Understanding Home Inspections, Surveys, and Appraisals

The process for purchasing a home is complex and involves several steps. If you’re a first-time buyer, hopefully, you’re working with a real estate professional who is walking with you every step of the way. Three important parts of buying a house include the property inspection, survey, and appraisal. These may sound like the same thing, but they are very different. Let’s break it all down.

Getting a Home Inspection

The purpose of a home inspection is to assess the condition of the house. Whether you’re buying a resale or a new build, you need to hire a licensed inspector to check several elements, including the structure as well as the home’s systems, including electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. This thorough inspection looks for any repairs, major and minor, that need to be completed before you take ownership. This investigation should yield a detailed report documenting any issues noted by your inspector.

Conducting a Property Survey

When you’re buying a house, you need to make sure you’re getting what you’ve agreed to buy. A survey of the property is necessary to determine its extents as well as document other feature such as easements, streets, right of way, flood zones, and more. A land surveyor near me Laurel MD should be licensed to do this work. Discrepancies found between the survey and other records may be grounds for further negotiations or backing out of the sale altogether.

Appraising Your Future Home

The purpose of an appraisal is to determine the accurate property value. Your mortgage lender wants to be sure that its investment and the risks are worth it. An appraisal is usually required as part of the conditions to receive a mortgage. Third-party professional appraisers research and analyze property data to determine if the sale price is reasonable.

Again, the home buying process can be complicated. Home inspections, surveys, and appraisals are just three of the things that must be done before you receive the keys. Your real estate agent should walk you through each step and explain the things you don’t understand.


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