FAQs

Q: What is a "Home Inspection"?
 
A home inspection is an objective visual examination of the physical structure and systems of a home, from the roof to the foundation. The standard home inspector's report will include an evaluation of the condition of the home's heating system, central air conditioning system (temperature permitting), interior plumbing and electrical systems; the roof, attic, and visible insulation; walls, ceilings, floors, windows and doors; the foundation, basement, and visible structure.
Having a home inspected is like giving it a physical check-up. If problems or symptoms are found, the inspector will refer you to the appropriate specialist or tradesperson for further evaluation.
The primary goal and obligation of the inspection is to obtain the best possible information about the existing condition of the property and its major components and systems so that you can make informed value assessments within your real estate transaction.
 
Q: Why do I need a home inspection?
 
The purchase of a home is probably the largest single investment you will ever make. You should learn as much as you can about the condition of the property and the need for any major repairs before you buy, so that you can minimize unpleasant surprises and difficulties afterwards.
Of course, a home inspection will also point out the positive aspects of a home, as well as the maintenance that will be necessary to keep it in good shape. After the inspection, you will have a much clearer understanding of the property you are about to purchase, and will be able to make a confident buying decision.
If you have owned your home for a long time, a home inspection can identify problems in the making and recommend preventive measures which might avoid costly future repairs. In addition, home sellers may opt for having an inspection prior to placing the home on the market to gain a better understanding of conditions which the buyer's inspector may point out. This provides an opportunity to make repairs that will put the house in better selling condition.
 
Q: What will it cost?
 
The inspection fee for a typical one-family house will vary depending upon the size of the house, particular features of the house, its age, etc.
I charge a fee that is compatible with the amount of time devoted to the inspection, preparing the report, and my expertise. The value of my fee is reflected in the extent of details provided during the inspection; in the written report; and in the extensive knowledge and experience that I bring to the inspection.
Do not let cost be a factor in deciding whether or not to have a home inspection, or in the selection of your home inspector. The knowledge gained from an inspection is well worth the cost, and the lowest-priced inspector is not necessarily a bargain. The inspector's qualifications, including his experience, training, and professional affiliations, should be the most important consideration.
 
Q: How do I choose a Home Inspector?

Call up and ask about their credentials and experience. If for some reason you don't feel comfortable asking this of the inspector when speaking with them on the phone then how will you feel asking questions at the inspection. You must feel that the inspector is qualified, experienced and attentive of your needs.
 
Q: Why use our Services?

The purchase of a new home is one of the single most costly investments that a family will make. Along with the extra stresses this will add, there is also the fear factor of, "Will This Home Stand The Test of Time?" It is also important to know what YOU, as the primary investor, are getting for your money. We at Signature Inspection Services make it about YOU. You are the client and it is our goal to serve you.
A home inspection is an excellent tool for you, the home buyer, to help determine not only the condition of the home, but to also help foresee any immediate unnecessary additional cost that may go unnoticed without the help of a home inspection. Home inspections are not a prediction of future performance, but can pinpoint existing problem areas.
 
Q: What qualifications or credentials should a home inspector offer?

The best qualifications and credentials consist of inspectors who are industry trained, experienced and who are actively involved with home inspection industry associations. I am:
  • ITA (Inspector Training Associates) Certified
  • ASHI – American Association of Home Inspectors
  • FABI – Florida Association of Building Inspectors
  • NAHI – National Association of Home Inspectors
  • NACHI – National Association of Certified Home Inspectors
  • NCA – National Catastrophe Adjusted CAT Adjustor Certified
  • American Family Insurance – Adjuster Certified
  • Field Experienced.
 
Q: When do I call Signature Inspection Services?
 
Typically we are called right after the contract or purchase agreement has been signed. Before you sign, however, be sure that there is an inspection clause in the contract, making your purchase obligation contingent upon the findings of a professional home inspection. This clause should specify the terms to which both the buyer and seller are obligated.
 
Q: How long does your typical home inspection take?

