More Blog Posts on Similar Subjects:

  1. How do I get insurance if my home can’t pass a 4-point inspection?

  2. Is the 4-point insurance inspection strictly pass or fail?

  3. Why did I get no discounts or only a small discount from my wind mitigation inspection?

  4. Why does my insurance company want a roof letter?

  5. Should I buy a house that needs a new roof?

  6. The seller has to fix everything you find wrong with the house, right?

  7. What are “shiners” and why did they make me lose my insurance discount?

  8. How do I find a good contractor in Gainesville?

  9. Can I do my own home inspection?

  10. What’s the difference between a roof inspection and a roofing estimate?

  11. Are you licensed and insured?

  12. How can I lower my homeowners insurance cost?

  13. Should I be there for the inspection?

  14. How can I prep my house to get a better inspection?

  15. My insurance agent says to get a “Wind Letter.” Can you do that for me?

  16. Should I hire an engineer to inspect the house?

  17. Does the home inspector also check for termites?

  18. Will a house without air conditioning pass a 4 point inspection?

  19. What questions should I ask a home inspector I’m considering hiring?

  20. Should a home inspection scare you?

  21. Can I do my own wind mitigation inspection?

  22. What different types of specialized inspections can I get?

  23. What are the questions a home inspector won’t answer?

  24. What kitchen appliances are required to pass an FHA inspection?

  25. Should I use my realtor’s home inspector or choose one myself?

  26. What is the difference between a clip, single wrap, and double wrap for the wind mitigation form?

  27. When did the first Florida Building Code (FBC) begin and become effective?

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Welcome to our blog!
We want you to be an informed homebuyer, and each blog post is a question that we have answered for our friends and customers over the years. Hope they help you make a good choice for your next home.

   The four points are: 1) roof, 2) plumbing (including water heater), 3) electrical, and 4) heating/air conditioning system. Because the inspection is provided for the benefit of the insurance company, not you, it only covers the areas they are concerned about. It is not a full home inspection and should not be relied upon to determine the condition of a home you are considering buying. In essence, it is an abbreviated inspection of the key components of a home which, if they fail, will likely lead to an insurance claim.

   You cannot do the inspection yourself. It must be completed, and signed, by a licensed home inspector, building contractor, architect, or engineer. If the inspection uncovers deficiencies, sometimes the company will go ahead and issue the policy, giving you a grace period to complete the necessary repairs. Then again, they may also refuse to issue a policy until they are satisfied with the condition of the home, and another inspection may be necessary.

   Each insurer has their own standards, and what one company accepts may be required to be repaired or replaced by another company. So there are no set standards, but certain deficiencies almost all insurance companies require to be repaired. Here’s our “Top 10” list:

1) A roof with any leaks at all, or an older roof, typically over 15-years old for a 3-tab asphalt shingle roof, for example. An estimated additional roof life of 5-years is the usual standard for a roof to be acceptable.
2) An electric panel with screw-in type fuses.
3) Newer 3-slot type electric receptacles connected to old wiring that does not have grounding.
4) An older water heater, typically more than about 20-years old.
5) Lack of an installed heating system. Window a/c units or plug-in portable heaters are not considered “installed.”
6) Any evidence of plumbing leaks or other water intrusion into the home, even previous ones.
7) Older knob-and-tube wiring that’s still “live.”
8) Exposed, amateur electrical wiring, especially open electrical splices.
9) Deteriorated, damaged, or unvented plumbing piping.
10) Deteriorated washing machine hoses.

   If you are purchasing a home and have already had a home inspection done, unfortunately you cannot submit the home inspection report as an alternative to a 4-point inspection (also sometimes called a “4-point letter). But the good news is that many home inspectors, including us, offer a discounted price for a 4-point inspection report done at the same time as a home inspection.

   And the inspection is not as daunting as you might think. About 40% of the older homes that we inspect have no deficiencies that require repair, and a significant portion of the rest of them need only minor repair or replacement work.

   The big-ticket item and #1 obstacle to getting a good 4-point report is an older roof that needs replacement. If your roof is in good condition, you will likely have little or no problem with an insurer that requires a four-point inspection. 

While we hope you find this series of articles about home inspection helpful, they should not be considered an alternative to an actual home inspection by a local inspector. Also, construction standards vary in different parts of the country and it is possible that important issues related to your area may not be covered here.
© - McGarry and Madsen Inspection.


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