Inspecting a home in South Florida can be a bit more complicated than in other parts of the country. Homes in Broward County are exposed to heat, a six-month rainy season, and the potential for hurricane-force winds. A prospective buyer needs to know how equipped their intended property is to handle whatever Mother Nature decides to throw at it.
In a standard inspection, a qualified individual will walk through the home, making note of any structural component that may need repair, checking the working condition of the major kitchen appliances, the central air conditioning/heating unit (we have no furnaces), check the electrical outlets and circuit breaker (A quick note: Lenders probably won’t approve a home with a fuse box. Make it a condition of the sale for the seller to replace it with an expandable circuit breaker box.), pool equipment, garage door, windows, and internal and external plumbing fixtures. They may or may not do a roof inspection.
If the report comes back that appliances or AC units are old with a limited remaining lifetime, ask your real estate agent to try and get the seller to pay for a home service warranty that will repair or replace failing items. If the seller has an existing policy, check to see if it’s transferable to you.
Wood-Destroying Organism Inspection
A wood-destroying organism (WDO) inspection looks for and documents the presence of subterranean and dry wood termites, wood-destroying beetles, and wood-decaying fungi. This inspection can be requested by the buyer or lender.
If evidence of an infestation is found, the area must be treated before closing, and the lender must be sent a WDO Clearance Letter. If you drive around the county, you might notice a tent over a home that’s sealing in noxious gases during a whole-house termite treatment.
Before closing, ask the seller if they have a transferable termite protection plan. It might save you a few dollars down the road.
Wind Mitigation Inspection
A favorable wind mitigation report can save you a significant amount of money on your homeowners insurance policy. An inspector will pay close attention to roof construction, windows, and doorways. Hurricane-resistant impact glass is a big plus.