You have probably heard about getting an appraisal or an inspection before you close on a home. To the untrained ear, they may seem the same. But learning the difference between a home inspection and appraisal will show that they are both important parts of home buying.
A home inspection is a limited, non-invasive assessment of the structural condition of a home. Typically, you will hire a certified home inspector to examine a home and analyze its strengths and weaknesses before you buy it. A standard inspection will include an evaluation of the home’s heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, roof, attic, walls, ceilings, floors, windows, doors, foundation, basement, and structural components.
Experts recommend that homebuyers attend the home inspection. That way, the inspector can physically show you the issues that you ought to keep in mind. Being present will also allow you to ask any questions that come to mind as you go through the home. The inspector will usually give you a written report afterward, which will tell you things that you need to know in order to take good care of your new home. Reading your inspection report before moving in will help keep troublesome surprises to a minimum.
A home inspection isn’t just a good idea for a homebuyer. Sellers can use a home inspection to get repairs done before the sale of the home, which allows them to control costs and get a better price for the home. Whether you’re the buyer or the seller, don’t wait to contact a professional home inspector. If you contact an inspector the day before you need them, they will probably have their schedules booked.
An appraisal is also a key step in the home-buying process, however, it is quite different from an inspection. A licensed appraiser familiar with the area will examine the home to determine its value, rather than assessing structural strengths and weaknesses. An appraisal assures that lenders do not lend more money to the borrower than the home is worth. Since the appraisal protects the lender, they will be the ones to order it.
An appraiser takes amenities, the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, and market values of similar homes into account when ascertaining the value of your new home. Similar to a home inspection, an appraiser will visually check the exterior and interior of the home. Any structures needing repair will negatively influence the calculation of the home’s value.
Do You Need Both?
Knowing the difference between an inspection and appraisal will save you some time and confusion in the home-buying process. However, knowing what both terms mean should help you realize that they are not interchangeable, and you shouldn’t choose between them. Both an inspection and an appraisal are vital to choosing the right home and getting it for the right price. With these tools at your disposal, you will be able to get a fair market price for your home and know its strengths and weaknesses before you purchase it.