"A Home Inspection is the Same as an Appraisal"
A common misconception about home inspections is that they are the same as a home appraisal. While appraisals and inspections involve assessing a home, the processes and objectives of the two are quite different. Home appraisals provide lending institutions with the current market value of the home. The goal of the appraisal is to determine how much money the bank should lend the buyer. The value of the property is determined by the overall condition of the property, as well as the condition of the local housing market. Home inspections, on the other hand, provide the buyers with an assessment of the safety of the home. The goal of the inspection is to allow the buyer and seller to move forward with the transaction by providing confidence that the home is safe to occupy. The safety of the home is determined by assessing the structural and mechanical integrity of the home and looking for potential safety hazards.
"Inspectors Can Offer Advice for Buying the Home"
A home inspector’s main goal is to provide the buyer with pertinent information about the safety of the home. An inspection report provides buyers with descriptions of the physical condition of the home, rather than personal opinions about the property’s value. Inspectors cannot advise a buyer on whether or not they should continue with the process; the buyers must make that decision on their own, based on the information the inspector has provided them. To further drive this point, Frank Lesh, Executive Director of the Home Sweet Home Inspection Co. in Chicago states, “Often people ask, ‘Would you buy this house?’ I can only tell you about the functioning portions of the house, not whether you should buy it.”
"Choosing Any Home Inspector is Okay"
According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), only thirty states in the US require a license for a home inspection. For this reason, it is important to find a competent professional that provides an honest and thorough inspection. A professional home inspector will be equipped with the knowledge and expertise to provide an unbiased, comprehensive inspection report. To ensure you are getting the highest quality inspector, ask for referrals from professional associations, agents, and your neighbors. Always make sure to cross-reference all recommendations with your research.
"A Home Inspector Will Find Everything"
While a skilled inspector will complete a detailed search of the house, chances are they won’t uncover everything within the inspection time constraint. Typically, the problems that are missed on inspections are minute or only discovered after living in the home for some time. Inspectors must also follow restrictions, such as refraining from causing damage to the home to find the source of an issue. They can, however, use specialized tools such as infrared cameras and moisture meters, that allow them to gather as much information about the property as possible. An inspector’s goal is to provide the buyer with information about the major problems in the home that could potentially be dangerous or seriously affect the living condition. Before hiring an inspector, keep in mind that the big issues are what matter, and as a result, the small matters may be overlooked.
"Buyers Should Not be Present During the Inspection"
While buyers may feel uncomfortable attending the inspection, it is recommended that they are present during the process. Being at the inspection while it occurs is a great way to understand the process, and better understand the resulting inspection report. According to Frank Lesh, “Buyers absolutely should be there, without question. I can go into more detail [than in the report] and you’ll have a three-dimensional view.” Buyers are also able to ask the inspector questions about anything they don’t understand, or voice concerns about a particular area of the property. As discussed earlier, buyers cannot ask for advice about the purchase of the home, but they can ask for home maintenance and repair advice.
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