Home inspections in South Florida may be a little different from what you're used to in your area. Why? Because we have termites and hurricanes.

A typical home inspection covers:

  • Checking out major appliances (refrigerator, washer, dryer, garbage disposal, and dishwasher.)
  • Checking HVAC heating and cooling temps.
  • May involve inspecting one-story roofs. Ask ahead of time.
  • Checking that electrical outlets are in good working order.
  • Checking that windows and blinds open and close.
  • Checking for plumbing issues.

In Florida many prospective buyers hire an additional termite exterminator to evaluate if there is any existing damage or any active infestations. If so, they will need to treat the problem before closing and submit a Wood Destroying Organism Report that states the problems have been resolved. Buyers then email this report to their mortgage broker.

If buyers want to possibly save some money on their homeowner insurance policy (especially if they live near the ocean), they should hire a certified wind-mitigation inspector. This individual documents how the roof is attached to the structure, the existence of hurricane shutters or impact windows, and if doors and windows are fitted securely in the frames. The buyer then sends this document to their insurance company. In South Florida, if you live east of I-95 in a single-family home, the lenders require you to purchase wind insurance if you are financing your home purchase. This mitigation report may help reduce that cost.

One last type of inspection may be indicated if there's a seawall or dock on the property. You might want to hire a scuba-diving inspector to investigate the condition of these features.