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What You Need to Know About Home Inspections

Home Inspections
What Everyone Home Buyer Should Know About Home Inspections

A home inspection is an important part of the home buying process and a must for every home buyer. There are many difference types of home inspections, especially for particular items such as pools, spas, and chimneys. However, when buying a home it is best to choose between a 4-point home inspection or full home inspection. A few points to consider when trying to decide what home inspection works best for your needs include the age, condition, improvements, and location of the property. If the home is older, a full home inspection is suggested. If the home if relatively new and appears to have been well taken care of, a 4-point inspection may be a better choice. So, let us explore the difference between a 4-point home inspection and a full home inspection.

4 Point Home Inspection vs. Full Home Inspection

It is important to always use a licensed home inspector when buying a home, and only ones that will provide you with a detailed written report including photos or video.

  • The 4-point home inspection takes approximately 20-30 minutes and will examine the 4 “big ticket” items, including roof, plumbing, HVAC, and electric.

4 Point Inspections-Roof-Plumbing-Electric-HVAC
4 Point Inspections
  • The Full home inspection is just that, a complete examination of the entire property, and takes approximately 2-3 hours, including the 4 big ticket items. One of the most important part of the full home inspection it the “wood destroying organisms” (WDO) report which is ordered separately.

The Entire House is Covered Under a Home Inspection
Home Inspections
  • The WDO report: When performing a WDO inspection, experts look for more than just insects. Wood decay, evidence of past infestations, damage to wooden structures, evidence of past treatments and favorable conditions for infestations are all potential issues the inspector will look for. Any of these signs can indicate the presence of these organisms.

(One of our preferred home inspectors is Monica Magee with F.P.D Home Inspections)

Benefits of the Home Inspection Report

A home inspection helps a home buyer to see beyond the floorplan and color palate. The inspection is carried out in a methodical way to check the age, parts, and condition of major areas of the home. You just bought a new home; you want to enjoy it not spend additional funds on repairs. The benefit of this inspection report is it gives a buyer options. Once the inspectors report is completed, review it with your real estate broker. The broker will be able to decipher want are contractual obligations for repairs. At that point you can renegotiate terms of the contract, submit a list of repairs, or walk away from the contract without penalty.

Inspection vs. Appraisal

If a buyer is financing the property, the lender will order an appraisal. Do not confuse the home inspection with the appraisal. Both are necessary. The primary difference is the home inspection determines the condition of the property; the appraisal determines the value. For more information on an appraisal inspection click here.


Buying a home is an exciting time to be part of the American Dream. Do not turn your dream into a nightmare. Work through the process in a methodical manner, utilizing the data, paying special attention to the “home inspection” aspect. Then you can turn the front door key with confidence. “Welcome home”. If you have any other questions feel free to reach out to First Coast Realty on Facebook or Twitter and we would be happy to speak with you about what works for you. Or, to talk to an agent call/text today 904-494-8408 or email


About the Authors: The above article "What You Need to Know About Home Inspections" was provided by First Coast Realty Inc. The agents at First Coast Realty have years of experience and have been successful in the St. Augustine and Northeast Florida area for for over 25 years. If you are looking to buy a home give us a call first to see if you can leverage our knowledge to your advantage. We service St Augustine, Palm Coast, Palatka, and Jacksonville areas.

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