A typical inspection requires roughly 3-4 hours to complete, but it is not uncommon for an inspection to take 5 or 6 hours. Some properties can take an entire day.
 
Q: Do I have to be there?
 
It's not necessary for you to be present for the inspection, but it is recommended. By following the inspector around the house, by observing and asking questions, you will learn a great deal about the condition of the home, how its systems work, and how to maintain it. You will also find the written report easier to understand if you've seen the property first-hand through the inspector's eyes.
 
Q: Should the seller be present during an inspection?

Preferably not. Having one's home scrutinized by a stranger, who could possibly be considered the cause of a failed sale, is an emotional situation for the seller. If a broker is involved, it is a professional courtesy to arrange for the seller to be absent during the inspection. If it is a sale by owner, some ground rules may need to be set to assure that no adversarial confrontations occur.
 
Q: If the house proves to be in good condition, did I really need an inspection?
 
Definitely. Now you can complete your home purchase with peace of mind about the condition of the property and all its equipment and systems. You will also have learned a few things about your new home from the inspector's report, and will want to keep that information for future reference. Above all, you can feel confident that you are making a well-informed purchase decision, and that you will be able to enjoy your new home.
 
Q: What if the report reveals problems?
 
No house is perfect. If the inspector finds problems, it doesn't necessarily mean you shouldn't buy the house, only that you will know in advance what to expect. A seller may be flexible with the purchase price or contract terms if major problems are found. If your budget is very tight, or if you don't wish to become involved in future repair work, this information will be extremely important to you.
It is important to realize that we as inspectors do not determine value. We are a single issue in what can be a complex transaction. We speak only to the physical condition of the property. And given our lack of awareness of all the components of the transaction; to assess value would be a disservice. It is our function to inspect and report on our visual findings of the condition of the property.
 
Q: What if I find problems after I move into my new home?
 
A home inspection is not a guarantee that problems won't develop after you move in. However if you believe that a problem was already visible at the time of the inspection and should have been mentioned in the report, your first step should be to call me to clarify the situation. Misunderstandings are often resolved in this manner.
If necessary, you might wish to consult with a local mediation service to help you settle your disagreement.
 
Q: Why can't I have someone in my family who is very handy or a contractor, inspect my new home?

This is the biggest mistake many potential new homeowners make when purchasing a home. Although the person you are considering may be very skilled, they are not trained or experienced at professional home inspections. Professional home inspection is a unique skill like no other. Professional inspectors get what we call an inspector's instinct for problems. That instinct takes extensive training and lots of experience doing inspections to develop. Many contractors, and other trades professionals hire a professional home inspector to inspect their homes when they make a purchase.
 
Q: Can't I do it myself?
 
Even the most experienced home owner lacks the knowledge and expertise of a professional home inspector. An inspector is familiar with all the elements of home construction, proper installation, and maintenance. We understand how the home's systems and components are intended to function together, as well as how and why they fail.
Above all, most buyers find it very difficult to remain completely objective and unemotional about the house they really want, and this may affect their judgment. For the most accurate picture, it is best to obtain an impartial third-party opinion by an expert in the field of home inspection.
 
Q: Can a house fail inspection?
 
No. A professional home inspection is an examination of the current condition of your prospective home. It is not an appraisal, which determines market value, or a municipal inspection, which verities local code compliance. A home inspector, therefore, will not pass or fail a house, but rather describe its physical condition and indicate what may need repair or replacement.
 
Q: Do you recommend or furnish names of contractors who can perform repairs on the property?

No, but I will advise clients on how to find and select a prospective contractor or tradesperson.
 
Q: How do I find a home inspector?
 
