Whether it’s your first, third, or part of an ongoing series of purchases, each time you buy a house it’s likely the largest investment you’ve ever made to date. You understand the importance of an inspection and appraisal but may not realize all inspections and appraisals are the same. You have to protect the value of your investment and need to conduct your own inspection with an experienced and licensed inspector who is on-site to protect your interests rather than other obligations the realtor or seller need to confirm as part of the transaction.
Seller’s Inspection Is Not a Buyer’s Inspection
When you begin negotiations toward buying a house, the seller is going to show you inspection papers. That’s something you want to review, but remember it isn’t a buyer’s inspection to protect your interests. The seller’s inspection papers only prove the house is up to current building codes and generically safe to live in. Depending on your expectations, such confirmation may mean the home is ready to be moved into or it might only mean the post office can legally deliver mail to the address. At the very least, the seller’s inspection guarantees the asking price is somewhere within the realm of what the house is worth.
An Appraisal Is Not an Inspection
Considering a house’s worth brings the appraisal to the forefront of the conversation. The appraisal is neither a be-all nor an end-all as to what a house is worth. It’s an overall guess based on the current market and what similar houses sell for adjusted to the local economy. The house may be worth much more or less to either the buyer or the seller. As with all business deals, the bottom line is the house is worth what somebody will pay for it.
Why You Need an Inspection
Your own inspection by an independent third party will tell you what you need to know before making an offer. If, for example, you plan to put a kitchenette in the basement your own inspector will tell you if it’s a reasonable idea with the house or if it’s impossible. Your home inspector will be able to tell you specific details about the house’s general condition and anything that is going to need work, along with what it will entail to add your personal touch and make the house a home.