Below are frequently asked questions we receive about our company, our inspections and related topics. If your question is not listed below, please contact us as 941-362-4862 or complete our contact form
Why choose Fine Home Inspections?
Experience, industry certifications and a long list of satisfied customers. These are just a few of the many reasons to select Fine Home Inspections when you need a quality and timely inspection on your next real estate transaction. Our inspector, Jamie Milholland, has a total of 7,500+ inspections under his belt. He strictly adheres to ASHI (American Society of Home Inspectors) guidelines and Jamie is also FABI (Florida Association of Building Inspectors) Certified and is a Florida Licensed Home Inspector #HI-1373.
What areas in Southwest Florida do you service?
We will be happy to travel throughout Sarasota and Manatee Counties to inspect your property. This includes: Bradenton, Casey Key, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Sarasota, Siesta Key, Venice and University Park. We will also travel to Anna Maria Island, Holmes Beach, Manasota Key, Parrish, Palmetto and North Port for a minimal additional charge. For more information, please call our office at (941) 362-4862 or complete our contact form
What is included in a Fine Home inspection?
A home inspection is a visual evaluation of the major systems of the house. This includes the structure, roof, exterior, HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical and the interior. As long as it's accessible we will inspect attics and crawl spaces, remove access panels and operate equipment. We look at every room in the house following the Standards of Practice of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI). Click on the virtual home inspection tour (on this page) to see exactly what's included in an inspection.
What is the cost of a home inspection?
Fees start at just $295 for houses, with higher fees for larger and/or older homes. Condominium inspection fees are slightly lower starting at $275. Location, special features and other factors may also affect the cost. Call our office for a quote catered to your specific needs.
How and when do I pay?
We request payment at the time of inspection. We accept cash, check, MasterCard and Visa.
How do I prepare for an inspection?
It's the seller's responsibility to get the house ready for the inspection. The seller should:
- Have all utilities turned on (water, electric and gas).
- Have all gas appliances ready to run with pilot lights turned on.
- Clear access to areas like attics, crawl spaces, electric panels and furnaces/air handlers.
- Unlock areas such as storage closets, fences/gates and crawl space hatches.
- Remove or secure pets so they are not free to roam.
What is the home inspector responsible for?
All professional inspection firms will have an inspection agreement for you to read and sign. This agreement will spell out the company's capabilities, responsibilities and limitations. Do not assume you know what the inspector can do for you based on what want him to do. There are reasonable limitations. Generally, their function is to observe and evaluate the major systems of the home and report the conditions they observe. When problems are found the inspector will either offer verbal recommendations of how to repair the item(s) or recommend further evaluation by a licensed, qualified specialist in the particular. An inspector cannot predict the condition of a system five years from now or even what condition it will be in the next day.
What are the limitations of the inspection?
A home inspection is not an appraisal or a check for compliance with building codes and it's not an evaluation for any biological or environmental hazards. We are unable to inspect things hidden by objects and are unable to see through walls. Before your home inspection, you will have an inspection agreement sent to you which specifically states our limitations. However, you can be assured that everything that can be inspected will be inspected. For more information on limitations, visit www.ASHI.org
and click on the "ASHI Standards of Practice
There are also limitations to the depth of evaluation a home inspector can perform. There are components to systems that are not visible without dismantling the system and are unable to be inspected. The inspector can evaluate only what is visible. Although cosmetics and minor deficiencies may be discussed and even reported, this is not the purpose of the inspection and should not be the focus of concern throughout the inspection.
Should I attend the inspection?
While it is not necessary for you to be present, it is always recommended that you make time to join the inspector for their visit. This allows you to observe the inspector and ask questions about the condition of the home, how its systems work and how to maintain them. After you have seen the property with the inspector you will find the written report easier to understand.
Do you inspect pools and spas?
We do perform pool and spa inspections. We will check for the operation of pool heaters, pumps, lights, railings and accessories and any visible leakage along with the overall condition of the pool decking and surface. We do not perform leak tests but can refer licensed, qualified companies to do this.
When will the report be ready and how will I receive it?
Reports are emailed in .PDF format typically within 24-48 hours of the inspection being completed. If the report takes a longer amount of time, we will be sure to keep you updated on the progress. If you have a specific time frame to work in, please let us know of your deadline and we will do our best to accommodate to your schedule.
What if the report reveals problems?
No house is perfect. When the inspector identifies problems it does not indicate you should not buy the house. His findings serve to educate you in advance of the purchase about the condition of the property. A seller may adjust the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are discovered during an inspection. If your budget is tight or you do not want to be involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely valuable.
What if I have questions later?
Your understanding of the home is our priority. We will offer customer assistance to you, for as long as you own the home, free of charge. The only time a charge may occur is if/when our inspectors are called out to revisit the property.
What is the American Society of Home Inspectors®?
The American Society of Home Inspectors®
(ASHI) is the oldest and leading non-profit professional association for independent home inspectors. Since its formation in 1976, ASHI's Standards of Practice have served as the home inspector's performance guideline, universally recognized and accepted by professional and government authorities alike.
ASHI's professional Code of Ethics prohibits Members from engaging in conflict of interest activities which might compromise their objectivity. This is the consumer's assurance that the inspector will not, for example, use the inspection to solicit or refer repair work.
In order to assist home inspectors in furthering their education, ASHI sponsors a number of technical seminars and workshops throughout the year, often in cooperation with one of its nearly 50 Chapters. ASHI also serves as a public interest group by providing accurate and helpful consumer information to home buyers on home purchasing and home maintenance.
What about termite and pest inspections?
Our company does not provide this service but we do recommend you get a termite inspection. These generally range from $50 to $150 depending on the size of the home. Please contact us for recommended pest control operators.
What inspections are required for my insurance and why?
Your insurance agent may require a wind mitigation report and/or a 4 Point inspection report in order to obtain insurance (and in some cases even for an accurate insurance quote).
Wind mitigation inspections evaluate the home for existing wind mitigation components such as roof shape, roof deck attachment, roof to wall attachment, and windows and doors (are they rated or protected?). This type of inspection has the potential to reduce your wind insurance premiums.
A four point home inspection is basic and limited, and usually required by the insurance company on homes over 30 years old. The age and condition of the roof, electrical, HVAC and plumbing systems are all assessed, but this is not a complete home inspection.