Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

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synthfan23
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Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 6:59 am

I'm meeting with my realtor's recommended inspector this morning and having him do a general inspection. This is all my Realtor says this is all she suggests for new construction. The cost is $275--seems a little high, but he's very thorough and highly ranked. The downstairs is block/stucco. Upstairs is woodframe. He's licensed to do a Termite inspection. But I'm hoping the Builder has already performed one, treated the property, and can provide me with documentation certifying when the inspection was done and when the property was treated. The builder is Meritage Homes. And unfortunately this is an inventory home we went under contract on just a month or two before construction was complete. And so we didn't have a chance to have our own inspector do periodic inspections. Though I hear Orange County, FL has probably already done several inspections throughout the build process and that they're pretty thorough.

The Builder will do a walkthrough inspection with me and my wife later this month. But that's the Builder's inspection. I'll have my own inspector's report in hand, accompanied by my Realtor who enjoys finding flaws.

Anyway, for Central FL residents, is it worth the cost to pay for any other type of inspection? Like radon, etc? Thanks in advance as I'm off to meet the inspector shortly.

sheepla
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by sheepla » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:02 am

$275 sounds very low to me for an inspection.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:06 am

sheepla wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:02 am
$275 sounds very low to me for an inspection.
Good to know. It is with:
https://housemaster.com/

gs2offroad
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by gs2offroad » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:07 am

$275 is cheap for Fla. A 3rd party will see things you and the builder overlook. Money well spent.

dalbright
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by dalbright » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:17 am

If you are not handy or up to date personally on building codes and design its money well spent, and a worthwhile investment if you find a good inspector. They will see things you would not. 275 is cheap out here at least in the midwest. Can't speak for the need for radon testing in your region but look at houses in the neighborhood. If they have radon exhaust vents then you'd probably need one too...

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KSOC
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by KSOC » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:44 am

Third party inspections are good. I hope they include wind mitigation. Trust but verify, right? Last thing you want is a Cat 4 or 5 barreling through, and not have confidence your home is able to hold up.
Too soon old, too late smart.

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J G Bankerton
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by J G Bankerton » Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:50 am

In New Jersey the town inspects all construction. They can stop construction if something isn't up to code. I paid $250 for an inspection 35 years ago and it was a waste of money, they can't see what is behind walls or under ground.

If the inspector doesn't climb on the roof tell him to get lost.

renue74
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by renue74 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:05 am

In SC, a home inspection costs about $400 to $500.

I used them early on when I bought rental property, but soon found their recommendations to be worthless for my needs...but that was buying 40 year old basic property.

In the course of new construction there are about 6 inspections the county does here.
Foundation (verify footing rebar, footing size, etc.)
Open floor (verify floor joists sizing, joist hangers, etc.)
Window/house wrap/siding (inspection outside facade for code compliance)
All rough (big one....verify wood framing, plumbing, electrical are up to code)
Insulation (verify wall insulation done properly)
final inspection (verify finished electrical and plumbing)

In florida, I'm sure they also inspect for hurricane ties, stainless steel materials for that climate, etc.

The extra inspection is just added insurance you get a good product.

I mean....there are code compliance and then there is workmanship. Code compliance is "yes, the electrician used an arc fault/GFCI 20 amp circuit for the washing machine circuit. But workmanship is more like the sheet rock guys didn't over mud the corners and screw up the baseboard.

I find that the inspectors never really offer "workmanship," review...just code compliance.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:03 am

KSOC wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:44 am
Third party inspections are good. I hope they include wind mitigation. Trust but verify, right? Last thing you want is a Cat 4 or 5 barreling through, and not have confidence your home is able to hold up.
Thanks to all. I’m here now with the inspector.
He advised not doing a wind mitigation
inspection because it is new construction and
meets or exceeds code.

I’m pretty sure he’s qualified to offer that as
an add-on, so it’s nice not to need one or be
oversold.

He also does Termite inspections. But said I
won’t need one because the Builder should
provide me with a one-year bond, that treatments
these days should last for around 10 years. It’s
concrete block downstairs and woodframe
upstairs. He said termites rarely get that high up.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:30 pm

So, the inspection went very well. Just over two hours. While the inspector (he's good!) found a number of things that need fixing, they were mostly minor. Overall he said the Builder did a great job compared to many other new construction homes he's inspected. I'll be receiving his report later today. It will go to me, my Realtor, and the Builder (so they can begin repairs ASAP).

