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The Difference Between a 4-Point and Residential Inspection…and why you might need both when purchasing a home.

When purchasing a home, it's important to consider the different types of inspections available to ensure that the property is thoroughly evaluated. Two common types of inspections are the 4-Point Inspection and the Residential Inspection, each serving different purposes and providing unique insights into the condition of the home.


Diagram of a house with highlighting key inspection areas.

What is a 4-Point Inspection?

A 4-Point Inspection focuses on four specific areas of the home:


  1. The roof

  2. The electrical system

  3. The plumbing system

  4. The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system


Insurance companies often require this type of inspection, especially for older homes, to assess the condition of these critical components and determine the risk associated with insuring the property.


 

What is a Residential Inspection?

In contrast, a Residential Inspection is a comprehensive assessment that encompasses a detailed examination of the entire property. It includes an in-depth evaluation of the structure, foundation, roof, electrical, plumbing systems, HVAC, insulation, ventilation, and more.


A Residential Inspection provides a holistic understanding of the home's overall condition, identifying any potential issues or safety concerns that may not be apparent during a 4-point Inspection.

 

While a 4-Point Inspection may fulfill insurance requirements and provide a snapshot of the home's essential systems, it may not uncover all potential problems within the property. This is where a Full Residential Inspection becomes invaluable.



Why do I need both a 4-Point and Residential Inspection?

By obtaining both types of inspections, homebuyers can gain a comprehensive understanding of the property's condition. This enables them to make informed decisions about the purchase and potentially negotiate repairs or adjustments based on the findings.


Some home buyers may think that opting for a residential inspection is the better choice because it offers a more comprehensive view of the home. However, choosing to only have a residential inspection could cause problems when trying to buy a home and needing to provide proof of insurance to secure your mortgage.


"The State of Florida Insurance Commission may not recognize a residential inspection report when assessing your home for insurance coverage.  When trying to obtain reduced insurance rates or get qualified for a mortgage, it's often beneficial, and sometimes manditory, to have a 4-point inspection report to submit to your insurance agency." - Dave Risha, Toltek Services Owner and Lead Home Inspector

In conclusion, while a 4-Point Inspection is essential for insurance purposes and provides insights into specific home systems, a Residential Inspection offers a more thorough and detailed assessment of the overall condition of the property.


Both types of inspections serve distinct purposes and offer valuable information to homebuyers. Therefore, it is advisable to consider obtaining both types of inspections when purchasing a home to ensure a comprehensive and detailed evaluation of the property.


To gain more insight into the residential inspection and 4-point reporting process, you can view our detailed list of sample inspection reports.


Want help from a Pro?

The home buying process can be stressful, so it's important to not let the home inspection add to your worries. Our team of professionals and certified home inspectors will provide you with the confidence you need to make the right decision for you and your family.


You can schedule an inspection directly online or give us a call to learn more. There's nothing to lose and everything to gain!

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