Buy - Sell Brevard Real Estate


Central Florida

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Coldwell Banker Realtors

Brevard Home Sales -  Home Inspections

One of the many details we handle for our clients is the home inspection. Some home sellers use pre-sale inspections to maximize the home's marketability (see Blue Ribbon Preferred); but, in most cases we meet with buyers and the inspector just after the contract is signed. The sellers may point out special things they've done to enhance the home, and give tips on how things work. Buyers often use this opportunity to take pictures and plan furniture arrangement, but you should follow the inspector, ask questions, and search for problems. The process takes 2 to 3 hours and is very detailed. But inspectors can miss things, and they don't guarantee against omissions. There is no warranty from the seller - it's buyer beware.

By the way, bring your checkbook to the inspection. Inspectors get paid up front. It assures objectivity.

There are 4 parts to home inspection:

  1. Check home for mechanical and structural defects, cracks, electrical, leaks, mold, wood rot

  2. Get wind mitigation certificate to reduce insurance (sometimes by half)

  3. Verify required permits were paid and closed

  4. Specialty inspections like termite, pool, and septic

The lender schedules their appraiser near the end of their process. We never want an appraiser to see something that needs to be corrected to make the home lend-able. A new twist is that some banks, will not lend on a roof that has less than 5 years remaining life expectancy; you may need to switch lenders. Items like wood rot at the bottom of the pedestrian garage door occur in 80% of homes, and need to be fixed before the appraiser comes so it does not increase cost, or delay your loan with re-inspections.

InspectAPedia site covers building standards and best practices details.

We want our clients to know about the inspection process, so below is an instructive note from the guys who do the work.

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National Association of Certified Home Inspectors

A home inspection is supposed to give you peace of mind, but often has the opposite effect. You will be asked to absorb a lot of information in a short time. This often includes a written report, checklist, photographs, environmental reports if needed, and what the inspector himself says during the inspection. All this combined with the seller's disclosure and what you notice yourself makes the experience even more overwhelming. What should you do? 

Relax. Most of your inspection will be maintenance recommendations, life expectancies and minor imperfections. These are nice to know about. However, the issues that really matter will fall into four categories:

  1. Major defects. An example of this would be a structural failure. 
  2. Things that lead to major defects. A small roof-flashing leak, for example. 
  3. Things that may hinder your ability to finance, legally occupy, or insure the home, like termites or mold.
  4. Safety hazards, such as an exposed live buss bar in the electric panel.

Most sellers are honest and are often surprised to learn of defects uncovered during an inspection. Realize that sellers are under no obligation to repair everything mentioned in the report. No home is perfect. Keep things in perspective. Don't kill your deal over things that don't matter. Be careful when demanding that a seller address deferred maintenance, conditions already listed on the seller's disclosure, or nit-picky items. The inspection report may be used as an opportunity to renegotiate the price, or it simply uses an expert to confirm the home's value, and reveals details covered in the standard contract that refer to to wood destroying organisms and repairs. There is a limited life expectancy on every roof, every paint job, and every landscape. The Realtor takes these things into consideration when advising the seller on a price that will favorably compete with similar homes, or when advising the buyer on an appropriate offering price.

Anything in the 4 categories above should be addressed. Often a serious problem can be corrected inexpensively to protect both life and property (especially in categories 2 and 4). 

We recommend Florida Home Inspectors who uses digital thermography to look into your ceilings, walls, and floors for water, gas, and electrical problems and extra peace of mind. Nick McClellan 321-302-1211 is also a licensed building contractor. We assume no liability for their work; you may use any inspector you like.

Wind Mitigation Certificate can get your homeowner insurance cut in half on a well-qualified home. Ask the inspector about the discounted cost of getting this certificate at the same time as the inspection report.

Rating Factors: roof shape, reinforced roof decking, number and length of nails, roof shingle attachment method, hurricane straps and/or hurricane clips, shutter protection over all windows, full or partial impact resistant glazing on windows, secondary water resistance barrier, other wind resistant construction techniques.

4-point Inspection on older homes (60's and 70's) seeks documentation of upgrades in last 12 years for electrical, A/C & heat,  remaining roof life of at least 3-5 years, replacement of any Federal Pacific electric panel, and aluminum wiring connections, PVC plumbing drains replacing metal that rusts and causes floods, polybutyl feed lines that leak. These are all maintenance items that increase insurance claims.