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J G Bankerton
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by J G Bankerton » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:06 pm

synthfan23 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:30 pm
It will go to me, my Realtor, and the Builder (so they can begin repairs ASAP).
The realtor recommended an inspection on a new house built by the seller. Realtors work for the seller and only the seller.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:56 pm

J G Bankerton wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:06 pm
synthfan23 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 12:30 pm
It will go to me, my Realtor, and the Builder (so they can begin repairs ASAP).
The realtor recommended an inspection on a new house built by the seller. Realtors work for the seller and only the seller.
Nice try, no cigar. Unless there's something unique about Florida. Or this is an article of personal faith. My realtor has no affiliation with the Builder's rep and clearly behaved like a Buyer's Agent. Perhaps Buyer's Agents aren't a recognized entity in FL--in which case you may be technically correct or partially so. Or not at all--please elaborate.

My realtor earned her commission spending several months showing us various properties that interested us. None were her own listings. Called BS on a lot of various Builders' design center markups. Negotiated more off the list price than the builder-to-seller incentives in a hot market. And got several things thrown in that this particular builder wanted to charge for: fridge, washer/dryer, and whole-house blinds. Further, she'll be attending our walk through with the Builder, inspection report in hand, ensure everything on the punch list is fixed. And may even find things the inspector may not have--she's got a great eye for that and enjoys the game. I certainly wouldn't trust a Builder's inspector.

If on the other hand you mean to say never work with a Builder's on-site rep then I'd agree--I've seen the difference. Many will rob you blind given the chance. Clearly a Builder's rep has the Builder's best interests in mind and not the buyer's. I never thought to use an independent Realtor for new construction until a close friend suggested it. Seemed counter intuitive. Turned out to be a huge value add. And a path I'd recommend to anyone who can find a great realtor with high reviews.

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J G Bankerton
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by J G Bankerton » Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:42 pm

synthfan23 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:56 pm
My realtor has no affiliation with the Builder's rep and clearly behaved like a Buyer's Agent. Perhaps Buyer's Agents aren't a recognized entity in FL--in which case you may be technically correct or partially so. Or not at all--please elaborate.
Negotiated more off the list price than the builder-to-seller incentives in a hot market
If the realtor got a percentage of the sale price she was working for the seller and only the seller. Enjoy you new home.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:11 pm

J G Bankerton wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:42 pm
synthfan23 wrote:
Wed Jun 12, 2019 1:56 pm
My realtor has no affiliation with the Builder's rep and clearly behaved like a Buyer's Agent. Perhaps Buyer's Agents aren't a recognized entity in FL--in which case you may be technically correct or partially so. Or not at all--please elaborate.
Negotiated more off the list price than the builder-to-seller incentives in a hot market
If the realtor got a percentage of the sale price she was working for the seller and only the seller. Enjoy you new home.
Ok. Thanks.

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J G Bankerton
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by J G Bankerton » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:18 pm

synthfan23 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Ok. Thanks.
My son lives in Florida and his home insurance is more than his property tax, this is Pinellas county. Is it the same with you?

nolesrule
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by nolesrule » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:21 pm

J G Bankerton wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:18 pm
synthfan23 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Ok. Thanks.
My son lives in Florida and his home insurance is more than his property tax, this is Pinellas county. Is it the same with you?
Not the OP, but that was true when I lived in Pinellas. We moved away about 5 years ago.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:24 pm

J G Bankerton wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:18 pm
synthfan23 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Ok. Thanks.
My son lives in Florida and his home insurance is more than his property tax, this is Pinellas county. Is it the same with you?
I wish. Not in Orange County.

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J G Bankerton
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by J G Bankerton » Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:40 pm

synthfan23 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:24 pm
J G Bankerton wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:18 pm
synthfan23 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Ok. Thanks.
My son lives in Florida and his home insurance is more than his property tax, this is Pinellas county. Is it the same with you?
I wish. Not in Orange County.
You must be in a no evacuation zone. He is in zone D. I worry every hurricane season.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:53 am

J G Bankerton wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:40 pm
synthfan23 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:24 pm
J G Bankerton wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:18 pm
synthfan23 wrote:
Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:11 pm

Ok. Thanks.
My son lives in Florida and his home insurance is more than his property tax, this is Pinellas county. Is it the same with you?
I wish. Not in Orange County.
You must be in a no evacuation zone. He is in zone D. I worry every hurricane season.
I'm sorry about your son. My Dad used to check in on me periodically every Hurricane season for the 11 years I lived in central NC. I expect more check-ins now that we're in Central FL--but it's from the heart so I can't complain.

