Wise Home Inspection of Coral Springs Florida offers certified home inspector services throughout South Florida including Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Coconut Creek, Cooper City, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Margate, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Pompano Beach, Parkland, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Sunrise, Tamarac, Wilton Manors, Miami-Dade County!

Roof inspection

What to Expect From a Home Inspection in South Florida?

What does a home inspection involve?
The new cabinets and shiny granite countertops look great, but what issues should you worry about when buying a house?
A home inspector will inspect the following areas:
• Heating and cooling
• Roof
• Foundation
• Plumbing
• Electrical systems
• Windows
• Exterior
Heating and cooling: In south Florida, we don’t need heating too often but we certainly can’t live without cooling! Air conditioners have a limited life span, usually between 10 and 15 years. Your home inspector should let you know whether there are problems or defects or whether the systems have exceeded their design life.
The roof:
Leaky roofs cause water damage. A good inspector will look for broken tiles, surprisingly common even on a relatively new house, missing or deteriorated shingles and let you know how old the roof is. Concrete tile roofs are generally considered good for around 20 years, shingle roofs for 10 to 15 years depending on whether the shingles are 3 tab or architectural. Even then, many factors affect the lifespan of a roof. The best place to spot a roof leak is usually in the attic.
Mold: Water damage causes mold. And mold is a serious health hazard. This is more of an issue in south Florida than elsewhere. Roofs don’t last as long. There is a LOT of heavy rain, and the high humidity encourages mold growth. If you are concerned about mold, ask your home inspector for a mold test as this is outside the scope of a normal home inspection.
The foundation: Some of the most serious problems you can face are in the foundation. If the house is sinking, there is probably water collecting near the foundation, there are cracks in exterior walls, windows that stick, and floors that sag — Houston, there’s a problem. And it’s probably an expensive one.
Plumbing: The inspector is mainly looking for leaks. These could be from the roof, windows, water pipes or even the shower pan.
Electrical: If there’s an electrical problem, that is a safety issue, either electrocution or the possibility of electrical fires. In south Florida there are a lot of homes where work has been done by people who are not qualified.
It’s your decision
At the end of the day, a home inspection isn’t designed to tell you whether or not you should buy the house. A home inspector is like what a news reporter is supposed to be: objective and reporting just the facts.
An inspection report will nearly always detail a number of items to be addressed. Most of these are typical maintenance items and should be expected. For instance, it is really common to find broken tiles on a 10 year old house. More major issues can usually be repaired so then it’s a matter of deciding what is a fair price for the house in its present condition or seeing whether the seller will do the repairs.
Unless you are buying a brand new house, expect that there will be some items to take of when you buy. The home inspector is ultimately giving you a detailed condition report so you know exactly what you are buying, and what, if any repairs are needed or likely in the near future.

Buying a New Home – when do I need a Home Inspector?

Buying in Coral Springs or the Fort Lauderdale area? When looking to purchase your new home it is important to have a great team helping you. Before you look for a Home Inspector, you need the services of two other professionals. Unless you are a cash buyer, you need to start with your bank or a mortgage broker and get pre-approved.  This will enable you to know how much you can borrow and give you a head start when you are ready to make an offer. Next, you need a good Real Estate Agent. Find someone who  is experienced and understands your needs.

Home inspection completed

Home inspection completed

When you are looking for a home inspector it is best to start before you’re under pressure. Waiting to look for a Home inspector until you find a home will place you under pressure to make a quick decision.  Make sure the home  inspector is licensed, insured and qualified.  Experience doing inspections is important, inspectors come and so make sure you find a full-time inspector. Checking on-line reviews can be helpful and revealing. Their website can be an indication of additional qualifications and professionalism. You should call the inspector, talk with them about what makes them a good inspector. Ask what is included and needed – there are many inspection services that a home inspector may offer that you may need or like such as:  termite inspections, mold, and  insurance inspections (4 Point and Wind Mitigation). Don’t just look for the cheapest.  Quality and services vary.   Lastly, find out if they guarantee their Home Inspection. Do they offer any warranties?  Now go find your dream home!

Wise Home Inspections is based in Coral Springs but inspects homes throughout Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties.  Schedule online

Polybutylene Pipes Stall Home Sale in Sunrise

Polybutylene Pipes Can Be a Hazard

Buying a house can be riskier than you think.  Vanessa was trying to buy a house in Sunrise,

polybutylene pipes

polybutylene pipes

but when I inspected it,  I discovered that it had polybutylene piping.  The Seller is now getting the pipes replaced so that the sale can go ahead.

Polybutylene pipes leaked in thousands of homes across the United States resulting in many lawsuits being filed. In 1995 a $950 million settlement was reached.

They were installed in more than six million homes during the 80’s and early 90’s, including  areas in Broward County, Florida, such as Tamarac, Sunrise and Margate.  Unfortunately, thousands of people still have these pipes and have no idea. Even if they look fine, they are unreliable and can leak unexpectedly.

Look out for gray pipes under the sinks and around the hot water heater. They are not always easy to spot as they usually have copper fittings on the ends. . See more at www.polybutylene.com/realtor.html

When buying a house always ask for the Seller to complete a Disclosure form – ask your real estate agent- but you also need a home inspection as the seller may not be aware of this problem.

Replacing polybutylene pipes can be expensive.  Another option is to make sure your insurance policy will cover any damage from burst pipes.  If they burst you may get a nice payout!

plumbing issue in the attic

Polybutylene pipes found in the attic

 

South Florida Home Inspector Warns of Bad Electrical Panels

If you buy a house with this type of bad electrical panel you might have trouble getting insurance!  Not only that, the panel could overheat and catch fire.

Federal Pacific Electrical panels have been known for a long time to be a potential problem but there are still many homes in south Florida that have these bad electrical panels.  Federal Pacific electrical panels been the subject of class action lawsuits because their circuit breakers have been known to fail to trip at a higher rate than standard panels. When a breaker doesn’t trip,  an electrical surge will likely cause the wires to melt and possibly cause a fire. Many Federal Pacific Electric panels and breakers can operate properly for years, but they can also malfunction unexpectedly.  Simply replacing the circuit breakers is not a sufficient.  You need to have the entire panel  replaced by a licensed electrician.

It doesn’t mean you can’t buy the house.  You could ask the seller to replace the panel, get a credit from the seller or just pay to have it  replaced yourself.

 

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This is the Service Panel on the outside of the house.  Notice that it clearly says “Federal Pacific”  on the panel description.

 

 

 

 

There is also a Distribution Panel inside the house – maybe in the garage, hallway, kitchen or utility room.  Watch out for the words “Stab-Lok”  which is a give-a-way that this is a Federal Pacific panel.

Bad electrical panel

Federal Pacific panel

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more on dangerous electrical panels in south Florida and Federal Pacific panels, watch this home inspector video.

Schedule your inspection today and get the Peace of Mind you deserve when buying your next home!