One important step along the path to home ownership is the home inspection. As part of the home buying process, you have the right to ensure that the property does not suffer from hidden conditions that might render it uninhabitable. To that end, it is strongly recommended that you hire a home inspection service to perform a thorough check of the condition of the property before moving forward with the transaction.
“Home inspection services” means a limited visual examination of the following readily accessible installed systems and components of a home: the structure, electrical system, HVAC system, roof covering, plumbing system, interior components, exterior components, and site conditions that affect the structure, for the purposes of providing a written professional opinion of the condition of the home.
Florida law requires home inspection companies to be licensed. The inspector must provide you with a copy of his or her license, along with a written disclosure that contains the scope and any exclusions of the home inspection. Once hired, the inspector will perform the examination noted above and provide you with a home inspection report that details:
(a) … those systems and components inspected that, in the professional opinion of the inspector, are significantly deficient or are near the end of their service lives.
(b) If not self-evident, a reason why the system or component reported under paragraph (a) is significantly deficient or near the end of its service life.
(c) Any systems and components that were present at the time of the inspection but were not inspected, and a reason they were not inspected.
Note: The home inspector is not required to provide you with any estimates related to repair costs for issues that have been identified. You, the buyer, are responsible for the inspection fee.
There are benefits to hiring a home inspector. For example, if the inspection uncovers significant issues, you can leverage that information to renegotiate the contract price. Alternatively, the inspection may highlight irreparable damage that would allow you to walk away from the deal, if that is your choice. Most importantly, the inspection provides you with all the relevant details you need to make an informed decision.
 Fl. Ann. Stat. § 468.8311 (2013).
 Fl. Ann. Stat. § 468.8314 (2013). This requirement does not cover mold remediation.
 Fl. Ann. Stat. § 468.8321 (2013).
 Fl. Ann. Stat. § 468.8323 (2013).