Five Things That First-Time Orlando Visitors Should Know

There’s something magical going on in Orlando, and it’s not just on the basketball court. According to an annual report published by Forbes this past winter, Orlando ranks as the second fastest-growing city in America amongst 100 of the country’s largest metropolitan areas. Most impressively, Orlando posted the nation’s highest job growth percentage (4.6%) in 2016 and projects to be in the discussion again at year’s end.

Whether for work or pleasure, Orlando is swiftly becoming a high-profile destination, likely because of its family-friendly proximity to the Walt Disney World Resort and promises of sunny beachgoing year-round. Long-time Orlandoans understand, however, that while many of the perks of Central Florida living are real and rewarding, there are important city details that out-of-towners can only get from tenured natives.

To help the Orlando newcomer in your life understand their new home a little better, here are five things all first-time visitors should know:

1. Orlando Has Three Airports

To put this in context, New York City has two, so Orlando already earns high marks as a convenient travel hub since visitors have more freedom choosing where they land. Orlando International Airport is the most well-known, but there’s also the Orlando Sanford Airport located roughly half-an-hour north, as well as the Orlando Executive Airport for charter passengers.

Those unfamiliar with the city may think that the international airport is their best bet, even though they may be staying in a place that’s closer to Sanford—or vice versa. When planning your trip or move to Orlando, make sure to check where your home or accommodations are located in relation to the three airports.

2. A Day at the Beach Requires Some Light Travel

Incoming residents may imagine themselves walking out their front door right onto the beach, but that isn’t exactly the truth. The two closest beaches, Cocoa and Daytona Beach, are about an hour away by car. Luckily, there’s no shortage of hotels and resorts to help Orlando residents capture that sweet feeling of sunny luxury. Whether you’re an experience-hungry tourist or a long-time resident looking for a few hours away from home after a grueling bathroom remodeling or exterior renovation project, you won’t have to trek all the way to the beach to find a fulfilling Florida experience.

3. Don’t Sweat Downtown Parking

Especially in this humidity! If you’re staying in the downtown area, you’ll quickly become familiar with the International Drive, or I-Drive. One of Orlando’s main thoroughfares, the 11.1-mile stretch is located just southwest of downtown Orlando. Many of the city’s finest resorts and eateries are located here, and as such, there is already an established transit system to help visitors get around: the I-Ride Trolley. Many of the nearby theme parks and tourist attractions have transit agreements with the trolley system, so this is an excellent ride solution for those looking to see the major sights without struggling to find parking.

4. Make Sure to Take a Stroll Through Restaurant Row

Five minutes away from the Orange County Convention Center downtown is a well-known stretch of restaurants that offer Orlando’s most eclectic cuisine: Restaurant Row. There are plenty of places to get a burger or other tastes of Americana, but the eateries that populate The Row will also satisfy your cravings for foreign fare. With a roster that includes Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine and Roy Yamaguchi’s Polynesian Restaurant, there’s a place for every palate.

5. Come Prepared for Rain

Many flock to Florida for the promise of warm, sun-kissed outdoor adventures year-round, but this isn’t the complete reality. Orlando has a substantial rain season that spans from mid-May to October, and the city averages just over 50 inches of annual rainfall. If you’re moving to Orlando, you’re likely aware and will gradually adapt to the weather’s ebb and flow, but visitors that have strict itineraries filled with theme park visits should check the multi-day forecast before booking reservations.

There’s a reason Orlando is becoming such a popular destination for incoming residents and tourists alike; it’s a dynamic and ever-growing city with attractions to suit all tastes. Because it’s constantly changing, though, there are aspects of life in the city that don’t always sync with the expectations of those that don’t live in the area. If you have friends or family considering a short or long-term stay in Orlando, make sure to pass along these informative tidbits along with your own personal experience as a resident.

If you know someone planning to move to Orlando who’s currently in the middle of a purchasing a new home, make sure you recommend the area’s top home inspection service to guarantee that he or she gets the most honest assessment of their future home.

Since 2007, Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. has been one of the most preferred condo, townhouse, and single-family home inspectors in Metro Orlando and its surrounding areas. We’ve inspected hundreds-of-thousands of square feet of local real estate and are familiar with the way Central Florida homes are built. There’s simply no better option than Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. We provide comprehensive inspections and reporting on over 400 distinct home items to give buyers and sellers the best assessment of a property’s durability and functionality.

