Inspection vs Appraisal
Do I need a house inspection when my bank is having the house appraised?
Yes! A house 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 and the prices at which they were sold to set the value of the house.
A house inspector conducts a thorough evaluation of the house's major systems and structural integrity. Whereas the appraiser is typically working for the bank, the house inspector is working for you. The house inspector identifies items that need replacement or repair prior to closing, which can save you thousands of dollars.
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 homebuyers to include the costs of appraisal and inspection in their FHA mortgage.
Home Inspector vs Engineer
You need a home inspector. When you hire a home inspector, you are hiring an experienced professional who has training and experience in the building industry. It is the job of the home inspector to not only evaluate the condition of the house's major systems and structural integrity, but also to evaluate how these systems are working together and identify areas that need to be watched, repaired or replaced.
Your home inspector gives you the Big Picture analysis of the house you are purchasing. If the home inspector identifies the need for a costly, detailed analysis of any of the houses' systems or structures, the inspector will recommend the appropriate professional, which may be an experienced engineer with expertise analyzing that particular system or structure. The need for this kind of expensive, detailed analysis is rare.
Hiring a Professional Engineer on your own can be a disappointing experience. The term Professional Engineer does not mean that the individual has training or experience conducting home inspections. Additionally, a home inspection does not involve engineering analysis. Therefore, hiring a Professional Engineer to complete a home inspection undoubtedly costs more, but it may not give you the results you desire and deserve.
How To Hire An Inspector
For most people, the purchase of a home is the largest investment they'll ever make. Getting an independent, expert opinion on the operability of the structure and its systems is a no-brainer. But not all home inspectors have the same experience, training, or certifications - what's more is there are currently no federal regulations governing home inspectors. Home inspectors are governed only by whatever laws are in place in the state,if any, in which the inspection is performed, and these laws vary greatly. So how do you make sure you've hired the right person for the job?
When shopping for a home inspector, it's vital that you do your homework and interview each inspector based on the checklist below.
Do not price shop. When hiring a home inspector, you're basically hiring an advocate with your interests in mind to give you their expert opinion on the home's condition. With that in mind, making sure that you're hiring an inspector with plenty of knowledge and training means not shopping for one by price alone. Training, certifications, and continuing education don't come cheap to the inspectors and therefore, their expertise isn't going to be cheap either. When it comes to home inspections - as with most things - you get what you pay for.
Research their credentials. Since there are no national standards for home inspectors, one of the best things you can do to find out about an inspector's qualifications is to ask what associations they belong to. Some associations require minimum training, experience, continuing education and also require the inspector pass certain exams. However, not all associations are created equal. Check out the associations' minimum requirements. The best associations require that the inspector pass yearly exams and obtain a specific amount of continuing education credits. Also find out what level of the association the inspector occupies. Some associations have "candidate" and "associate" or other levels that basically mean that the inspector has not met the requirements to be a full member. Also ask what certifications the inspector holds and then research them as well.
Ask for references. An inspector should be happy to provide you with three references from previous clients. Call those clients and ask them about their experience with their inspections.
Make your own decision. Some states allow real estate agents and other professionals to make recommendations on what home inspector to hire. Besides the obvious conflict of interest issues, a recommendation does not necessarily guarantee that the inspector is the best choice. Make your own decision based on your research.
Ask to see one of their inspection reports. At the conclusion of any inspection, you should receive a report on the inspector's findings. Again, inspectors are going to vary widely - report styles can range from the minimal checklist to the jargon-filled narrative. Inspection reports can be difficult to understand, so it's important that you check out a sample report. Items Marced as "fair", "poor", or "inadequate" without any further explanation will not help you understand what the problem is or what exactly to repair. Make sure that the inspector always specifies the exact problem and recommended repairs. The inspector should also indicate an estimated cost of any repairs he or she recommends.
Inspecting A Home Before Purchasing
When buying a home, you should always have a professional home inspection performed. You need to know exactly what you are getting. Making your buying decision much easier and more confident.
When we inspect the home we will look at the systems that make up the building such as: Structural elements, foundation, framing etc... Plumbing systems Roofing Electrical systems Cosmetic condition, paint, siding etc...