Save Money with a Wind Mitigation Inspection In Florida
Homeowners: Save Money with a Wind Mitigation Inspection In Florida
You're getting ready to buy your new Florida home, and you've checked all the boxes. You've saved up a down payment. You've qualified for a mortgage. You've found the perfect house and you're ready to put in an offer.
Aside from making the offer and getting the best price, a good Realtor's® job includes not only looking out for your best interest in negotiation, but also saving you money everywhere possible! Before you get caught up in the excitement of it all, there's another step you might be forgetting: a wind mitigation inspection. If you're new to the area, you may not realize why a wind mitigation inspection in Florida is so important. Here's what you need to know.
What is a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
As beautiful as Florida is, we're in the heart of the hurricane danger zone. Windstorms can cause extensive damage and cost thousands for insurance companies and homeowners alike. That's why wind mitigation inspections have become so common.
This unique type of inspection is meant to determine how well protected your home is against wind damage. It's an additional inspection on top of the typical home inspection buyers request before they buy a house. If you're planning to live in Florida or own property here, it's a necessity.
Why Do I Need a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection has more benefits than you might expect. Here's what you stand to gain:
Savings on Homeowners' Insurance
Before you buy a home and throughout the time you own a home, you want to have a wind mitigation inspection on file with your insurance company. Most insurance companies will allow hundreds of dollars in savings every year if you have this inspection on file, provided it meets certain criteria.
Keep in mind that a wind mitigation inspection is good for five years. If your insurer takes $400 per year off your policy, paying a few hundred dollars for the inspection will save you $2,000. In fact, our team has seen many homeowners receive double, and some triple that amount in savings.
More Information Before You Buy
Many prospective home buyers think the traditional home inspection will tell them everything they need to know. We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but that's not the case. Inspectors have a set checklist for those inspections, and windstorm preparedness isn't on it.
A wind mitigation inspection gives you more information you can use to negotiate the final terms of your sale. It also lets you know what type of investment you'd need in order to make the house safer. Having more information about the largest purchase you'll ever make is never a bad thing.
Windstorm Protection Checklist
If you purchase a wind mitigation inspection, the inspector can give you a variety of helpful tidbits regarding how safe the house already is, and also they can tell you the areas in which it's lacking.
One Step Toward More Insurance Savings
The simple step of having a wind mitigation inspection on file with your insurance company will save you money. However, did you know Florida law requires insurers to also offer discounts for certain windstorm protection upgrades?
This lesser-known law can save you hundreds or thousands in the long run. An inspection will show you how to get there.
What Do I Need to Know About a Wind Mitigation Inspection in Florida When Buying a Home?
Skipping the wind mitigation is one of the biggest home inspection mistakes you can make in Florida. However, it's a simple extra step.
Most home inspectors in Florida are also trained in wind mitigation inspections. You typically are able to get both inspections during the same appointment. In addition, many inspectors offer discounts if you have them do multiple inspections at the same time.
Considering all the potential savings we mentioned above, the price of a wind mitigation inspection is minimal. Most inspectors charge between $80 and $125. The price may depend on where you live, the house's size, the inspector's experience, and other factors.
What Can I Expect During a Wind Mitigation Inspection?
A wind mitigation inspection isn't a long process. There's a specific checklist of preparedness measures the inspector will check.
One key area of focus is each opening to your home, including all windows and doors. The type of material and glass in these areas will affect how much wind it can withstand.
Your roof is another important part of the inspection. The inspector will look at the roof's covering and see how resilient the material is. They will also evaluate the roof's shape and how stable it is against the wind. In addition, they'll look at the roof deck and how it's attached to the house, as well as the areas where the roof connects to the walls. At times, we have seen inspectors evaluation blueprints for this information if it is available.
Another key part of a wind mitigation inspection is called secondary water resistance. This indicates how well protected your home is against water if the roof were to fail.
How Can I Find a Wind Mitigation Inspector?
The good news is that you don't have to go through a whole extra inspector search for your wind mitigation inspection. As you look for an inspector for your traditional home inspection, look for one that offers wind mitigation inspection as well.
One great way to find a reliable inspector is to ask your real estate agent for a list of referrals. You can also check the database from the National Association of Certified Home Inspectors. (NACHI.org members are the only home inspectors we suggest!)
Getting Informed About Your Home's Windstorm Resistance
Buying a home is an exciting process whether it's your first or your fifth. Regardless, it's important to do your due diligence and get the information you need instead of skipping ahead.
For homeowners in our area, a wind mitigation inspection in Florida is one of those essential steps. The tips above can help you get the information you need while also saving you money in the long run.
For more help in your home buying or selling process, contact our real estate team.
• Remember, Wind Mitigation Inspections should be done every 5 years and provided to your home insurance company to maintain any discounts.