To learn more about our inspection reporting process, or to schedule your own Advanced Look Home Inspection, give us a call today at (407) 310-2828.

It will be the best move you’ll ever make!


*Home Inspection Areas include: Orlando, Kissimmee, Poinciana, Saint Cloud, Davenport, Clermont, Windermere, Celebration, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, Deland, Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry, Longwood, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Avalon Park, Lake Nona 

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What to Expect From Your Home Inspection Report

Today, inspection reporting is considered a cornerstone of any home transaction. In fact, many property sales hinge on these report findings, especially if the home in question has chronic maintenance needs or a history of unpermitted renovations.

This wasn’t always the case, though. Prior to the founding of the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI)—the industry’s first reputable governing body—in 1976, there were no standardized inspection guidelines or licensure requirements for inspectors. This created quality inconsistencies across different inspection services, no intuitive way to determine the best inspectors, and a general distrust for the service.

Now, with the growth of oversight organizations, like ASHI and the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), standardization lies at the heart of all home inspection services—so much so that most inspectors will attach a page to their reports that specifically details their credentials, affiliations, and operational standards.

That said, not all home inspections are reported the exact same way. Here’s a little more information to give you a better sense of what reporting aspects remain the same across inspectors, as well as which differ:

What Should Be in Your Report Regardless of Your Inspector

  • General Client and Property Information:

Typically listed at the top of an inspection report, this preliminary information should include the client’s name, the basic property specs and information along with the weather conditions at the time of inspection.

  • Detailed Descriptions of Defects:

Any defective home features or equipment should be thoroughly described, even in checklist-based reports. They should also be paired with a projection of each defect’s severity, such as a detailed analysis of whether a defective fixture endangers the long-term safety and structural integrity of a property.

  • Solutions, Not Just Problems:

Identified defects should also carry a recommendation from the home inspector, whether it’s a call for outright repair or a second opinion from a more specialized professional. If you’re working with a general inspector, it’s important to remember that they are trained to identify vulnerabilities in different home systems, but not necessarily in how to repair each one. A home inspector may be able to tell you that your windows are warped or improperly fit, but you’ll have to rely on trained window replacement experts to fix the issue.

Where Home Inspection Reporting Differs

The starkest difference is seen with report formatting. There are three primary report types: straight checklist, narrative reports and checklist with narrative reporting; then there is some additional variance depending on your inspector, how many pictures he or she takes, and which software program is used, if any.

Straight checklist reports are still being used, but many municipalities have banned them because they provide too many areas of interpretation for buyers, sellers, attorneys, contractors and basically anyone remotely involved in a home transaction.

As opposed to narrative reports, which include personalized, long-form descriptions of all identified defects, their unique severities, and repair solutions, checklist reports offer a restrictive, binary choice. Is this fixture functional? Does this feature need repair? Instead of elaborating on the intensiveness of the damage or repairs, buyers and sellers are left to make huge renovative decisions on vague assertions.

A narrative report, however, can leave buyers wondering whether the inspector actually checked all the areas not mentioned in their report (“Did they get interrupted and forget to check something?”). The customer is left hanging, assuming that everything the inspector didn’t mention is likely okay. Right?

But is it?

That’s where the benefit of a checklist with narrative reporting comes in. When a checklist with narrative reporting is assembled, pictures are taken of each room in the house as they are inspected. And yes, as the name implies, there is a checklist of items to show the customer that key areas and fixtures were inspected. Then, as with the straight narrative report, pictures of any identified defects or problems are taken and inserted into the report with a long-form description of each vulnerability, its severity, and repair solution—providing the customer the most thorough option in reporting, especially as a legal record.

Another important reporting difference to note is whether your inspector uses a software-based template or pen and paper. Obviously, this won’t affect what information can be reported, but some reporting software does contain boilerplate sections with location-specific inspection items. A digital report may give you the widest coverage of all possible home concerns, as opposed to relying on the thoroughness of your inspector and his blank sheet.

