Home Inspection BasicsHome inspections are important to home buyers, and it is worthwhile for you to attend a home inspection when buying a home. It’s also important that you understand the difference between a home appraisal and an inspection. Here is a brief explanation of that difference:

Home Appraisal

The appraisal is carried out by an appraiser or surveyor, and is an evaluation of the property prior to you making an offer.  Fundamentally, a home appraisal involves an evaluation of the structure, size and condition of a property to enable you to make a realistic purchase offer. Home inspections are carried out after this stage, once the appraisal has been carried out and an offer made – but before final contract signing.

Home Inspections

A home inspection is carried out immediately after going to contract. While an appraisal is generally mandatory before you are offered a mortgage, an inspection is not. However, it is advisable. The process is carried out by licensed home inspectors, who will check out aspects of the property such as its electrical wiring, plumbing, insulation and waterproofing.

While not mandatory, it is generally best to attend home inspections yourself. By doing so, you will have a far better idea of the infrastructure of your home than had you not been present. Here are some specific benefits of doing so:

Learn Where Things Are

You will find out where the power meters are, where the hot water heater is situated, and everything else connected with the home.  This is an ideal opportunity to ask the inspector about water and gas valves, and where any cables and coming are coming into the house. You can ask how your central heating works, and how each of the systems should be maintained.

Check the Appliances

If any equipment and appliances are included in the sale, such as cookers, ovens or even fountains and pond pumps, home inspections give you  the chance to make sure that these are operating as they should be. If not, then you have an experienced guy with you who can advise on your options.

Make Purchasing Decisions

This is your final chance before contract signing to see your new home without the seller tagging along. You can check basements, attics and the ‘cupboard under the stairs’ to make sure nothing has been hidden from you during the viewing. This is the best chance you have of seeing your potential new home in the raw before you sign the papers. You can cancel the purchase at this point if everything is not as claimed.

Understand the Report

A home inspection report is easier to understand if you have been present during the inspection. You should not take part in the inspection, but look at what the inspector is looking at, listen to the comments made and ask pertinent questions when there is something that confuses or troubles you.

By attending home inspections, you get to know your new home better than if you had not attended. You learn where the hidden things are – water taps, gas valves, electrical switches. You learn which is in your attic, your garage, and basement or even underneath the patio!  You might be surprised by how many people pave over a main valve controlling the water supply into their home!

Home inspections are worth attending, and most realtors and mortgage lenders would recommend you do so. The home inspection can be very revealing and very educational.