For Your Protection Get a Home Inspection
Why You Need a Home Inspection
Buying a home is one of the most important purchases you will
make in your lifetime, so you should be sure that the home you
want to buy is in good condition. A home inspection is an evaluation
of a homeís condition by a trained expert. During a home inspection,
a qualified inspector takes an in-depth and impartial look at the
property you plan to buy. The inspector will:
- Evaluate the physical condition: the structure, construction and mechanical systems.
- Identify items that should be repaired or replaced.
- Estimate the remaining useful life of the major systems (such as electrical, plumbing, heating, air conditioning), equipment, structure and finishes. The home inspector does not estimate the value of the house.
After the inspection is complete, you will receive a written
report of the findings from the home inspector, usually within five to seven days.
This information is primarily for homebuyers that buy their homes with the help of
the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) mortgage insurance programs.
All homebuyers can benefit from the information in this brochure to understand
the difference between home inspections and appraisals, the benefits of home inspections,
how to find a qualified inspector, and the importance of radon testing.
Home Inspections Are Not Appraisals
A property appraisal is a document that provides an estimate of a propertyís
market value. Lenders require appraisals on properties prior to loan approval
to ensure that the mortgage loan amount is not more than the value of the property.
Appraisals are for lenders; home inspections are for buyers.
FHA, which is part of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD),
requires lenders to obtain appraisals of properties securing FHA-insured loans.
FHA requires appraisals for three reasons:
- To estimate the market value of the property.
- To make sure that the property meets FHA minimum property requirements/standards (health and safety).
- To make sure that the property is marketable.
The FHA appraisal process will note property deficiencies that are readily
observable and found not in compliance with HUDís minimum property
requirements/standards (Handbook 4905.1 REV-1 and Handbook 4910.1).
These deficiencies may not be the same as those items noted in a
home inspection report.
About FHA Home Inspections
FHA helps individuals and families become homeowners
by providing lenders with mortgage insurance for certain loans.
FHA does not guarantee the value or condition of your future home,
and FHA does not perform home inspections. If you find problems with
your new home after closing, FHA cannot give or lend you money for
repairs, nor can it buy the home back from you.
Thatís why it is so important for you, the buyer, to get an independent home
inspection. Ask a qualified home inspector to thoroughly examine the physical
condition of your future home and give you the information you need to make a
The Bottom Line: Spending Hundreds May Save Thousands
When you make a written offer on a home, you should insist that the contract
state that the offer is contingent on a home inspection conducted by a
qualified inspector. You will have to pay for the inspection yourself,
but it could keep you from buying a house that will cost you far more in
repairs down the road. If you are satisfied with the results of the inspection,
then your offer can proceed.