It’s going to be harder to sell older homes…
Effective February 7, 2018, Citizens Property Insurance issued new guidelines for 4-Point inspections on homes over 30 years old. Citizens is the largest carrier serving Florida and, no, simply finding a different carrier may not help. This requirement results in more risk and time to the inspector. In essence, the new 4-Point is a mini-home inspection along with the new use of the word “certified” as in, the inspector will now “certify” the building components – this new requirement will certainly attract the attention of inspectors E&O providers!
Proof of prior repairs and by whom the work was done is a prevalent theme in the new report. The new form also requires the inspector to note the last date the AC system was serviced and by whom! I suspect when this information is not available to the inspector, the buyers premium may be more but that is just my opinion.
Building permits are going to be even more important to document plumbing upgrades, HVAC changeouts, roof replacement, etc. It may be that if a plumbing permit is not filed to prove a re-pipe, the home may not be insurable or affordably priced. Listing Agents should pay attention to this as it will affect your ability to sell the home. You will need to get the Sellers to provide copies of permits, repair invoices, etc. and don’t forget, you also need the name of the company who did the work.
Here is a short list of the new requirements:
- Inspector must certify amperage is suitable.
- Inspector must document remediation of all single strand branch wiring
- Inspector must document date of last AC service and who did it
- Inspector must document condition of all plumbing valves/connections to include refrigerator, washing machine, tubs/shower, toilets and main shut off valve
- Inspector must provide year and extent of all plumbing upgrades
- Inspector must report any signs of leaks in roof deck/attic and interior ceilings (meaning no old water stains in ceilings)
The report defines “Acceptable Condition” as “each system is working as intended and there are no visible hazards or deficiencies.”
The new form places increased risk on the Inspector and it will take longer to inspect/report so you should expect price increases for 4-Point reports.
It will be even more important for the Seller to have building permits on file.
Listing Agents/Sellers should take the time to repair old ceiling leaks as not doing so may mean the Buyer can’t obtain insurance to close.