buying historic tampa homes

How familiar are you really with the home-buying process? Aside from finding a property and placing an offer, what else does it entail? 

It may surprise you that the process includes a home inspection report to identify potential issues with the property before you buy it. The property inspection covers many things, such as checking the electrical system, foundation, HAVC system, and plumbing for problems, as these are costly to repair. But it’s much more than that. There are actually more than 1,600 items on the building inspection list! 

Thus, the inspection is essential to help buyers determine if they will move forward with the home purchase (or not). 

For those moving to Tampa or relocating within the area, here are seven important questions to ask a home inspector in Tampa, Florida, before you purchase your new home. 

1. Questions to Ask a Home Inspector in Tampa Prior to the Inspection 

There are some essential questions for the home inspector you should ask even before the inspection begins. 

To begin, you should ask the inspector about their credentials. You only want to work with a licensed home inspector, such as those permitted by the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI) or the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI). Your inspector should also have insurance and a surety bond. 

Other questions to ask your inspector include: 

  • How long have you been a home inspector? 
  • How much do you charge? 
  • Do you have references? 
  • How do you stay current? 
  • Which inspection services do you provide? 
  • How long does the inspection take? 
  • Can I attend the inspection? 
  • Can I see a sample report? 
  • Do you re-inspect? 
  • Will you answer follow-up questions after the inspection? 

If you’re a first-time homeowner, attending the inspection is valuable because you can learn a lot from the inspector about how to keep the home and its major accompanying systems in good condition. 

2. Questions to Ask About the Home’s Structure and Foundation 

When the inspector is checking the structure and foundation, you should ask these questions to ensure there isn’t extensive damage: 

  • Does the foundation have any signs of settling or cracks? 
  • Does the home’s framing or structural components have any problems? 
  • Does the crawl space show any signs of mold or water damage? 

Additionally, termites are a common pest that destroys a home’s structure in Florida, so ask about signs of termites. 

Notably, if there is significant damage to the home’s structure or foundation, don’t expect the inspector to give you an estimate of how much it will cost to fix. Under Florida Statute 468.8323, the inspector doesn’t need to provide cost estimates of repairs. 

3. Questions to Ask About the Home’s Exterior 

A home inspection service will always check the home’s exterior, including the following: 

  • Balconies 
  • Decks, porches, and stoops 
  • Doors and garage doors 
  • Roof 
  • Windows and skylights 

Great questions to ask about the home’s exterior are: 

  • What condition is the roof in? Are there any leaks? 
  • Does the home’s siding or exterior paint have any problems? 
  • Are the gutters and downspouts functioning correctly? 
  • Are there any drainage issues on the property? 

Keeping the external components of a home in good condition is vital to keeping the home safe and sturdy. 

4. Questions to Ask About HVAC Systems 

Always inquire about the air conditioning and heating system when asking house inspection questions. Significant damage to a home’s HVAC system is one of the primary reasons buyers pull out of a sale, as replacing it will cost at least $5,000. 

Ask the building inspector about the HVAC system’s age, condition, and life expectancy. 

5. Questions to Ask About the Home’s Interior 

In addition to asking about the home’s exterior, you should also ask your Tampa home inspector about the home’s interior, such as: 

  • Does the home’s interior show any signs of mold or water damage? 
  • Are the doors and windows functioning correctly? 
  • What condition are the floors and walls in? 
  • What type of plumbing does the home have? Is it up to code and in good condition? 
  • Is the electrical system up to code and in good condition? 
  • What condition is the water heater in? 
  • Do the smoke and carbon monoxide detectors work? 

6. Ask About Safety Hazards 

Your home inspection questions must include asking about safety hazards or glaring red flags on the property. This can consist of issues with the following: 

  • Carbon monoxide or radon gas leaks 
  • Poor grading and drainage 
  • Structural integrity 
  • The electrical system 
  • The plumbing system 
  • Ventilation 

The inspector should also look for fire hazards such as overloaded circuits in the electrical panel, improper wiring, or defective appliances. 

7. Asking for Recommendations 

If a problem arises during the inspection, ask the inspector if they can recommend anyone to fix it. Good inspectors know reliable professionals who can resolve home problems for less time, money, and hassle than finding someone yourself. 

Even if the inspector doesn’t know someone, a colleague from their home inspection company will likely have a recommendation. 

Find Your Next Home with Kimmie Fine 

Now that you know the questions to ask a home inspector in Tampa, it’s time to hire a real estate agent to help you find your dream home in Tampa. 

As a prominent figure in the luxury Tampa real estate market with 20 years of experience in real estate sales, I have valuable knowledge of real estate in Tampa Bay. I’m your go-girl for all things Tampa real estate! 

So when you’re ready to purchase a home, search my listings to find properties throughout the Clearwater-St. Petersburg- Tampa region, in Hillsborough, Pasco, and Pinellas Counties. Then, contact me to get started on your home-buying journey.