Are you trying to get a home inspected as a buyer or seller, but finding the process confusing? Knowing who to hire and what to expect is just one of the many facets. In addition, you also need to know the difference between a home and property inspection.
While similar, both are used for very different purposes. Below, we give our must-read guide on the difference between home and property inspections.
The purpose of a home inspection is to get an idea of the condition of the home. Everything will be checked, from the foundations to the roof and all the systems, including plumbing and heating. The inspectors will then comment on what parts may need repairs or replacement, to help give an indicator of the value.
The good news is that a home can never fail an inspection. Its purpose is simply to tell you what condition the home is in, what its strengths are, and what the weaknesses are. This is done from a visual perspective.
What Is the Purpose of a Home Inspection?
Home inspections are usually done when the property is getting listed for sale, or buyers are interested in the home. The seller may wish to do an inspection when they prepare to put it on the market, so they can perform any repairs and get it ready to sell. This way, there will be no surprises that could impact or cancel a sale.
Buyers may also choose to put in repair requests before any home purchases. Knowing what may come up can allow you to budget accordingly, or adjust the asking price.
Another way home inspections work is when the buyer pays for the inspection on a potential property. This lets them know the condition of the property from an expert’s point of view. They can then use this to negotiate the price or ask for repairs to be carried out.
Why Have a Home Inspection?
All properties can look fantastic on the outside, but be hiding some secrets that are not always apparent at first glance. Thus, a home inspector can let you know if any nasty surprises are lurking around the corner. Would you want to buy a house that had foundation problems, or find out that you need a new roof in the middle of negotiating a sale?
All of these things will result in you spending more money. Thus, while home inspections may seem like an additional fee when selling or buying a home if it uncovers any sort of major problem it will have paid for itself. If not, you risk losing a sale or having to make expensive repairs in the middle of the housing process.
Homes should be inspected regardless of their size or age. A new home can often contain just as many problems as an older one. New build homes can often have corners cut or have been inadequately maintained.
A property inspection is usually conducted when a loan payment has defaulted. The mortgage lender may decide to instigate a property inspection, or regular ones, to check that you are taking care of your home. This makes the property inspection purpose different from a home inspection, which tends to appraise the value of a property.
Loan lenders do this to protect their investment. They may be checking if the home is still occupied or may be checking that the home is being cared for in a way that will help it retain market value. If the loan is not paid, they need to be able to get the money back through the asset, and this requires having it in great condition.
Typically, the lender will contract the inspection out to a professional service. However, there are no formal qualifications or licensing that you need to be a property inspector.
What Happens During an Inspection?
Unfortunately, property inspections usually cost. They typically average between $10-$30 per inspection, and it is added to the cost of your mortgage. This is often the last thing you need if you are defaulting on payments.
In addition, they can be performed more than once a month. This can mean over the loan period you could end up with a few extra hundred dollars on your mortgage.
The first thing a property inspector will check is that the home is occupied. If you have vacated the home, it leaves it open to vandalism, theft, unwanted occupants, and the elements. All of this will cause problems and devalue the property, so it is best for the lender to stay on top of any problems as they occur.
If you are still living in the home, then the inspector will check that you are keeping the property in a reasonable condition. This means maintaining the upkeep and systems in the house. Property inspections are usually extremely quick, drive-by checks and will take up much of your time if you look after your home.
Call a Professional
Property inspections and home inspections, in summary, are very different and you will only need to commission a property inspection if you are a mortgage lender. For everyone else, finding a quality home inspector is vital to ensure your home selling and buying process goes smoothly.
For anyone looking for home inspections in the North East Ohio area, then Class Home Inspection should be your first stop. With over 30 years of experience, we can provide you with a thorough inspection of any property. Click here to view our home inspection checklist for sellers, then call us immediately to discuss your needs.