What is the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection?

The purchase of your home will be one of your largest single expenditures and, as such, it requires that you make this purchase knowing as much as possible about the property.

An Appraisal

An appraisal, in simple terms, is an analysis of the property to determine the appropriate market value (or sales price) of that property for a given date in time. Sometimes this is undertaken by the purchaser before making an offer, other times it is ordered by the seller before listing the home for sale. Commonly the appraisal is ordered by a financial institution prior to approving a mortgage. The appraiser is an independent third party who provides an independent value on the property. While the appraiser will inspect your home for the appraisal report, the appraisal inspection is not the same as a home inspection.

A Home Inspection

A home inspection will not provide you any assurance to your property’s value but will provide a thorough assessment of the physical condition of the property. The home inspector will determine the condition of all the major systems of the home including the roof, structure, insulation, foundation, heating/cooling, plumbing, and electrical. The home inspector will provide items needing immediate repair or expected future repair and may be able to provide estimated costs to repair.