Small, But Important Things to Remember About the Home Inspection Process

  • Most Inspections are Visually Based and Unexhaustive by Design : These visual inspections are comprehensive enough to allow inspectors to deliver their findings with a high degree of confidence, but there are some areas they may not assess—either because it would require key fixture disassembly or property demolition.

The home inspection industry has come a long way over the last few decades, especially in terms of standard operational and reporting procedure; but the process is still differentiated enough to cause confusion if you’re a first-time seller or buyer.

If the inspection process still feels unfamiliar and daunting even after reading this, it’s best to trust a professional home inspector that can help you navigate all property findings and advise you on the best solutions for each.

Since 2007, Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. has been one of the most preferred condo, townhouse, and single-family home inspectors in Metro Orlando and its surrounding areas. We’ve inspected hundreds-of-thousands of square feet of local real estate and are familiar with the way Central Florida homes are built. There’s simply no better option than Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. We provide comprehensive inspections and reporting on over 400 distinct home items to give buyers and sellers the best assessment of a property’s durability and functionality.

To learn more about our inspection reporting process, or to schedule your own Advanced Look Home Inspection, give us a call today at (407) 310-2828.

It will be the best move you’ll ever make!


*Home Inspection Areas include: Orlando, Kissimmee, Poinciana, Saint Cloud, Davenport, Clermont, Windermere, Celebration, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, Deland, Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry, Longwood, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Avalon Park, Lake Nona 

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Why It’s Important to Have a Home Inspection

Any major investment deserves a clear, informed decision-making process—especially when it comes to buying a new home. Not just because of the size of the transaction, but because the home buying process can be both exciting and hectic. Some buyers, especially those purchasing a home for the first time, risk getting so wrapped up in it that they forget to cover one crucial base: the maintenance concerns and overall condition of their target property.

A home inspection gives buyers the vital information they need to make an informed investment decision, as opposed to a home appraisal, which is more meant for bank financiers looking to assess a property’s value so they don’t lend too much. Home inspections dive deep to identify a home’s most pressing short and long-term maintenance needs for things like the interiors rooms, walls, ceilings and floors, inspection and test of the electrical system and its components, HVAC systems and built-in appliances, plumbing, exterior inspection of the roofing, siding, grading and foundational components.

To give you a better idea of the necessity of residential home inspections, here are several reasons why this process is so important for home buyers and sellers alike:

Debunking Assumptions About a Home

Too often, those involved in the home buying process rely on assumptions about a property based on its “looks” and age, especially when the abode in question is a new construction or has been “Totally or Partially Rehabbed” (Flipped). A newer home may have the most cutting-edge fixtures and equipment, but if they’re installed improperly, a buyer still risks being blindsided by costly repairs down the road and that goes double for a “Flipped” home with many of which having improper, incomplete or no permits for all the work that’s been done on it. A home inspector will test the functionality and durability of these key home components and give buyers a written report that specifically outlines any property issues.

Creating Negotiating Leverage for Buyers and Sellers

If a buyer has a written record of a home’s structural and maintenance issues, they can leverage that information to either negotiate a lower price or amend the price to accommodate for needed repairs—if the seller doesn’t agree to address those prior to closing a deal. A home inspection report also allows the buyer to insert terms in their purchase agreement that states the seller will assume responsibility for needed repairs, or at the very least, allow the buyer to back out of an agreement if serious structural or functional issues are identified during the inspection.

For the seller, a home inspection report can result in a daunting list of maintenance items or an affirmation of their home’s quality. If a seller ups their listing price based on a new, insulating roof they put in with the help of a metal roofing company in Madison, Wisconsin, or another area of the country prone to severe weather, a home inspection report would confirm the long-lasting strength and value of that feature—further justifying the uptick in price for prospective buyers.

Saving Money in the Long Run

The average national cost for a home inspection is just over $325. That figure can dip as low as $250 for smaller homes and condos, or rise as high as $500+ for larger estates. While it’s always hard to tack on additional expenses to an already expensive transaction, a home inspection is comparatively inexpensive compared to the maintenance costs and / or repairs a buyer could take on for issues they didn’t expect or identify themselves because of the lack of a professional inspection.

Since 2007 Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC has been one of the Metro Orlando and surrounding areas preferred Condo, Townhouse and Single Family Home Inspectors and has inspected 100’s of 1,000’s of square feet of Real Estate in this area. There’s simply no better option than Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. We provide comprehensive inspections and reporting on over 400 distinct home items to give home buyers and sellers the best assessment of a property’s durability and functionality.