You may indeed be right about Realtors and who they really work for. I may have drank a bit too much of the Kool-aid. Please accept my apologies. That's not to say I don't still recognize a value add. But I can see the dynamic has shifted a bit after going under contract and as we approach Closing. I'm now a little less-inclined to think of my Realtor as Hero and Protector. At the end of the day, the Realtor and Builder's Rep want to make a sale. In a now-it's-too-late moment, I recently read a great article about What Home Inspectors Don't Want You to Know. One item was something like, "Realtors are my best referrals." And that some unscrupulous home inspectors working in cahoots with Realtors may overlook certain findings so as to not kill the deal for the Realtor--that it's better to find your own, unaffiliated inspector if you still want an independent new construction home inspection.

I don't know if any of that applies to the people I'm presently working with. Hope not. The inspector seemed to have great reviews--but then reviewers aren't always fully informed. He did seem quite honest in that, while qualified to do so, he didn't push a Termite Inspection despite me asking. Downstairs is block, upstairs is woodframe, that I should be getting a termite bond from the Builder, that treatments often last up to 10 yrs (I had a termite inspection performed annually on my NC woodframe home), and that termites rarely make it up to a second story. He also said I didn't need a wind mitigation inspection, again, despite me asking, because it's a new home and means some pretty stringent Orange County building codes; that Orange County would have performed several fairly thorough inspections throughout the Build process, etc.

My Realtor is now suggesting that she have her inspector return after the Builder completes the repairs on inspection report punch-list. At a lower cost than the $275 inspection, but still at some cost. I no longer trust whether or not that's worth the money.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:40 am

"My Realtor is now suggesting that she have her inspector return after the Builder completes the repairs on inspection report punch-list. At a lower cost than the $275 inspection, but still at some cost. I no longer trust whether or not that's worth the money."

You are doing so many things right and seem like you are getting a good home that you can afford and that will last, like the lower level block in that environment. I would stick with the program that you are on unless the cost seems crazy. Stay the course.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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J G Bankerton
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by J G Bankerton » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:01 am

OP, you have more to worry about with a title search than having someone look at molding. I had a title problem at closing when I bought a house. It took two years to clear up.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:27 am

WhyNotUs wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 9:40 am
"My Realtor is now suggesting that she have her inspector return after the Builder completes the repairs on inspection report punch-list. At a lower cost than the $275 inspection, but still at some cost. I no longer trust whether or not that's worth the money."

You are doing so many things right and seem like you are getting a good home that you can afford and that will last, like the lower level block in that environment. I would stick with the program that you are on unless the cost seems crazy. Stay the course.
Thanks! Would staying the course include agreeing to pay for another post-repair, pre-Closing inspection? The inspector said, although he did have some findings, that in his opinion my Builder did a much better job than most. And he's been doing new construction home inspections for decades.

The cost does seem a bit crazy. But that's been the case in this part of Orlando for a while. I can only hope I haven't bought at the top of the bubble. Or that if there's another huge local housing market crash in the Orlando area like there was between around 2008 and 2010, that we either:

* Feel comfortable staying put and so it's only a paper-loss. We're making a gigantic down payment. So even if the market crashed, we wouldn't be underwater on our mortgage--I think.

* Keep the place and put it on the long-term rental market and buy another home further out at a discount.

What's a bit discouraging is that I recently discovered a new construction bungalow, of the same model, similar upgrades, same lot size and same builder, at a community of theirs over in Oakland, costs approximately 20K less than ours and has a significantly lower monthly HOA cost; and probably lower taxes if it's actually over the border in Lake County. On the other hand, we're paying a premium for location: being in Horizon West ("Village F") with super close proximity to Disney (15 min drive or $8 Uber each way to The Contemporary--then walk to MK), in an area with seemingly desirable public schools, and will only be around an 8 minute drive to the Horizon West community of Hamlin (around Lake Hancock)--where comparable new construction homes seem to cost between 20K and 40K *more* than our place. We rent at Lakewalk in Hamlin and have enjoyed a full year of living within walking distance to Hamlin Town Center. Really enjoy the amenities--the luxury Cinepolis theater, great Publix, great Walmart, Starbucks, Pizza Press, other restaurants, etc. With lots more to come. But will only be an 8 minute drive away. So it seems like a reasonable compromise.

