Thank you for choosing JP Enterprises Home Inspection Services for your home inspection! You may have found us from a referral from a friend or relative, or from your agent, or in an online search. No matter how you found us, rest assured that the Inspector is working for you, to give you a true picture of the home as it is on the day of inspection.
As of 2010, the State of Florida requires a license for Home Inspectors. Jorge Perez, our Chief Inspector, holds license #HI-61. Jorge Perez has been a Home Inspector since 2001 and has performed over 7000 inspections in South Florida. He has the training and experience necessary to accurately inspect your new home! Below are home inspection best practices you should be aware of to ensure you get the most from your home inspection service.
- Verify your name, contact information and address of the property. What is on the work order is what will be on your report. You do not want to be waiting at one address while the Inspector(s) show up somewhere else. In addition, you do not want the report delivered to the wrong email when you are waiting for it. The Inspector prints most reports on site, and once he prints a 15 to 20 page report, it is too late to tell him your name is spelled wrong. The same goes for an Agent, who may have changed emails or Brokers.
- Verify the services ordered. If you called in the inspection you were asked questions about the property so we can better understand what services are needed. If your Agent made the phone call for you, make sure you are clear about what services were ordered on your behalf, prior to the day of the appointment. Same day cancellations may not be possible without a trip fee, or if there was a service you want that was not ordered, it may not be possible to add at the last minute and would require an additional trip to perform. Often there are discounts for ancillary inspections when done on the same visit so it is important to find out if your mortgage company, or insurance company requires any additional inspections such as a 4 Point for homes over 30 years, or a wind mitigation inspection. If you are getting a VA loan, they will require a VA WDO report which is an additional service and fee. The VA will NOT accept the WDO that comes with the home inspection. It is up to the buyer or Agent to find out if any additional services are needed as they are specific to your purchase agreement or loan agreement.
- Read the Inspection Agreement. The State of Florida requires that home inspection services be contracted! They take this very seriously and Inspectors can be fined if the agreement is not signed by the buyer or their Agent prior to the inspection. The purpose of doing so is to have a “meeting of the minds” about what will, and won’t be inspected. The agreement will state the standards the Inspector works under. In this case, the Inspector works under InterNACHI’s Standards of Practice, https://www.nachi.org/SOP.htm which are widely known as the strictest in the industry, and the standards set by the State of Florida. We are required to list or disclaim items that are not part of the inspection on the agreement and/or report, so the buyer is aware and can hire the appropriate licensed professional to inspect those items, if desired. The Inspector is not liable for anything disclaimed on the agreement or report, or for items not part of the SOP, or for services not ordered, or for inspections done by sub-contractors hired on your behalf. Our agreement is signed online using your computer, iPad or smart phone. We send the agreement shortly after the inspection is ordered, to give our clients a chance to read it completely. By reviewing the agreement ahead of time, it gives the client a chance to find another Inspector within their inspection period, if they feel that is necessary. We must receive notice that the agreement was signed to confirm your appointment or the inspection will be put on hold until the client or their Agent can sign it.
- Sub-Contractors. The Inspector is a generalist who knows a lot about the various systems of a home, but not as much as a licensed Roofing Contractor, Plumber, HVAC Technician, or Electrician because they are specialists. The State of Florida requires a different license for pest control companies so we subcontract that service to a company licensed to do so on your behalf. The roof is a complicated and potentially expensive system, and we feel our clients are better served by having the roof inspected by a licensed Roofing Contractor. In some cases where the roof is approaching the end of it’s useful life, a licensed Roofing Contractor may be able to suggest repairs to extend the useful life instead of just condemning the roof. This can be the difference between getting the home or not getting it.
- Utilities. If the home is vacant, either the buyer or Agent should verify that the utilities are turned on. Preferably, they should do this in person because the price quoted for the inspection, is for one trip to the property. If the Inspector needs to return to the property to complete the inspection for any reason, there is a minimum charge of $75. If the property is a foreclosure, some buyer’s may need to call and have the electric and water, and gas, if applicable, turned on for the day of the inspection. It will save time and money if the Inspector is able to complete the job in one visit.
- Environmental inspections. The Inspector is a licensed Home Inspector only. All environmental inspections will be disclaimed. We have a licensed Mold Inspector on staff if you wish to order that service.
- Attend the inspection. If at all possible, the client should be present during the home inspection. If it is not possible to attend the entire inspection, we recommend the client be present the last hour to go over the findings with the Inspector(s). This is your opportunity to ask questions about the home from someone who is unbiased and who does not have an emotional connection to the property.
- Useful life. Systems may be functioning at the time of inspection, but at the end of their useful life. A handy chart is available here: https://www.nachi.org/florida-life-expectancy.htm and will be available as a pdf attachment. It is an annoying fact of our business, that the HVAC that blows cold during the inspection in January, may not be cooling the same home in July. Does this mean the Inspector missed something? A quick look at the report shows the Inspector pointed out that the HVAC system was 20 years old. So the answer is no, the Inspector is not liable because the useful life of a central HVAC system in Florida is 5 to 12 years. Buyers and sellers can negotiate whatever they want, but as a general rule, sellers are not interested in fixing or replacing something because it is old, but functional during the inspection. An awareness of the life expectancy of various household systems allows the buyer an opportunity to budget for larger repairs if they decide to go forward.
- Read the Inspection Report. This may sound very obvious, but both buyer and Agent should read every page of the report, not just the summary. The number one complaint buyers have are about items listed on the report as not functioning, or not inspect-able because they were not installed. For instance, buyer closes and moves in to find the dishwasher does not work. On the report, the inspector noted the dishwasher was not inspected because it was not hooked up on the day of inspection. That is not the Inspector’s fault. After the inspection is complete, it is the buyer and their Agent’s job to negotiate any repairs if that is in their contract. Verbal comments from the Inspector are provided at no charge, but the written inspection report is the contracted service.
- Re-Inspections. A re-inspection is when the Inspector is scheduled to return to the property after the home inspection was completed. He is either rechecking items that the seller repaired prior to closing or items that were not inspected for various reasons. There is a minimum charge of $75 for this service. If any life threatening hazards were noted on the report, all re-inspections clearances are conditional to the client or Agent obtaining proof that the repairs were made by licensed contractors, that permits, if required, were obtained and that the repair passed final inspections by the appropriate building departments. Re-inspections are optional except in cases where one or more systems failed on a 4 Point Inspection and the client’s insurance company requests the re-inspection.
- Payment. We accept all major credit cards, personal checks and U.S. money orders as payment. Payment is due on the day the service is performed or a late fee of $55 may be added.
I hope this clarifies the inspection process, as an educated buyer is better able to make informed decisions about their new home. If you have any questions, feel free to contact our office. We want our clients to be happy and refer us in the future. Please don’t forget to review your Inspector when you receive your inspection report.