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What You Need To Know About 4 Point Inspections
Dated: August 24 2018
What You Need to Know About 4-Point Inspections
Buying or selling a home?
A 4-point inspection is a type of home inspection that is often required on homes that are over 25 years old in the State of Florida in order to obtain homeowner’s insurance coverage. There is simply no way to avoid this in order to obtain or renew homeowner’s insurance on older homes.
Whether you’re buying or selling a home in Florida, it’s important to understand what will be inspected and what some of the main concerns can be in a home when trying to obtain insurance (Note: Homeowner’s insurance is often REQUIRED by lenders if you are purchasing a home with a mortgage).
To get started, the name ‘4-point inspection,’ comes from that fact that there are 4 major areas of a home that must be inspected and reviewed:
Roof- must have 3-5 years of useful life remaining. NO VISIBLE damage or leaks.
Heating, Ventilation, & Air Conditioner (HVAC)- Must be cooling AND heating. Date of last service date if present must be noted (i.e. When was the last time that condensate line was cleaned out?).
Electrical- ALL electrical must be in good working order. Inspectors will check all outlets and pop covers to see what’s going on behind the scenes. No single strand aluminum wiring, no cloth wiring, no open splices or exposed wiring will pass. Some brands of panels are not accepted (we can provide a list of those common brands if requested).
Plumbing- Must be in good working order. No visible leaks. All plumbing fixtures will be inspected. When we say all, we mean ALL. Toilets, sinks, shower, tubs, water heater, dishwasher, washing machine, water line to fridge, etc. Basically, anywhere there is water will be inspected.
As the inspection is conducted, pictures and notes about the home will be taken. After the inspection, the insurance company will review the detailed inspection and decide if the home is insurable.
Remember, most homes are insurable. However, for every deficiency noted on the 4-point inspection, insurance rates tend to increase. According to Quigley Inspection Services (www.quigleyinspections.com), most home buyers will not be able to obtain or afford insurance if the 4-point report notes several deficiencies.
As a home buyer or seller, the above points are important for several reasons. When selling a home, it will be important to make sure electrical panels are accessible, that branches are not hanging onto your roof, windows have been properly caulked and sealed, and that your HVAC has been regularly serviced, among other things.
When buying a home, it will be important for you and your real estate agent to identify a home that is less likely to have major deficiencies in the 4-point report. Be sure your real estate agent knows to ask how old the HVAC system is, prior to writing an offer. Find out if the seller has had it regularly serviced. When visiting a potential home to buy, note the condition of the roof…are the gutters full of leaves? Are branches dragging on the roof shingles? Look for leaking hose bibs and drip stains on tubs and faucets. Another big item is stains on the ceiling. Visible stains can be signs that a roof or A/C system is actively leaking. If the home does appear to have major deficiencies, be prepared to negotiate what will and won’t be repaired at the seller’s cost in the event something comes up on the 4-point inspection.
Lastly, 4-point inspection requirements in Florida are changing on September 1st, 2018. Find out what’s changing by clicking HERE.
As always, an experienced Realtor will be able to help you navigate the steps to buying or selling a home. For additional questions about inspections, the purchase contract, or obtaining homeowner’s insurance, give us a call! We’re here to help you with all your real estate needs in the Tampa Bay area.
Andrea is the Managing Partner of The Sandy Hartmann Group and runs the team alongside Sandy Hartmann. She would love to talk to you about real estate! Andrea was born and raised in the Tampa Bay a....
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