If you are a home buyer, there are a number of steps that need to happen before closing. Two of the biggest are home inspections and appraisals. While there are some similarities between the two, there are also key differences. Both of these steps are important when it comes to the overall home buying process. Here is what to know about the difference between home inspections and appraisals.
What a Home Inspection Covers
Before you decide to schedule a home inspection or appraisal, it helps to know what you’re getting with both. With a home inspection, a certified inspector goes through a list of items associated with your home to ensure it’s in working order before the sale. This includes everything from major components like an HVAC unit to smaller details like doorknobs. They will also look at a home’s plumbing and electrical systems to verify they are working properly. In addition, there may be secondary inspections for things like mold, termites, and to check pools and basements.
From a standpoint of length, a typical home inspection takes around three to four hours, though this can depend on the size of the home inspected or other factors. Once the inspection is finished, a detailed report is provided listing any issues with the home. A buyer uses this report to negotiate a sale price based on the data in the report. For sellers, it gives a list of items that need to be fixed before a sale.
How Home Appraisals Differ
While a home inspection covers the majority of elements inside your home, an appraisal is dedicated to things that may affect the cost of a home. There are a number of factors looked at during an appraisal. For starters, the home’s square footage is looked at. In typical appraisals, the more usable square footage there is, the higher the value of the property. Other items reviewed include the home’s floor plan, amenities, and luxury items such as swimming pools and outdoor kitchens. The location of the house is checked as well, as its value can modify based on the proximity to schools, groceries, and large cities.
There are additional types of appraisals that have developed in recent years. Hybrid appraisals incorporate information from a third-party source to do an appraisal without needing to visit the house. A desktop appraisal is similar to the hybrid version but without the use of a third party.
The appraisal process takes longer than a home inspection, with an appraisal lasting seven to ten days. The majority of this time is creating the appraisal report, as the actual inspection of the property takes a few hours. An appraisal has a cost range of $300-$500, though this depends on a home’s size, condition, and location. In addition, unlike an inspection, an appraisal is usually required during the home sale process.
Are Home Appraisals or Inspections Better to Get First?
Now that you know what separates home inspections and appraisals, you may wonder which you should get first when buying a home. Experts say that the home inspection should be done first. The reason for this is relatively simple. If an inspection returns indicating a home needs major, expensive repairs, you may not want to proceed with purchasing. By getting the inspection done first, you may be able to save money on an appraisal for a home you have no intention of buying.
Schedule a Home Inspection With Us
Both home inspections and appraisals can be tricky to understand for people when buying a home. However, they both are key parts of the buying process. Knowing what each of these covers and when they are needed is beneficial and can save you significant costs in the long run. Contact us today to have us complete your home inspection.