Home Inspections vs. Home Appraisals

May 7, 2020

If you are officially on the hunt for your dream home, you will be spending a significant amount of time in the near future on various fact-finding missions. You have an area and house size you are looking for; now, you just have to learn all about each house you visit and determine whether it checks enough of your boxes.

A crucial aspect of this fact-finding mission is conducting evaluations of your house. Two terms you are probably familiar with are “appraisals” and “property inspections.” They might be similar in your mind, but despite their similarities, these two distinct evaluations have separate purposes. This blog will delve into important differences between appraisals and inspections.

Key Differences

One differentiator between an appraisal and an inspection is to consider the purpose of each. The purpose of an appraisal is to come up with an accurate valuation for the property; this is accomplished over several weeks or months and involves a thorough inspection of the home, as well as exhaustive research of the market and surrounding area.

An important note here is that the appraiser, who must be a disinterested (neutral) third party, produces an appraisal for the mortgage lender. Lenders do not want to give away more money than the property is actually worth. If the buyer eventually defaults on the mortgage, then the lender will come away with less money than before.

Conversely, a home inspection is an even more in-depth evaluation of the property. Home inspectors will exhaustively comb through nearly every physical aspect of the house, as well as different systems, such as electrical, plumbing, and HVAC. The roof, floors, ceilings, and appliances are often scrutinized by the appraiser.

Compared to an appraiser, an inspector is more focused on any flaws contained in the property. The primary purpose of the home inspection is to let the buyer know exactly what they are getting into. The home inspection is usually conducted after the property is under contract; any flaws presented to the buyer will inform them on the best way to proceed. Most contracts will have a provision that states the seller is obligated to fix any issues uncovered by the inspection.


The homebuying process can be exhausting at times, but it is important to perform your due diligence before you sink thousands of dollars into a house. Home appraisals and inspections are important pieces of the due-diligence puzzle. If you are looking for a closing attorney who knows what they’re doing and can make the process fun and joyful, get in touch with Schlegel Livingston, LLC today to get started on your free consultation.