A Buyer has more than one option in reference to the home inspections available. Logic indicates that the buyer is the party most interested in finding out the true property condition and can't rely solely on a Seller's Property Disclosure or on any other information provided by the Seller or Realtors involved.
One of the main concerns for a buyer is the roof, something we understand, since the roofs are one of the most expensive components of a property. One of the available inspections is a "Roof Certification", the report given by the inspector is good for the knowledge of the buyer, the bank, and or the insurance company, which may request a copy of the roof report. It's important to find out the year of the roof, the type of roof material, general conditions, and life expectancy. Generally speaking a flat roof will last 10-12 years, a shingle roof 15-20 years and a clay/concrete tile roof, 30 years.
Another inspection that the majority of buyers wish have done is the "Termite Inspection". In Florida, due to our weather, termites can infect our homes and be very destructive. Make sure that the person you are contracting is a valid Termite Licensed Inspector in the State of Florida. Many of the Home Inspectors in our State don't have that license. Once the property is inspected, the Termite Inspector will issue a "Certificate of Clearance" if the property is free of termites, if that's not the case, then they will most likely give you an estimate for the treatment of the property required to eliminate the termites. Of course you are not obligated to use the services that the Inspector presents.
Experts recommend Buyers to hire a Home Inspector to perform a more comprehensive inspection, in other words not limited to the Roof and Termite Inspections. These more comprehensive inspections are known as "Full Home Inspections", where the inspector will inspect the property foundation, exterior walls, roof, attic, electrical system, electrical outlets and switches, plumbing system, central air, appliances, kitchen, interior walls, windows, fire alarm system, bathrooms, garage and its components, pool, etc. This inspection offers a Buyer the truth about the property condition, and will help in making an educated decision.
For many of us buying a property is the largest investment we make in our lives, for this reason it is imperative that a Buyer has the property properly inspected, with the right kind of inspection. The cost of an inspection is minimal compared to the purchase price of the property, and the value of the inspection has no limits. A "Full Inspection" done on time can save you thousands of dollars in renegotiating a contract or cancelling it. When hiring an inspector it is not so important the cost of the inspection, if not the VALUE of it. In other words what are you receiving from the Inspection and the Report? Don't forget, you get what you pay for.