This is an outline of the differences between an appraiser and a qualified licensed home inspector.
If you’re purchasing a home with a government insured mortgage like an FHA or VA mortgage, the lender will send a qualified appraiser who will evaluate the value of the home for the lender. Usually the appraiser will get recent sale values with comparitivly priced homes.When these appraisers look at the condition of the property they are primarily looking at safety issues such as trip hazards, peeling paint that may contain lead, asbestos covered heating pipes, hand rails on stairways and other readily visible defiencies. They also look for obvious defects in the structure such as a leaky roof, but they usually will not climb the roof like a professional home inspector, to identify, if possible, the cause. By no stretch of the imagination is this a comprehensive inspection of the property by an Appraiser.
A private home inspection is something that you as the buyer have a contract for. Part of the negotiating process should include a window of opportunity to complete this inspection. The inspection time frame runs from a couple days to two weeks depending on the individual property. A bank owned property might not have the utilities turned on, or winterized. That fact alone may require re-inspection after the house is in working order. Typically with an owner occupying the house, selling to a buyer, a window of five to seven days would be sufficient.
Home inspectors must be licensed by New York State in order to perform home inspections New York State. In choosing a home inspector its important that the inspector is licensed and has liability insurance.
A typical home inspection will start outside the house with a observing eye and walk the perimeter of the home and yard. Weather permitting the inspector should climb the roof, inspect the building envelope and the interior and exterior of out buildings (sheds, cabanas, etc.)and garages. Once inside the house, your inspector will go floor-to-floor, room by room inspecting doors and windows, flooring, lighting, switches and plugs.
He will go into the attic to look at the condition of the structure and even report back on the amount of insulation that is observed.
The inspection will likely end in the basement with an overall inspection of the exposed foundation, plumbing, electrical and HVAC system. If the inspector is trained properly he will remove the service panel covers and inspect the breakers and wiring to uncover any electrical hazards that may be pesent. If the wiring is in good order that will be noted.