Buying a home in Orlando provides many perks. Warm winters, loads of sunshine, plenty of culture and history to soak up, and Disneyland is just down the street! However, as with most states, you will have to fulfill several requirements to qualify for a mortgage. Your house will also need to pass some tests, so an inspection is critical to your financial security and will likely be required by the mortgage holder.
Benefits of an Orlando Home Inspection
There are challenges to the structures of Florida. High levels of humidity paired with the risk of strong storms means that keeping your home weathertight will take careful vigilance. If the house has leaked in the past, you will want to know about it.
From Altamonte Springs all the way down to Kissimmee, moisture is a risk. You’ll want your home inspector to
check the attic for any signs of leaks or roof damage and confirmation of proper repair
check the crawlspace for moisture or the slab for cracks
confirm the drainage around your home will direct rainwater away from the structure
make sure that windows are weathertight
If the seller is amenable and still has the contact information, try to find out who did any noted repairs, if there was a warranty, and if the company is still in business.
What a Home Inspector Checks
A mortgage-qualifying home inspector does what’s called a non-invasive check. These inspectors are certified to sign off on the property and are tasked to confirm that systems are in place and working effectively. Some home inspectors can get very detailed and will run the dishwasher and the garbage disposal, while others will get out a ladder and check the roofline.
Home inspectors that can sign off for the mortgage company don’t check for rodents or pests. They also can’t look at anything that isn’t easily accessible. The burden of paying for the home inspection that can be signed off for the mortgage company is on you.
For Your Peace of Mind
Consider hiring a contractor to do your inspection on top of anyone required by your mortgage company. Hiring a contractor to do your Orlando Home Inspection will be an added cost that you will have to cover. However, with a contractor handling your inspection, you’ll know
signs of old repairs that may lead to new problems
serious issues you need to repair immediately
a ballpark price to do those repairs
What a private home inspection done by a contractor can tell you is what expenses you’ll likely be dealing with in your first years of home ownership. A private contractor’s inspection fee may be the best investment you ever make in a home if it means that you walk away from a house that will cost you a fortune in repairs.
Inspection and Appraisal
When the real estate market is volatile, valuing a home can be challenging; the dollar amount you can ask for is what the market will bear, but that may not accurately reflect what the house is truly worth. For example, if you find a house that you love that seems to have no water damage or moisture challenges, the appraisal may be higher than other homes in the neighborhood.
A non-invasive inspection can let you know of any drainage features or retaining walls in the yard that have protected your home from seepage or excess moisture. These features can hold up or lower the appraised price. In many states, you can’t get a mortgage without an appraisal, and you can’t get an appraisal without a visit from a certified inspector.
Your private inspector can get into the crawlspace and confirm that your potential home is, in fact, well-protected from flooding and likely to stay dry. Take a walk around the neighborhood to confirm that there are other houses in the area with similar landscaping. Buying a house means buying into a neighborhood.
If your home is properly valued based on features like landscaping and drainage decisions but the houses in the neighborhood are losing value because of water damage, you may have trouble selling in the future.
The Type of Mortgage Matters
If you’re getting an FHA or a VA mortgage, the decision about an inspection will likely be made for you. The inspection is a necessary step in the appraisal process. If you qualify for a conventional mortgage, there may not be an inspection requirement.
However, unless you are extremely well-versed in the construction business, it’s still a good idea to get the property checked out by a professional. There are sellers who will window dress a home just to get rid of it, and there are often sellers who don’t understand just how bad the problems in their home are before they sell it.
Sadly, there are also sellers who hire contractors to make critical repairs and get cheated by person they hire to do the work. If the work is shoddily done and you go ahead with the purchase, you may wind up paying not only to take care of the repair, but to fix the damage done by the former contractor. Hiring your own inspector who can give you a ballpark quote will allow you to go into the purchase with your eyes wide open.
Rely on Your Realtor
While you’re working through the mortgage process, make sure you discuss your concerns with your realtor. Get comparison values from other similar property sales within the past year. If your intended neighborhood has recently had a lot of sales, you may be able to find out the region for the exodus and plan accordingly.
It’s important to note that anything bad that pops up during an inspection doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy the house. What it means is that you have some flexibility in the sale price. It also means that you know the expenses you’re facing before you move in, so you can plan and avoid financial shocks.