Posts made in May, 2014

Buy Your Side Wind Mitigation Hurricane GlassFlorida Insurance Companies are required by the Office of Insurance Regulation to give their customers policy discounts on premiums for specific enhancements to their property. If you are an owner of  improved property in Florida, then you are potentially missing out on hundreds – possibly thousands – of dollars of discounts on your annual wind insurance premiums!

Many homeowners don’t bother to get the inspection because they believe their older homes don’t have any “upgrades.” It’s really quite rare that we inspect a home in the Orange – Osceola Country area of Central Florida that doesn’t get some type of discount … usually you have at least a couple of qualifying features.

We’ve talked before about how the structural connection of the roof to every rafter/truss and walls by way of wraps, ties or hurricane clips can reduce premiums, but other features that can help save on your premiums every year include:


  1. Verification that the structure was designed and built to 1994 South Florida Building Code or the 2001 Florida Building Code or later
  2. Verification that the predominant roof covering installed meets 1994 South Florida Building Code or the 2001 Florida Building Code or later
  3. Verification that the roof deck attachment (including the size and spacing of nails, screws, and adhesives) can withstand uplift of 103 pounds per square foot or 182 pounds per square foot or better
  4. Determination of the roof geometry – hip roof, non-hip roof or flat roof – a hip roof with less than 10% of any other roof shape and less than 100 square feet of flat area will benefit; some, albeit rare,  insurance companies may also credit for a gable roof with verification that gable end bracing meets the minimum standard of the 2001 FL building code
  5. Verification of the wall construction type – reinforced masonry or poured concrete equaling 70% or more of the wall construction may qualify, depending on your carrier
  6. Verification of the presence water resistance to protect the dwelling from water intrusion in the form of self-adhering polymer, modified bitumen “peel and stick” or a foam adhesive barrier is applied to every seam on the roof deck and applied to each side of every rafter/truss
  7. Verification of wind-borne debris protection on every exterior opening – including all windows, doors, garage doors, and skylights – with impact-resistant coverings that meet Miami-Dade Building Code

To see if your home qualifies, BUY YOUR SIDE will 1) conduct an evaluation to determine the wind-mitigating features of your home; 2) offer suggestions for improvements and repairs you can make to strengthen it against high winds; and 3) submit the state-standard inspection report to your insurance carrier.

Commercial properties also qualify for mitigation discounts. Wind features and prices vary according to building stories – 1 to 3 stories (Standard UMVIF form): 4 to 6 stories (Type II Mitigation Verification Affidavit), and 7+ stories (Type III Mitigation Verification Affidavit).

Hurricane season starts in just a few short weeks.  Don’t delay; call us today!  407.780.0911


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Roof replacement

If you’re selling a home or negotiating the purchase of one and need a new roof, you need to hire the right roofing company. Roofing is important business and home-owners need to protect themselves against accidents that may occur on the job and safeguard their home from unscrupulous or fly-by-night contractors.

Here a few tips to choosing a reputable, licensed roof contractor:

  • They will have the necessary licenses as well as general liability and workers compensation insurances (all are required by Florida law)
  • They will gladly provide proof of insurance, licenses and customer testimonials
  • They will acquire the roof permit and never ask a homeowner to do so

Don’t ignore your first impression: if you have reservations then don’t use their services. However if they are courteous, polite, well-kept, have a decent vehicle with lettering describing who they are, have referrals and if they are informative and obliging then, likely, they are trustworthy.

Roofing requirements in Florida are unique because of our exposure to high winds and hurricanes. Building codes are more stringent and additional inspections may be required as compared to other states. Compliance is mandatory. Typical inspections include:

  • Wood decking nailed to code – nails every 6 inches on every truss or rafter
  • Dry-in of underlayment
  • Final roof inspection – after application of 15#, 30# felt or self-adhered shingles (or tile or metal) according to manufacture specifications

Once the roof is replaced and the final inspections are satisfactorily completed, your roof contractor will provide warranty information and the contractor’s final affidavit. Then, you can pay the final invoice with confidence and have a beautiful roof to enjoy for years to come.

As professional Home Inspectors, we offer an unbiased, professional assessment of the condition of your structure at the time of the inspection. During every inspection, we will provide suggestions on repairs that may need to be made. We proudly service the home inspections needs of Osceola County. We do not offer repair services, and will not recommend needless work. At BUY YOUR SIDE, we are on your side.


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Buy Your Side Listing Inspection Seller Gets Control

Yes, sellers, you can gain control of your sales transaction and come out ahead even in this market.

As the housing market continues its rebound in Osceola County, it continues to a buyers’ market. While we talk mostly of the benefits to a potential home buyer of retaining home inspection services, there are real advantages to the seller who arranges for inspection prior to listing with a real estate agent.

