Published: Apr 18, 2014 9:05 AM EDT

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- If you're shopping for a home, one thing that should be on your "must-have" list is a "four-point inspection, "especially on homes built before 1985.

So, what is a four-point inspection and why is it important? WINK News Real Estate contributor Denny Grimes is here to explain.

The 4 Point inspection is not a full home inspection. It is an inspection that covers the 4 major elements that really measure the health of a home. It is NOT a requirement that a buyer perform a home inspection on a property, but insurance companies are requiring a “4 Point” on all home older than 30 years before they will insure it.

What is a 4 Point Inspection
• Heating, Ventilation and AC
• Electrical
• Plumbing
• Roof

Examples of Problem Areas
• Isulation is falling from the ductwork. This may not even be spotted during a “general” home inspection or if the home buyer decides to have his brother-in-law do the inspection and he feel he’s qualified because he loves to watch the TV shows about how to fix up older homes.

• Doubled up circuits is probably the most common problem on a 4 point because over the years additional amps may have been needed so rather than adding another breaker, the owner wires directly to an existing breaker.

• Limited Roof Life is not an issue covered by the normal purchase contract but it is a red flag to insurance companies.

All of those are examples of issues not covered as a required item to fix by the seller in a normal purchase contract. What that means is that unless the contract states there is an out for the buyer if he cannot purchase homeowners insurance, then the buyer may be obligated to purchase the home even though he won’t be able to insure it.

If a loan is involved, the lender will require insurance, which further complicates the transaction.

Rules to follow:
1. Know what the contract says
2. Buyers: Always make your contract contingent upon a satisfactory home inspection
3. Sellers: If your home if over 30 years old, order a 4 Point prior to listing so that an problem areas can be identified before you load the moving truck instead of after.