When purchasing a house, there are two, main inspections that typically take place: One is an appraisal for the purposes of lending and the other is a home inspection for the purpose of peace of mind. Do not mix the two up. They are not the same thing.
If you are not paying cash, the lender will probably require an appraisal be completed. Consequently, an appraiser will most likely come to the home and do an ‘inspection.’ The purpose of this inspection is for data gathering to start the valuation process. He or she will likely measure the home, walk through each room, take pictures and write notes. Depending upon the size of the home, the inspection will take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes (possibly longer). Most of the appraiser’s work takes place back at the office.
An optional service that is usually ordered by the buyer is a home inspection. The purpose of this service is to have an extensive and complete look at a home and property for any red flags or repairs that may be needed. The home inspector will likely spend a much longer time at the house because he or she is looking from foundation to rafters. A written report is then made, but most of the home inspector’s work takes place on site.
Some make the mistake of thinking an appraiser is also looking in depth at the house and will also report on any defects. Though appraisers will certainly mention any defects that might affect value, they are not home inspectors. An appraiser looks at a home in much the same manner that a potential buyer would. Whatever is readily observable will be noticed, but do not expect the same detail from an appraiser that you will see in a home inspector’s report. They are different services for different purposes.
Of course, either one of these services may be ordered without a home purchase. If you are curious on the value of your home or would like to be made aware of any defects you might have, please contact our office. It would be our pleasure to complete a thorough and professional appraisal or recommend a good home inspector for you.