The best source is a friend, or perhaps a business acquaintance, who has been satisfied with, and can recommend, a home inspector they have used. In addition, the names of local inspectors can be found in the Yellow Pages where many advertise under "Building Inspection Service" or "Home Inspection Service". Real estate agents are also generally familiar with the service, and should be able to provide you with a list of names from which to choose.
Whatever your referral source, be sure to ascertain the home inspector's professional qualifications, experience, and business ethics before you make your selection. You can do this by checking with the local consumer affairs office or Better Business Bureau, as well as by verifying the inspector's membership in a reputable professional association.
Since there are no licensing requirements for home inspectors presenting in the State of Florida, you will want to make certain that such an association has a set of nationally recognized practice standards and a code of ethics. This provides members with professional inspection guidelines, and prohibits them from engaging in any conflict of interest activities which might compromise their objectivity, such as using the inspection as a means to obtain home repair contracts.
The association should also have rigorous membership and continuing education requirements to assure consumers of an inspector's experience and technical qualifications.
We at Signature Inspection Services are member of ASHI, FABI, NAHI, and NACHI. I make the financial and time commitment to meet or exceed industry standards in membership policy and industry continuing education requirements.
 
Q: Do you have any affiliation with real estate agents?

No. My client is you, the home buyer.  You may have heard my name from a real estate agent but they really should be giving you a list of home inspection professionals to choose from and then you decide.  My mission is to make sure that the client knows everything he or she needs to know about the physical condition of property.  In doing that, you are then armed with a component of information that when combined with all the other variables and considerations of a real estate transaction allows you to make an informed decision.
 
Q: Do you climb onto the roof?

Yes. However there are certain safety issues that I consider, and therefore I reserve the right to determine the degree of those conditions which may be unsafe. Surfaces that are wet or contain snow or ice are obviously conditions that would prevent climbing onto the roofing. Slate, metal, or wood shingles are not walked on due to their generally fragile nature. If I cannot climb onto the roof, I will at least attempt to get to the eaves for a closer observation of the roofing. I will always be able to make a proper determination about the condition of the roofing.
 
Q: What kind of written report do you provide?

The report is prepared on my PC using InspectVue Software, the most widely used software for home inspections. This software is a proprietary data system developed specifically for home inspectors and can be customized to meet the personal style of the individual professional home inspector. My reports are about 30-40 pages and contain digital photos of key deficiencies. With these valuable tools, the client is able to make an intelligent decision about the property.
 
Q: How soon will I receive the report?

I send the reports out the day after the inspection by email. If the client does not have email capability, I can overnight mail the report. This will extend delivery by one business day. Additional charges will apply to weekend delivery by Express Mail or FedEx.
 
Q: Does your report include digital photos of visible defects?

Yes. I take photos of certain visible conditions for documentation, and to help the client visualize the nature of the existing condition of the property.
 
Q: What additional services do you provide?

Wood Destroying Organism inspections: As a home inspector who understands the need of my clients I am now State Certified for WDO inspections through TI a State of Florida CPCO. The additional fee is reduced when included with a home inspection.
A note regarding termites:
Subterranean termites are the most destructive insect pests of wood in the United States. They cause more than $2 billion in damage each year, more property damage than that caused by fire and windstorm combined. In nature, subterranean termites are beneficial. They break down many dead trees and other wood materials that would otherwise accumulate. The biomass of this breakdown process is recycled to the soil as humus.
Problems occur when termites attack the wooden elements of human structures -- homes, businesses and warehouses. Their presence is not readily noticed because they hide their activity behind wallboards, siding or wood trim.
Homeowners in all areas of Florida should watch for subterranean termites and take precautions to prevent infestations. To minimize damage from termites, it is helpful to know the description, life cycle and infestation signs of termites as well as preventive and control measures. Our inspections leave you with a better sense of issue.
Q: How can I set up an appointment?

You can call me at 407-697-7213. I work by myself and may not be able to respond until later in the day. You can also request an inspection and take a minute to complete an information section giving a brief description of the property, such as address, age, number of rooms, and gross living area. An MLS number for the listing can also be helpful. This can also be found by returning to home page and clicking on the “Request Inspection” button.
 
Q: What if I have questions after the inspection?

This question really shouldn’t be the last one answered. It fits in best here however. But please keep in mind that when using Signature Inspection Services we are with y you after the initial service. You can call us and discuss all the aspects of your new home whenever you like. Our service is a long-term investment.