The economics law of supply and demand is working its magic: there are still a lot more homes on the market than there are buyers. This gives purchasers greater negotiating power than sellers – and perspective buyers are happy to low-ball a bid with the hope you’ll grab it and they’ll get the bargain of the decade.

you have knowledge on your side. That information puts you ahead of the curve and in control of your transaction. The inspection will give you an accurate assessment of the condition of your property and provide additional disclosures.

This intelligence is beneficial for a few of reasons.

First, you have the upfront choice about which items you want to repair or replace, and those that you plan not to but can share with prospects in your seller’s disclosures.

Next, you can repair/replace items at your leisure before (and or while) the house is on the market. It’s more convenient for you and a whole lot less expensive than when needed repairs are uncovered during the buyer’s inspection.

Finally, having this knowledge and taking the action as you choose will help prevent against contracts that potentially fall out after the buyer’s inspection. It gives you the power to control your transaction. And that saves you stress, time and money too.

We are the experienced home inspector in Osceola County.  We’re BUY YOUR SIDE.

If you need additional information or want to schedule an inspection, give us a call: 407.780.0911

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Money In Your Pocket Buy Your Side

The next time the annual renewal for your home owner’s insurance comes, READ the documents that come with it – there may be ways to substantially reduce your premiums. And, if you already threw all those extra pages in the shredder when you got your recent notice, a call to your agent may really save you some cash!

Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide numerous credits that you may qualify for based upon your home’s age and condition. As an example, you may be entitled to a substantial premium discount if your roof has wind mitigation straps (or hurricane clips).  Plainly put, the straps “tie” your roof to your house’s exterior walls and may help avoid structural failure of them during a high wind event.  Other qualifying features include a newer roof, shutter protection, having a HIP roof and nailing.

In 2006, Florida became the first state to mandate that homeowners be entitled to certain discounts on the wind portion of their property insurance. To qualify, The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation requires homes be inspected by a qualified inspector who prepares a report detailing which, if any, credits are in place. Basically, the more you have, the more you save.

To see if your home qualifies, Buy Your Side will 1) conduct an evaluation to determine the wind-mitigating features of your home; 2) offer suggestions for improvements and repairs you can make to strengthen it against high winds; and 3) submit the state-standard inspection report to your insurance carrier.

Your insurance company considers this report a measure of your home’s ability to withstand storm damage. While there is no standard discount, a 30% decrease is fairly typical. Is saves the average home owner anywhere from a few hundred dollars to over $1000 EVERY YEAR on their insurance premiums.

Buy Your Side Home Inspections believes this money is better in your pocket than in your insurance company’s. If you do, too, give us a call: 407.780.0911

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Buy Your Side Mision Style If your home is 25-years-old or older it’s time for a Four Point Inspection to assure that your home is safe and working properly. The Four Point Inspection and subsequent report focuses on the condition and age of four main elements of a home: HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), Electrical, Plumbing and Roof.

Plus, if home systems are better than expected, your insurance rates should fall. Sometimes, dramatically. Generally, here’s what we’re looking at for each portion of the inspection:

1)  HVAC

  • Number of Systems
  • Type , Size and Installation Date of System(s)
  • Condition of System(s)

2) Electrical wiring and panels

  • Main Service
  • Wire Types Service Entrance
  • Branch Wiring
  • Type of Load Distribution Panel (Fuses or Breakers)
  • Overall Conditions
  • Applicable National Electric Code safety issues
  • Description of safety violations needing correction

3) Plumbing connections and fixtures

  • Visible Plumbing Components – Type of Material and Condition of Plumbing Components
  • Main Waste Lines & Vents
  • Main Supply Lines
  • Fixture Supply Lines
  • Fixture Drain Lines
  • Modifications to Original Piping/Fixtures

4) Roof

  • Shape
  • Type of coverings and age of materials
  • Type of Sheathing
  • Roof Wall Connections
  • Evidence of Active Leaks
  • Remaining Life Expectancy

The common concern of the insurance companies is that there may be conditions in an older home that could become a liability to them. For instance: a roof nearing the end of its reliable service life may fail while under the policy and the homeowner may seek reimbursement for damages to the home or its contents. Similar concerns reach to the condition of the HVAC, electrical and plumbing. The insurers want documentation that they are not in poor condition, in need of being updated or replaced or improperly installed. Otherwise, the concern is they may fail and cause fire or water damage to a home. If you’re “shopping” insurance and submitting the report to multiple insurance companies, you’ll need multiple forms. While many of our competitors charge for the extra inspections (even though they are similar) Buy Your Side Home Inspection uses a single form that works for ALL insurance companies in Florida. We only charge you for one inspection, and we document everything! We’ll also teach you how to keep your home working properly so that your rates continue to drop and tell you how to make repairs in such a way that you gain the most discounts possible on your insurance. To schedule a Four Points Inspection to get more information, call us today! 407.780.0911

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