• What You Need to Know

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should I pay for a home inspection?

It is very important to allow a professional to look over your investment prior to purchase. If there is nothing wrong with the home, then you can rest assured that a qualified professional has inspected the home thoroughly and verified the quality. The home inspection can literally save you thousands of dollars. I ask clients, would you buy a used car without having a qualified mechanic check it out?? The money spent for an inspection of a home is minimal compared with potential money outlay if problems are not detected.

What if I am buying a new home, or selling a home, why would I need a home inspection?

New homes have problems too. Having an independent party check a new home is a good idea. Some of the better builders in Gainesville will welcome a qualified inspector to check their finished product and have reason to be proud. In my experience, beware of the builder who does not want the inspector to check his new construction. Also, see if the builder or superintendent can be at the home inspection, in case there are things that come up. Problems are always resolved more promptly when all parties hear about it firsthand.

As for sellers, this buyers’ market today is the best reason in the world for an inspection. The last thing you want is for an unknown problem to become a catalyst for killing a sale. Allow a professional inspector to check the home thoroughly, then fix problems you wish to deal with, and disclose other problems that you may not want to deal with. Full disclosure means there are no surprises and fewer potential deal killers.

How do I know who to call for an inspection?

Gainesville may be growing, but the service professional community is still very well connected.  I would suggest asking real estate professionals, pest inspectors, mortgage companies, and lenders who you trust or have been around the longest. Ask them who they would use to inspect their homes. Friends, neighbors, colleagues, or other home buyers are also good people to get information from.

Make sure the inspector is a member of a recognized home inspector organization, such as InterNACHI or FABI. Most importantly, make sure your inspector is properly licensed and insured in the State of Florida.

How long does an inspection take?

This depends entirely on the size, age, and condition of the home. An average inspection takes around 2 hours, but a home with multiple defects and a fluctuation in aforementioned factors can extend the inspection and reporting process.

I highly encourage you to be present for your inspection, as well as to ask questions. Most importantly, don’t let anyone force you to be in a hurry until all of your questions are answered during and after the inspection. In my opinion, your decision regarding the purchase of the home is a huge financial commitment and therefore you deserve to have your questions answered.

What is covered in an inspection?

See my Services page, then contact me if you have other questions.

What about well and septic?

Good question. In my opinion, the only way to have a proper septic inspection is to have a septic company open the tank, inspection sewage levels, clean out the tank, inspect the insides, and check water flow to the tank. The septic cleaning typically costs about $275. Dye tests are not able to detect all the possible problems a septic system might have, and in my opinion, are not worthwhile.

Well pressure is key, and a good inspector will allow water to run inside a home for some time to assess pressure and drainage. Water tests need to be run through the county Health Department.

Do you do any repair work?

Home inspectors repairing work that they find is a huge conflict of interest, and breaches guidelines and Standards of Practice for many home inspection organizations. I will more than willingly suggest repairs, but it is in everyone’s best interest to leave the repair work to the licensed professionals in the area.

Also, I will not re-inspect homes to confirm repairs unless licensed individuals have been hired to have completed them.

Home inspectors repairing work that they find is a huge conflict of interest, and breaches guidelines and Standards of Practice for many home inspection organizations. I will more than willingly suggest repairs, but it is in everyone’s best interest to leave the repair work to the licensed professionals in the area.

Also, I will not re-inspect homes to confirm repairs unless licensed individuals have been hired to have completed them.

Do you recommend service people?

There is a liability for me when it comes to recommending others, therefore I will only refer you to licensed contractors who have been continually praised in the Gainesville community for their work ethic and professional experience.

Do you offer any insurance or warranty?

I do not.  There are insurance polices that can be purchased to cover your home for a year on most appliances and HVAC systems. With a home that is 20 +/- years old and contains mostly original equipment, one of these short term insurance policies could be worth investing in.

Will you tell me if I am “getting a good deal on my house?”

This is not my expertise! My opinion would not be as valuable or accurate as that of a home appraiser or real estate professional on the subject. My job as an inspector is to observe the current mechanical and structural components of the home and adequately report them in a timely fashion. I can warn you about the small problems that could get worse by focusing my attention on locating and communicating what potential expenses may crop up after the purchase of the home.

What about insurance inspections?

Homeowners insurance as gotten progressively more difficult to obtain in Florida and this should be taken into strong consideration when purchasing an older home. Most insurance companies require a 4-Point inspection for homes over 20 years old (and some for older than 3 months!). This abbreviated inspection reports on the quality of the roof, electrical and HVAC systems, as well as plumbing area. Some insurance companies require the following as a minimum:

  • At least 5 years life expectancy for roofing system
  • Water heater aged less than 15 years
  • No polybutelyne piping in use
  • No electrical panels associated with the company Federal Pacific Electric

Having a licensed home inspector identify and report these potential problems can save you time and money.

How about wind mitigation inspections?

I am certified in the state of Florida to perform Uniform Wind Mitigation Inspection (UMVI) reports. These reports may qualify you for premium discounts on your homeowners insurance. This report is most effective and worthwhile if the home has been re-roofed since March 1, 2002.

During the course of the inspection I will verify nail patterns, strapping, and roof shape/configuration. The report will include the necessary photographs and scanned documents ready to be submitted to your homeowners insurance company.