One of the more common questions we answer at Florida Inspections Unlimited is “Will a 4-point inspection satisfy the need for a buyer’s home inspection?” The short answer is NO, it won’t.
What Exactly is a 4-Point Inspection?
Basically, a 4-point inspection examines or inspects the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and roof and structural systems of a property. It is a common tool that insurance companies and underwriters use when determining risk. Furthermore, the inspector has the option to determine the age of these systems as well as the basic type of system, materials used in their production, and their overall condition. There is no option for adding other information since underwriters look for features that increase the risk factor. They will do a complete evaluation before submitting the report.
What is a Buyer’s or “Full Home” Inspection?
A buyer’s or full home inspection is much more thorough than a 4-point inspection. When someone is buying a home, there is a clause in the sales contract that allows them to have a full home inspection. Should the inspection uncover an issue or a problem that the buyer is uncomfortable with, they can void the sales contract and get any earnest money that they paid refunded.
Since a 4-point inspection is only concerned with the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and roof and structural systems of a home, it doesn’t legally satisfy the clause mentioned above. So, for example, if the 4-point inspection report states that the roof on the home is 20 years old, the buyer might not be able to back out of the sales contract. So it’s best that one doesn’t view a full home inspection as a legal requirement.
Buyer’s Home Inspection vs. a 4-Point Inspection
Other than the areas of a home and property, one of the key differences between a buyer’s home inspection and a 4-Point Inspection is the amount of time it takes to complete them. While a 4-point inspection covers the electrical, HVAC, plumbing, and roof and structural systems of a home, a full home inspection is exactly as the name implies – a complete inspection of the entire home that includes:
- electrical system
- grading of the property (which can affect drainage)
- HVAC system
- moisture intrusion / plumbing leaks
- operation of doors and windows
- operation of sinks and toilets
- plumbing and plumbing fixtures
- problems with exterior siding
- roof coverings
- rotted fascia
- site conditions
- structural integrity
- water damage
For more information about a 4-point inspection or a full home inspection, call Florida Inspections Unlimited today at 954-861-0666