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I receive weekly listings of houses new to the market.  I'm a little familiar with one house, as a prior owner had me check a few things for him about 4-5 years ago.  Lots of red flags with this home;  it appears from the available public details a flipper sold to a flipper. 

Whomever you hire to perform your inspection prior to purchase, you MUST ensure a review of the permits to check the updates for improper construction.  The only way to stop flippers from performing work without permits and the required municipal inspections is to have your hired inspector review the permits issued for the work, i.e. enclosing a carport or converting a garage area, new roof, replace water heater, upgrade electrical system, A/C installation.

This information should be brought to the City Building Department.  Hopefully they will have the current owner fix improperly built items.  Some of these problems items will not be cheap to correct and if they are NOT found and corrected now they become your problem later if you proceed with the purchase!

This is very important for older homes and homes owned by flippers.

This new listing may have the following problems: newer water heater with no permit;  plumbing work/repipe with no permit;  A/C replace with no permit; addition to home appears to show insufficient electrical outlets and possibly this space is included in square footage as living space to increase value.  There is a roof repair permit for partial roof, no permit or inspection when  entire roof was replaced 3-5 years ago. It appears a carport/garage was enclosed and the front of the enclosure shows wood in contact with the driveway.  I doubt there are proper footings or foundation.

More of the same.
I just checked a house listing that I was sent.  The house was built in the 1940's.  This house has been rehabbed by Flippers.  Problems seen with addition concerns.  There are no permits on this house except for a reroof.
I have concerns with the following:  A/C, Electrical, Plumbing, and the front addition room has brick at the front and wood siding at the back.  The problem is the wood appears newer and almost is touching the ground.  Should be 6 inches off the ground.  Anyway many rehab items were done to this house and the only permit is for a reroof.  Lots of Red Flags.
One item that I highly recommend is a review of the permits for items that require permits when doing or changing things.  I always recommend that the current owner obtain the required permits and inspections by the city.
This really applies when flippers do things that require permits and inspections and does not get the required permits or inspections.

It is highly recommended that your inspector review permits and compare these against what was done to the home.    

Additional Please read:
I receive frequent emails with accompanying pictures from Real Estate companies with current houses on the market. 


After viewing a new listing that appeared have been recently rehabbed (flippers?) I decided to do a bit of investigating and dig further by verifying the work with the County Building Department.


Some issues immediately obvious just from the listing photos:


The house is built off-grade and there appear to be no screenings to keep animals from getting under the house.


The landscaping appears to be newly installed plants and mulch is placed beside the house.  Newer homes are not permitted to have mulch and/or plants within 12 inches of the foundation.  Why?  This will hold moisture and attract destructive insects such as termites!


At some point in time the garage (or carport) was enclosed into living space.  I reviewed the permits and there are no permits for this work in the past 35 years.  Issues that occur in this type of construction is the wood framing is placed on the concrete flooring of the original construction, this is not permitted within 6 inches of the ground.  And if constructed this way it becomes very difficult to fix.  There are usually also issues with the electrical installations.  All electrical installations must be done according to the code when the enclosure was done and must be inspected by the County.


The exterior of the enclosed garage/carport area has siding within 6 inches to the ground.  Again, not allowed and in this case the permit for the siding is different from the installed siding?


The Real Estate listing states the house has “newer AC.”  There is no permit with the County for the installation, which is a requirement.  This needs correction before purchase.


There is an electrical permit showing plans for rewiring the house and installing new outlets/switches.  This permit shows cancelled.  There appear to be new outlets/switches in the photos.  An inspection of the main panel would verify if new wiring was or was not installed.


Not able to view another important area – the crawlspace.  In over 20 years of home inspections I have never been in a crawlspace that did not have issues.  This is also true after 20 years of attic inspections!


The point I am making with this cursory overview of a new listing for sale is that there are houses on the market that have been rehabbed without proper permitting and follow-up inspections by the County.  They look really nice and fresh and promote a lot of great new features – AC, electrical work, etc.  But these features may not have been properly installed and/or inspected and may give you problems soon afterwards.


Do your homework and research when choosing a qualified and licensed Home Inspector to guide you in this very important decision.

I am NOT doing inspections at this time.  Be Safe.


Hiring the wrong Home Inspector
Could End Up Costing You

Thousands of Dollars.

The MOST important part of buying your future dream castle in the Jacksonville, Florida area (or just your modest little bungalow in suburbia) is to get yourself a well-qualified HOME INSPECTOR with loads of certifications and qualifications and years of experience. And don’t let your realtor pick out the inspector, they’re interested in closing the deal and want no issues to surface that may get in the way of that.

BEFORE making this decision please read How to Hire an Inspector.

Do your research, all available via online resources, get some quotes, interview a few and ask questions. And if you have to spend some extra bucks to get the one that sounds like The One to you, don’t scrimp on this because this person could possibly save you many thousands of dollars on problems that are yours after you close. Put the money in your home buying budget as you start your search – you’ll be glad you did!!

Having a professional home inspection will significantly reduce your risk and help make the entire home buying process easier and less stressful. We really enjoy helping our clients in this process, customer service is our highest priority!

We strongly encourage all of our clients to accompany us during the home inspection. You should feel free to ask the inspector any questions you may have during the inspection process. The inspector will point out problems and explain them to you. The inspector will also show you the good points of the house as well. Plus, we will explain what routine maintenance is needed to keep the house in top condition. This will help you to get the most benefit from the inspection and gain the most understanding of the systems that make up your home, and how to maintain them.

You will get a comprehensive report that is easy to understand. Everything identified during the inspection will be included in the report.

Armed with the information our report will provide, you can make your decision with confidence.    

Performing Home Inspections in Jacksonville, Florida since 1997.