Permits While evaluating the home, the inspector should note any add-on or replacement work that might have needed permits. You can then verify with Brevard Permit Enforcement 633-2072 or at their website (click Permit Search) that the permit was pulled AND closed. Realtors do not perform this service because of liability involved.

Specialty Inspections Some lenders require additional inspections, you may feel more comfortable with additional inspections, or based on observations, the inspector may recommend specialty inspections like termite, pool, electrical, and septic. Once the tank is open, always get it pumped for just a few extra dollars.

 

Reinspections and Final Walk-thru

Reinspect after repairs are complete. When the initial inspections are made, if the Seller is to complete any repairs before closing, then the inspector can be scheduled to come back to see that a major repair was done correctly. Most inspectors charge a greatly reduced fee for reinspection. It's a few dollars that helps keep you from needing to redo the repair later. Note that the preferable solution to repairs is a credit. That way, you control the vendor, cost, and quality.

Walk-Through Before Closing  Buyers should do a walk-through on the day of closing. Make sure that everything is in the same condition as when you made the offer.

Check that everything that is supposed to remain in the home is still there -- the fancy faucets and shower heads, the built-in speakers, the correct appliances, chandelier and window coverings, storm shutters. Check for damages that the seller made while moving out. A hole in the sheetrock or a broken door jamb are things that the Seller should agree to fix. This is not the time to pick on "normal wear and tear" of moving such as a small black mark in the paint where a mover scraped against it. Check to see if there were any defects that the seller concealed. Was serious damage to the wood floors concealed with a throw rug? The Seller should have disclosed that as part of their requirement to disclose any condition, not readily apparent, affecting the value of the home. By disclosing before going under contract, the Buyer can consider whether they want to accept the damage and move forward. When disclosed up front, cosmetic damage is not required to be repaired in the Florida Realtors/Florida BAR contract. However, if not disclosed up front, the Seller may have an obligation to repair the damage. Some items don't rise to the level of a need to disclose or repair, such as minor scratches or dents in the wood floor left by a bed leg. One walk-through may not be enough. If the Seller is still in and out of the house, or still moving, then you may want to follow up with another quick Final Walk-Through on the way to closing.

Walk-Through Inspection Form. We suggest buyers fill out and sign a Walk-Through Inspection Form that assists in thoroughness. This gives you a place to clearly request corrections found in a walk-through. When issues are in writing, it helps separate the items that must be completed, from the items that are only minor. The Sellers or their agent will be immediately notified.

Settle the issues before closing. Get a credit at closing or a written escrow agreement on how the item is to be returned or repaired.

We arrange these inspections, but cannot conduct the inspection. There is no way for a real estate agent to know every item important to you, and be sure every item is satisfactory. You may have fallen in love with the Tiffany cut crystal chandelier, and we may not even recognize that it was switched for a chandelier picked up at Home Depot. If you can't attend the walk-through, ask a friend or pay the inspector who did the initial inspection to do the walk-through.

 

Buying or Selling a Home?

We know how to use home inspections and other tools to your advantage. Coldwell Banker Paradise is the Realtor team to help you buy or sell a Brevard or Indian River home. The orientation course at some agencies instructs their new agents:  "Just sign up the listings, let someone else find the buyers." That philosophy works for them, but not for you. You need a Realtor team committed to buyers.

If you are a BUYER, you want us. We're expert in regional and neighborhood details and market trends, and know where to find what you are looking for -- a home to delight the whole family, or a superior performing investment.  We LISTEN to your needs to make a match anywhere on the Space Coast and Treasure Coast (Titusville, Cocoa Beach Melbourne, Vero, Palm Beach).

If you are a SELLER, 4Brevard serves as that "someone else" who will find your buyer.  4Brevard.com brings buyers internationally because we support the buying process with service, expertise, and helpful information right from this website, even before buyers contact us. Your property is advertised on this high-traffic website directly to the world with great pictures and enticing details (click for examples).

Who would you rather market your home --  an agency that specializes in taking listings, or 4Brevard.com / Coldwell Banker Paradise whose expertise is working with buyers?

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Brevard Coldwell Banker Real Estate

Cocoa Beach area Realtor2004-2013 Richard Webb, Top Producer
Coldwell Banker Paradise /  Ed Schlitt Realtors

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