What Your Home Inspection Should Cover Siding: Look for dents or buckling Foundations: Look for cracks or water seepage Exterior Brick:
Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks Insulation: Look for condition, the adequate rating for climate (the higher the R-value, the more effective the insulation is) Doors and Windows:
Look for loose or tight fits, the condition of locks, condition of weatherstripping Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts Ceilings, walls, and moldings.
Look for loose pieces, drywall that is pulling away. Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot Electrical: Look for condition of fuse box/circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room. Plumbing: Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation Water Heater: Look for age, size adequate for the house, the speed of recovery, energy rating. Furnace/Air Conditioning:
Look for age, energy rating. Furnaces are rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs. However, other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electricity to operate motors. Garage: Look for exterior in good repair; condition of the floor—cracks, stains, etc.; condition of door mechanism. Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell. Attic:
Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from the roof. Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family. Driveways/Sidewalks:
Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains. www.REALTOR.org/realtormag Reprinted from REALTOR® Magazine Online by permission of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ®. Copyright 2003. All rights reserved
New 2008 property tax Reforms:
In a January 2008 ballot measure, Florida voters approved a constitutional amendment that introduced several changes to our state’s property tax system. The four changes may affect the amount of tax you owe:
Increased Homestead Exemption: If you’re currently receiving a $25,000 homestead exemption on your property taxes, you will automatically be upgraded to a $50,000 exemption this year. If you are a homeowner and do not currently receive the exemption, you may file your application in person along with a $15 late fee, through mid-September.
Save Our Homes Portability Cap: You may now transfer up to $500,000 of your property tax cap to a new home when you move. To take advantage of this benefit, you must file a Homestead Exemption and Portability Application.
Tangible Personal Property Tax Exemption: If you’re required to file a Tangible Personal Property Tax Return, you’re entitled to a $25,000 exemption on business equipment.
Non-Homestead Cap: Beginning next year, those properties not eligible for a homestead exemption may apply to receive a 10% cap on property tax increases.
Homestead Exemption Overview: