Inspection Vs. Appraisal

Inspection vs. Appraisal

Home inspection is performed to protect the buyer from purchasing a house with structural defects and other major problems. Home appraisal aims to protect the lender from paying more than the house is worth.

What is home appraisal?

The bank demands that a property has to be appraised for determining its market value. The lender hires the appraiser, who inspects the home visually to identify those aspects that can increase or decrease its value. In addition, the appraiser takes into account the house's location, its area in square meters, and selling prices of houses similar in size and area. The home appraiser usually addresses evident or observable aspects.

Unlike a home inspector, an appraiser does not test mechanical systems and appliances. The appraisal helps the lender to determine how much to lend according to the value of the house: what type of loan to offer, how much for the down payment will be needed, and in many cases, what the interest rate will be. The buyer must obtain a copy of the appraisal. Remember that while the lender orders the appraisal, the buyer pays for it, usually within the closing costs. The fee can cost several hundred dollars. A home inspector can save you from making a bad purchase.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspector, hired by the buyer, focuses on the "guts" of the house. He or she assesses the general condition, paying attention to mechanical systems —such as plumbing, electricity, heating, and cooling— as well as major appliances. An inspector determines if the house needs repairs and if there is any health or safety problem. A home inspection is highly recommended, though not required in most closing processes. The inspection may cost a few hundred dollars and can take three or four hours. If possible, plan to be present at the inspection.

Make sure to read the inspection report, which should be exhaustive and easy to understand. It must include all the inspector's findings, along with pictures and diagrams. Remember, however, that an inspection is not a warranty, so there is no guarantee that all the problems of the property will be repaired. Most inspection reports find some areas that need attention, but if the issues are major, you may use the report to renegotiate your original offer for the house.

Before hiring a home inspector or appraiser, make sure they hold a license issued by the State where they work, as they are required to follow certain regulations. Most, but not all States, require home inspectors to be licensed. Make sure the person you hire is properly experienced and, preferably, certified.



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