In general, a home appraiser determines the value of a property and a home inspector determines the condition of a structure. While appraisals are primarily for lenders, they also ensure that buyers don’t overpay for a property. Home inspections are for buyers.
A home appraisal includes details about the house, a description of the neighborhood and side-by-side comparisons of similar properties. It also contains an evaluation of the area’s real estate market, notations of major problems with the property that will affect its value and an estimate of the expected time it will take to sell the property. You should have your lender order the appraisal, and you are entitled by law to get a copy of it.
A home inspection is an evaluation of a home’s condition that may identify improper building practices or the need for major repairs, as well as fire, safety and health hazards. You should always include an inspection contingency in your purchase offer. The information will help you determine how much you’re willing to pay for a home, what repairs will be necessary and whether or not you want to walk away from the deal.
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