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Home Appraisal Vs. Home Inspection

During the home buying process, you have to meet with a lot of people.  Your mortgage lender, your realtor, the seller’s realtor, home inspector, home appraiser… and once that is all done, you meet with contractors called in to fix any problems uncovered by all this scrutiny.

Acculevel was founded in 1996 by Andy Beery.  A family-owned and operated company, we specialize in waterproofing, foundation repair, and concrete leveling.  Many of our Acculevel customers start as potential home buyers or sellers, and we’ve heard a lot of questions about these different inspections and why they’re all needed.  

In this article, we’re going to explain the differences between a home appraisal, a home inspection, and a contractor’s inspection.  


What is the End Goal?

All three of these services have different purposes, so what they look for and how they evaluate their findings will vary.

A home inspector reviews the structure to identify potential problems.  They work for the person who hired them- usually the buyer.  Inspectors are looking at the major components of the house, to determine if they are all functioning and intact.  To better illustrate this, let’s assume you’re considering a home built in 1970.  

Any house built before 1978 may have been decorated with paint containing lead.  If the home inspector notices, they will flag it in their inspection report as something that will need testing. 

A home appraiser works for the financial institution funding the home purchase.  They are evaluating the property to estimate its market value, so the bank can decide if it’s a good investment to loan you the money.

If the paint is chipped, the home appraisal may ignore it.  Unless the financing the home buyer is pursuing, chipped paint isn’t a major cause for concern.  But if the loan applied for is a FHA loan, this involves specific government regulations.  For those situations, the appraiser will recognize it as a potential concern and mark it for scraping, testing, sealing, and repainting.  

The contractor, like the inspector, works for the party that hired them.  They are called in to evaluate a specific area or section of the home, to estimate the costs and methods to repair whatever is damaged or broken.  Unlike a home inspector, a contractor’s inspection should be free of charge.  


Additional Resources 

Have you received the home inspection report?  Are there problems or questions that you need to address?  We explain whom to call and why

If you have foundation issues that need to be evaluated, your foundation material will matter.  This article explains why, and who you should contact for each major type

Do you need a contractor for other parts of the house, as well?  After we waterproof their  basement, customers sometimes ask us to recommend a general contractor to “finish” the project with drywall, carpeting, etc.   We have suggestions for how and where to find the right contractor here


Do You Need Foundation Repairs or Waterproofing? 

If you live within our service area, call Acculevel!  We will schedule an appointment for you, with one of our experienced and knowledgeable project managers.  They will assess the problem area, recommend the best solution(s), and thoroughly address your concerns.  

Regardless of where you live, please use our guide of the questions you should ask a contractor.  We’ve compiled this document as a team, covering everything from how to evaluate a contractor, what to expect during the estimate, ethical and reasonable billing practices, and making sure the services and warranties are clear and accurately priced.  

Click here for a free estimate


Kelly Kater

Over her twenty year career, Kelly has worked in a wide variety of fields: secondary education, nursing, biology, elder care, the postal service, multicultural development, and academia. She has developed a skill for translating industry-specific jargon into everyday language. Her goal is to share the knowledge and experience of the Acculevel team with homeowners, in a way that is both engaging and informative.

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