Four point vs full home inspection

I’ve always wondered why someone would take a short cut in the home buying arena. Today was a perfect example. I had been hired to perform an inspection for a previous client whom I had done an inspection 4 months earlier. I asked what happened to the last property and she told me based on the report I had given her, it was too much work and money for her, so she backed out using my report. So, here we are 4 months later, and another inspection.

As I approached the home, the owner came out and was leaving. She had informed me that the rear bedroom window was leaking, not from the roof, but from around a window. Ok, good start and an honest home owner. I proceeded to do my usual questioning and found she had bought this last September and had no issues back then. I asked if she had a home inspection and is it available for review? Yes, it’s on the counter and the Inspector said the roof was good for another 8 to 10 years.

I proceeded to grab my ladder to go look at the roof. As I climbed the ladder (heavy rain) I immediately noticed 2 layers of shingles. Then, an area above the window had been holding water in a depression and plenty of roof tar at the edge of shingles, (to seal against rain, I guess) and at the gutter clips. The sheathing under the shingles had deteriorated and water is entering the structure.

Getting to the point, or as my friends would say, Wayne, land the plane already. At this point I turned and asked the realtor for the “Home Inspection report” the owners had done in September. There it was, just as I expected. I was handed a 4 point Insurance inspection. I wasn’t surprised, at all.

People, a 4 point Insurance Inspection is just that, 4 point. A 4 point inspection only covers the 4 major items in the home and structure isn’t one of them. A 4 point is the visual assessment of the HVAC, Roof, Plumbing and Electrical systems only. Again, visual only. These reports are not in place nor should they replace a full home inspection. What happened here was the Inspector did his job, although his perception of roof age was off, (less than 3 years left but leaking now) he was hired to do just that, a visual of the four components. Had there been a full inspection as a purchase He may have noted interior wall anomalies which would have red flagged the past leaks. Regardless, I was able to help the client and get her out of the contract with the inspection report and it’s issues.

My advice going forward with a home purchase? Get yourself a full Inspection by a licensed home inspector who will go from roof ridge to slab and everything in between. Realtors will advise their clients that some homes are sold as is, so just get the 4 point, it will suffice. NOT! A 4 point will not help break a contract. A 4 point does not cover ceilings, windows, walls, floors, doors, structure or appliances. It doesn’t cover exterior issues such as drainage, tree root damage etc..

Note: I also found out since the September purchase the current owner had to repair a leak at a front window. He tore the roof back and improperly repaired it as well as the wall area above and around the window which was still soft and not properly supported. Buyer beware, Inspect the uninspected.


Author: abetterchoicehomeinspection

Hello and Welcome, I'm Wayne Cerra, Owner and Inspector of A Better Choice Home Inspection. I started my Career in 1986 as a part time Inspector in Massachusetts. By 1996 I had Incorporated into Total Exposure Home Inspection serving Greater Boston area where I have inspected over 5,000 residential properties. In 2008 I relocated to Cape Coral, Florida where I operate A Better Choice Home Inspection and have inspected over 2,000 residential inspections and 2,500 Insurance Inspections. Accurate, dependable and honest reporting without all the fluff. My Inspection practices are geared towards todays needs. Maintenance and repairs are discussed. I work solely for the Consumer with their best interests in mind. Education is key. I work hard to make sure I stay up with the latest building trends and continue to better myself with the Client in mind. I have worked in every aspect of the residential building process as well as educated on all environmental challenges associated with structures and the building envelope. My focus today is older homes that require more maintenance with so many older homes in Lee County. I am available to provide your inspection needs for a first time buyer or a seasoned Investor, I provide a detailed report with photos and explanations e-mailed to you by end of the business day. For Home Owners looking to renew or shop around, I can meet their inspection needs with scheduling your wind mitigation verification reports, four point inspections and/or a Roof Certification report. Call me, Wayne at 239-989-3349 to schedule your Inspection.

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