If you’re anything like me, then you’re the type of person to look up online reviews and read blogs and articles before making any sort of big decision. When it comes to buying a house, that means consulting different online real estate marketplaces and reading a ton of online blogs about other people’s experience with their agents. In an age where anyone can post articles to the internet, the terms “home appraisal” and “home inspections” get thrown around interchangeably, but there’s quite a notable difference between the two.
A home appraisal is an objective evaluation of a house based on it’s amenities, square footage, neighborhood and the sale price of comparable homes. An appraiser surveys a house based on the characteristics of the property: interior, exterior, number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and makes sure that any major upgrades since the last real estate transaction is accounted for. The home appraisal is typically for the benefit of the lender since this value determines the loan amount.
Conversely, a home inspection is done in the buyer’s interest. A home inspection determines the health of the house and property. Generally, inspectors look for any water damage, plumbing and electricity problems, and will look at the HVAC system and the structural integrity of the house. Home inspections don’t take into account any cosmetic issues; the main focus is identifying issues that will require repairs in the near or immediate future.
While both an appraisal and an inspection go through and audit the house, an appraisal tells you the estimated worth of the house while an inspection takes into account the structural integrity of the house and determines the current state and health of the property. In the most simple terms, a home appraisal determines the monetary value of the home, whereas a home inspection determines the condition of the home.
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