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Many Americans admit buying a house is one of the most stressful things they ever have to do in their lives.

The process only gets more confusing when you realize a home inspection and a property inspection are two different things.

What’s so different about them?

We’re here to help you figure that out. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at home inspections and property inspections and whether or not you need both.

So let’s dive in.

What’s the Difference Between a Home Inspection and a Property Inspection?

A home inspection and a property inspection both involve a professional coming out to your home and evaluating certain aspects.

So what’s the difference?

While the two inspections might seem similar, they serve separate purposes. Let’s take a closer look at each inspection below.

Home Inspection

A home inspection is what takes place before the purchase of a home.

When a buyer is interested in a home, they’ll hire a home inspector to look over the house. This inspector will search for potential problems with the house, including electrical issues, construction trouble, or mold growth.

After reviewing the home, the inspector provides the buyer with a report of any potential problems.

Based on the findings of the inspection, the buyer can decide if they want to purchase the house or not. For example, the buyer might decide to avoid a house if the report mentions several, serious issues.

Property Inspection

A property inspection is how banks or other lenders assess the total value of a home.

Most home buyers can’t pay off their home the same day they purchase it. Instead, they apply for a mortgage at their bank to help finance the home. This allows the buyer to put a chunk of money down at the time of purchase and then pay smaller monthly installments to the mortgage.

Banks will sometimes do a property inspection of your home to make sure it is worth the amount of money they’ll be lending. They might also look for any serious problems in the home during this inspection.

A bank might also do a walkthrough inspection of a property to see if they have any desire to lend for a home.

So What Is the Main Difference?

These inspections assess different parts of a property. Here is the main difference between a home inspection and a property inspection.

  • A home inspection makes the buyer aware of the condition of a home before purchase.
  • A property inspection helps a bank decide if they want to lend to that property.

Now that you understand the difference between the two, you have to decide which inspections you should get when you’re buying a new home.

Which Type of Inspection Should I Get as a Home Buyer?

Do you need both inspections before you purchase a home?

It depends.

In some cases, you might need to get both a home inspection and a property inspection before you buy a new home. In others, the bank may not need to assess your property.

But you should never skip a home inspection.

Why Is a Home Inspection Important?

The biggest investment most people will make in their entire lives is buying a home. Because of this, you want to make sure the home you’re investing in is in good condition.

A home inspection gives you a way to protect your investment.

During a home inspection, you’ll find out if the house you’re considering is in good shape and if it will stay that way for the years to come. For example, a house with foundation problems might have long-term issues that end up costing a lot of money in repairs.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you can spot these issues on your own.

If you skip a home inspection, you might buy a home with hidden problems. The house might look perfect on the outside, but if the electrical work isn’t up to code, you’ll have to shell out more money to fix it.

A home inspection ensures it’s worth investing in the home you want.

What Does a Home Inspector Look for?

A home inspector will assess just about everything in a home. However, there are specifical places they focus on and things they keep an eye out for.

Here’s a quick list of the things a home inspector look for in a house:

  • Structure 

First, your inspector will make sure the structural components of the house are sound. This includes the roof, foundation, walls, and ceilings. They’ll check for any water damage or cracks.

  • Plumbing 

An inspector will test every drain for leaks, proper filtration, and mineral deposits. This includes drains, vents, and other waste systems. Your inspector may even test the purity of the water.

  • Electrical 

Inspectors make sure any electrical work is up to code and working in a safer manner. They’ll check conductors, distribution panels, and grounding equipment. As part of the electrical assessment, they’ll also count the number and placement of smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

  • HVAC

To ensure your HVAC system is in good condition, your inspector will check the filters and make sure there’s no corrosion in the supply pipes. If the house has a chimney, they’ll double check it’s not cracked or damaged in any way.

  • Insulation 

The inspector will assess attic crawl spaces and make sure venting fans are working properly. They’ll also check under-floor insulation to make sure it hasn’t deteriorated.

  • Interior and Appliances 

Finally, the inspector will also check interior appliances to make sure they work as they should. Things like doors, windows, counters, stairways, cabinets, and floors are included in this assessment.

Choosing the Right Inspection for Your Home

Your home might need both a home inspection and a property inspection. But you should never go without a home inspection.

Getting a home inspection ensures your home is in good condition before you buy it. This protects your investment and can save you money in the long run.

Are you getting ready to purchase a house?

Click here to schedule a home inspection with us!