Home Inspections vs Home Appraisals

Home Inspections
The home buying process can be very confusing and stressful. Not only do you need to consider things such as price and location, you also have to worry about whether the house itself has any hidden problems that could become costly surprises down the road.
As a professional Home Inspector, its our job to be as thorough as we can be without performing an evasive inspection. The Home Inspection is an unbiased, professional overview of the condition of the house. Although we may greatly reduce the risk of buying a house, we cannot possibly eliminate it, since it is visual in nature and not destructive. Inspectors cannot see through walls or predict future performace. The inspection report provides you with an expert assessment on the condition of the structure and various systems within it. This will give you peace of mind knowing you did everything you could to to make the right decision on what is likely the largest single purchase youll ever make.
In order to accurately write the report, an inspector must conduct a visual inspection of the house. The inspection process typically takes about 2-3 hours or more to complete. This of course may vary, according to the size, condition, age of the home and if the sellers are there to help us, you may add another 30 to 45 minutes. You are highly encouraged to accompany the inspector during the inspection. This will give you a chance to actually see the inspector in action, ask any questions about the house and become more familiar with the systems of the home.
We will inspect all the structural elements and systems of the home. Items that will typically be included in an inspection are:

  • Framing (structure)
  • Roof and attic
  • Foundation
  • Walls/Ceilings/Flooring
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • Heating and Cooling systems
  • Kitchen (including built-in appliances) 
  • Bathrooms
  • Exterior site and grounds
  • Any potentially health or safety concerns

Additional items and systems unique to a particular home may also be inspected
When the inspection is complete, you will be advised of any problems that were discovered and the inspector should discuss them with you. You will also be informed about any routine or periodic maintenance that should be performed, as well as the answer to any questions you may have. You should also receive an inspection report of the inspection. This may be written or computer generated.
The objective of the inspection is to inform you about the condition of the home and what items warrant further investigation and/or repair or replacement. The report should also state any maintenance tasks that are required to keep the home and all of the systems in top condition.

Home Appraisals
Do I need a home inspection when my bank is having the house appraised?
The answer is…Yes!  A home appraisal is an independent evaluation of the current market value of a house or property. In general, the purpose of an appraisal is to set the current value of a house so that a lender may determine how much it can loan to the buyer. The appraiser looks at similar properties in the area (Comparables) and the prices at which they were sold to set the value of the house.
U.S. Department Of Housing And Urban Development (HUD) requires buyers sign a Consumer Notice advising them to get a house inspection in addition to a house appraisal before purchasing a house with a FHA mortgage. Additionally, HUD now allows home buyers to include the costs of appraisal and inspection in their FHA mortgage. However, most inspectors request to be paid at the time of the inspection.