida law requires insurance companies to provide you with discounts to your insurance premium if you can prove that your home has these features.  They are also required to provide you with information that tells you that these discounts are available when your policy is due for renewal (you did read all that paperwork they sent you didn't you?)

There are a number of features that can give you discounts.  Probably the biggest discount is if the shape of your roof is what is called a hip (the roof slopes toward the eave in each direction).  If you replaced your roof after March 2002, it will qualify for a discount.  Then there are discounts for the way the roof decking is attached and how the roof framing is connected to the home's walls.  On many homes, these discounts can lead to a reduction in your insurance costs by several hundred dollars a year (not just the year of the inspection). Do you like paying more for insurance?

If an unqualified inspector does the inspection, you could be missing out on discounts that you would otherwise get.  He could also give you credit for discounts that your home does not qualify for which will result in the insurance company coming back and increasing your premium again.

A qualified inspector will make sure you receive the discounts your home is entitled to.
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