Kills me that our monthly HOA is $142 and doesn't include lawn care or basic cable. I hate to mow and edge (back issues); and for pete's sake, we're on a micro-sized lot (about a 1,700 sq ft home on about a 4,000 sq ft lot, with a total build surface of ~2500 sq ft max). Hopefully I can farm lawn care out, perhaps every other week, for a low price. They probably don't include lawn care because there are much larger premium building lots in the community. A good thing I'm guessing--because even though it's largely a bungalow community there are some massive single family homes being built.

Despite all the verbal hand-wringing (thanks kindly to those who've had the time and will to read my verbose posts) I'm pretty pleased overall. Figuring out insurance in FL has been a hassle. But that would be true for any home purchase, new or used, in the area.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:39 am

J G Bankerton wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:01 am
OP, you have more to worry about with a title search than having someone look at molding. I had a title problem at closing when I bought a house. It took two years to clear up.
Thanks JG.

WhyNotUs
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by WhyNotUs » Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:44 pm

Impossible to know if we are at a near term top. Housing costs are regional more than national. The 15 year trend is that cost of materials and labor is increasing faster than inflation. Labor is more variable by market. Building codes are getting a little tighter, in some areas it is getting harder for approvals for new lots, and local governments are getting better at cost recovery in some areas. I don't know about Orlando.

In general, if you can't picture yourself living there for 10 years I wouldn't buy anywhere. Buying and selling transaction costs are too high and kind of a pain, see the thread with the guy trying to sell on the other end of an inspection.

As to your inspector returning, if it is less than $100 I would do it unless you can look at the items fixed and know they were fixed correctly.
I own the next hot stock- VTSAX

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:04 pm

WhyNotUs wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:44 pm
Impossible to know if we are at a near term top. Housing costs are regional more than national. The 15 year trend is that cost of materials and labor is increasing faster than inflation. Labor is more variable by market. Building codes are getting a little tighter, in some areas it is getting harder for approvals for new lots, and local governments are getting better at cost recovery in some areas. I don't know about Orlando.

In general, if you can't picture yourself living there for 10 years I wouldn't buy anywhere. Buying and selling transaction costs are too high and kind of a pain, see the thread with the guy trying to sell on the other end of an inspection.

As to your inspector returning, if it is less than $100 I would do it unless you can look at the items fixed and know they were fixed correctly.
Thanks WhyNotUs. Last decision for me to make is Flood Insurance. I want it. Seems many don't carry it here in Orlando at all. Only question for me is purchase the standard FEMA 250K/100K coverage at $482/yr. Or halve the premium and coverage? Replacement cost of the home is somewhere between 238K and 309K.

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synthfan23
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Re: Additional inspections other than general inspection for new construction home in Orange County, FL area?

Post by synthfan23 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 2:16 pm

synthfan23 wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 1:04 pm
WhyNotUs wrote:
Mon Jun 17, 2019 12:44 pm
Impossible to know if we are at a near term top. Housing costs are regional more than national. The 15 year trend is that cost of materials and labor is increasing faster than inflation. Labor is more variable by market. Building codes are getting a little tighter, in some areas it is getting harder for approvals for new lots, and local governments are getting better at cost recovery in some areas. I don't know about Orlando.

In general, if you can't picture yourself living there for 10 years I wouldn't buy anywhere. Buying and selling transaction costs are too high and kind of a pain, see the thread with the guy trying to sell on the other end of an inspection.

As to your inspector returning, if it is less than $100 I would do it unless you can look at the items fixed and know they were fixed correctly.
Thanks WhyNotUs. Last decision for me to make is Flood Insurance. I want it. Seems many don't carry it here in Orlando at all. Only question for me is purchase the standard FEMA 250K/100K coverage at $482/yr. Or halve the premium and coverage? Replacement cost of the home is somewhere between 238K and 309K.
Well, looks like halving the coverage doesn't halve the premium. Read that wrong. Guess I'll go for the full FEMA 250K/100K coverage for now. Then adjust downward in the future if it's advisable and/or they'll let me.

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