home inspections and flooding

Home Inspections and Flooding

Due to the excessive rain we’ve had in Tampa the last few days, we felt the need to share a little information on home inspections and flooding. The down-pouring of rain these last few weeks have made living in Tampa feel more like living in Seattle. While this much rain this often isn’t year-round, it can certainly cause issues for many homes around the Tampa Bay Area. This is especially true for homes located in flood zones, specifically in South Tampa, and along the shoreline. Flood hazards directly effects the buying and selling of a home. As we’ve mentioned in a few of our past blogs, inspecting a home during the rain can actually be a really good thing. In addition, and for any home-buyer, here are a few questions and warning signs to look out for when purchasing a home in South Florida.

The Flood Zone

As always, it is the seller’s responsibility to let you know if the home you are considering purchasing is within a flood zone. Although it is the seller’s duty, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. especially living in Florida in areas like Tampa, South Tampa, St. Petersburg, Treasure Island, North Tampa, and even Land O’ Lakes areas. All over Tampa are flood zones and there is a good chance your future home is in one. Don’t assume the seller will let you know, go ahead and ask them. Even if the house is not in a flood zone the neighborhood could experience some flooding when there is substantial rain and you’ll want to know about it ahead of time. You can also enter the home address into FEMA’s Flood Map to find out.

What Flooding Can Cost You

Living in Florida means no basements, so you don’t have to worry about your basement flooding if you’re in a flood zone. If you live, or are planning to live, on the coast then you should already be familiar with the mandatory standards for coastal flooding. Living in a flood zone also has some costs associated with the location, such as higher insurance premiums (much higher in fact!), difficult access in and out of your driveway or neighborhood, higher maintenance costs on your home, or even more maintenance on your car if you experience a substantial amount of travel during flooding. Be aware of the extra costs before committing to a home within a flood zone. Of course, during our home inspection if we see any signs of flooding within or around the home we’ll be sure to give you all the information you need.

Deal Breaker or Not?

Should flooding issues be a deal breaker or not? This question is a little tricky because there are so many flood zones all around Tampa that excluding these homes would narrow down your options considerably. That being said, ultimately it is your decision. Flooding issues can vary in intensity and you may find that the flooding issues near or around your home are minor, making a small impact on your decision. The more information you know about your future home, the better!

home inspection

Verify Your Contractors

Many times a good home inspector will run into an all-too familiar problem. It starts out like every other inspection, checking for important home characteristics, installations, foundation, etc. But then it happens – a clear indicator of unverified (or just really bad) contractors. The problem could consists of bad electrical wiring, incorrect installation of a toilet, a wrong size drip pan in the a/c unit, and the list goes on and on. So let this article be a warning, for any work that needs to be done around the house don’t skimp by using the first (or the cheapest) contractor you can find. At the end of the day, and down the road, you will absolutely regret the decision to hire an unverified contractor. Here are some steps to ensure you get both a fairly priced contractor and a trustworthy contractor.

Use Referrals

Someone almost always knows someone they can refer for contract work. Asking around is a great place to start – but it shouldn’t be where you end. A person referring a business, company, or individual may have the best intentions in doing so but referrals are not guaranteed so you still need to take the extra time to check them out.

Read the Online Reviews

Real feedback from real people should be a deciding factor in hiring a contractor. Most businesses have online reviews from Google, Yelp, or another platform where you can easily and freely see what other people have to say about their service. While the commonly known fact that people are more apt to voice their opinion when they’re unhappy vs. when they are happy, you should still utilize the information. Chances are high the reviews are going to tell you something about the business you are considering.

Call Around

Tampa is saturated with contractors. From handymen to large companies, you have a plethora of choices. So why wouldn’t you call around? Ask about pricing, check out how they deal with you on the phone, and get all of your questions answered. If you run into an issue with a company’s service down the line, more than likely the way you are treated when you call is how you will be treated in the future, so don’t wait until you’ve hired them to find out.

At Divinity Inspection Service we offer a vendor list to any customer upon request. We know, like, and trust our vendors which is why we refer them. You can also trust that they have been verified by us. No matter which vendor or contractor you decide to hire, now or in the future, make sure you verify them first.