To learn more and / or schedule your Advanced Look Home Inspection give us a call today at (407) 310-2828 – It will be the Best move you’ll ever make!

Orlando's Best Home Inspectors

*Home Inspection Areas include: Orlando, Kissimmee, Poinciana, Saint Cloud, Clermont, Windermere, Celebration, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, Deland, Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry, Longwood, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Avalon Park, Lake Nona

 

 

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Seven Tips to Help You Prepare for Your Home Inspection

Selling your home proved to be as complex as promised, but you’re making headway. You’ve hired an agent, created your listing, garnered some buyer interest, and even fielded a couple offers. Each day, you become a little more familiar with the expectations and complicated details of brokering a home sale, so you begin to feel like you’re in the driver seat of the whole process.

Then the rubber meets the road with your home inspection.

Though home inspection isn’t mandated in every state, it’s generally regarded as a crucial service that strengthens trust and reinforces transparency between buyer and seller. Prior to inspection, your focus as the seller rests on promoting your property’s history, architecture, fixtures, foundation, design, square footage, and energy efficiency; but until a third-party inspector verifies all those things, your claims are just that: promotion.

Most buyers and sellers understand this, and are happy to coordinate property inspections. However, if you’re selling your first home and unfamiliar with the inspection process, it can be difficult to know exactly how to prepare your residence. Even realtors can overlook certain details, which ultimately delays the inspection process because of miscommunications between the seller, buyer, and inspector.

To help ensure that your home inspection is seamless and satisfactory for all parties, we’ve created a list of tips for preparing your abode:

1. Leave the Keys

You want a home inspector who is thorough, but that’s impossible when he or she can only access select areas of your property. “Home inspection” is a bit of a misnomer since the process is an evaluation of your entire property—meaning your garage, any outbuildings, electrical boxes, circuit panels, and so on. If these areas are gated or locked and you’re not available to provide access, your home inspector could be left standing outside for minutes-on-end, trying to get a hold of you. What’s worse, your buyer may be waiting too.

Home sellers are often encouraged to not attend the inspection, so buyers feel more comfortable about asking candid questions or giving honest critique of the property. If you won’t be present, leave the keys with your realtor or the inspector.

2. Don’t Obstruct Inspection Areas

This can be tricky, especially if you’ve already begun packing certain sections of your home and staging those boxes. Anyone who’s ever lived in a home knows that a completely clutter-free space is a borderline pipe dream, but make sure to walk through priority areas to ensure that your home inspector will have unobstructed access. These areas depend on your floor plan, but could include crawl spaces, basements, air handler/furnace and water heater areas, electrical panels, and the space directly below an attic hatch.

3. Expect On-Time Arrival, Anticipate Early

Home inspections can be difficult to schedule, especially if the buyer, seller, and their respective agents want to be on site during the process. That’s a lot of busy schedules to account for—not to mention the inspector’s own itinerary. Spending the first 5-10 minutes of your inspector’s visit clearing furniture, boarding pets, or stashing kids’ toys may result in the same loss of time than a 5-10-minute discussion about your A/C’s maintenance history, but the former is much more frustrating for all parties because it’s an undue delay of the inspection process.

Best practice is to have your home ready for inspection a day out, but if you’re pressed for time, 15-30 minutes prior will suffice. The sooner you kick off the inspection, the more time you, your buyer, or their agent will have to closely examine your property and ask follow-up questions.

4. Supply All Past Maintenance Documentation

Home inspections are much smoother processes when your inspector has a well-rounded idea of your property’s renovation and maintenance history. Knowing when a certain fixture or section of a home was repaired or remodeled will help your inspector assess its long-term durability and structural integrity. If your inspector has worked with those remodelers or maintenance technicians before, he or she can make a real-time assessment of workmanship quality. Supplying project invoices and other documentation to your prospective buyers will also give them added peace of mind since they know the full history of the work you’ve commissioned for the property.

5. Pilot Lights Lit, Utilities Turned On

Some of the biggest focal points of any home inspection are key appliances like the water heater, air conditioner and furnace; but if your pilot light isn’t lit, it’s impossible for your inspector to conduct a full assessment. The same goes for all the utilities, like electricity, gas, and water. Some buyers may not ask to see every nook, cranny, and crawlspace, but every buyer will want to verify the performance of what could be their next HVAC and hot water source. If that can’t be done during the initial inspection, your buyer will likely want to reschedule to a time when it can and oh, what a waste of time this first inspection has been for all who’ve scheduled to be here. BTW who’s going to foot the bill for the inspector? It’s not the buyer’s fault you forgot to have the utilities turned on.

6. Clear Exterior Obstructions

If you recently installed a stunning set of windows, or your home sports a state-of-the-art roof from a well-known roofing company nearby and you want it to catch buyer eyes during the inspection, make sure to trim any neighboring branches, bushes, or shrubs that may block the sightlines you’re looking for.

Abrasive contact from branches and coarse foliage can cause unsightly scuffing in the short term, and even worse, structural concerns over time. For example, traditional asphalt shingle roofs are often protected by a granular coating, but those grains can be gradually rubbed away or eroded through constant contact with tree branches or exposure to extreme, inclement weather.

7. Block Out at Least 2-3 Hours for the Inspection

If you’ll be there on inspection day, make sure to choose a date that isn’t loaded with previous engagements or overdue errand runs. If you’ll be away when the inspector arrives, assume that the process will take several hours—at minimum. If you have small children or pets, plan accommodations for them. A stack of moving boxes directly beneath an attic hatch is enough of an obstacle for your inspector; much more so if it’s your pet wanting to stave off cabin fever with a game of fetch. Hard to resist, but your inspector still has a job to do.

Most home inspections may only take two hours or so, maybe less, maybe more. It just depends on the house but it’s good to plan for the additional hour to give ample time for follow-up examination or questions. Remember, the ultimate goal is a thorough assessment and report for your buyer.

It’s one thing to make the proper accommodations for your home inspector; it’s another to guarantee that your home inspector will do the same for you. If you’re buying or selling a home in Central Florida, you’ll never have to wonder about the latter with Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. We’ve performed thousands of pre-purchase inspections throughout the Metro Orlando, Kissimmee, and the surrounding areas* to ensure that our customers have all the information they need to make the most informed decisions possible.

Don’t leave your home investment to chance with just any local inspection service! Trust our certified, licensed, and insured professionals. To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at (407) 310-2828.      It will be the Best move you’ll ever make!


*Home Inspection Areas include: Orlando, Kissimmee, Poinciana, Saint Cloud, Davenport, Clermont, Windermere, Celebration, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, Deland, Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry, Longwood, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Avalon Park, Lake Nona 

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Our Second First Blog Post

This is actually my first blog post for Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC. Our first blog post was done by some SEO guys that didn’t know much about what a Home Inspector was or did so I’ve decided to give this a whirl.

I don’t know how much time I will have to devote to this as inspecting, answering the phone, doing the books and everything else I do as a small business owner does takes up a lot of ones time but I’m sure I will get out a few blogs here and there.

To start off I’d like to announce some Exciting News … In September of this year we at Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC will be celebrating our 10th anniversary in business!

Wow 10 Years we’ve been here in the Metro Orlando / Kissimmee / Seminole, Lake & Volusia Counties inspecting homes and yes we’ve met & helped a lot of nice people and had a lot of fun doing it. We were even awarded the Best Businesses of Orlando Award in the Home Inspectors category for Two years in a row. –

We have two websites our main website AdvancedLookInspections.com  and MyOrlandoHomeInspector.com .

And one phone number – 407-310-2828

So when you’re ready to purchase your next home in Orlando or the surrounding areas* remember to contact Advanced Look Property Inspections, LLC for your pre-purchase Home Inspection.            It will be the Best move you’ll ever make!

Two Time Winners of the Best of Orlando Home Inspectors Award


*Home Inspection Areas served include: Orlando, Kissimmee, Poinciana, Saint Cloud, Davenport, Clermont, Windermere, Celebration, Winter Garden, Ocoee, Apopka, Altamonte Springs, Lake Mary, Sanford, Deltona, Deland, Winter Park, Maitland, Casselberry, Longwood, Winter Springs, Oviedo, Avalon Park, Lake Nona 

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