HOME INSPECTOR OR APPRAISER: WHICH CAREER IS RIGHT FOR ME?
Real estate agents aren’t the only people in the real estate field who can rake in the cash. Home inspectors and home appraisers can make a very comfortable living. So if you want to get into real estate, but don’t want to sell homes, consider these two options.
What does it pay and who do I work for?
As a home inspector, you can work for yourself (as your own small business) or work for a home inspection company. As an independent, you’ll need to find your own work and clients, but it can pay off handsomely—we found the average home inspector makes over $70,000 a year. You’ll need to build relationships with homeowners, homebuyers, and real estate agents—these are the people who will call on you when they need an inspection done. If you work for a home inspection company, they’ll be taking a cut, and you could make less.
As a home appraiser, you will generally find full-time employment as an in-house appraiser for a bank or mortgage company. You can also be a fee appraiser—an independent worker who offers appraisals for a fee—although you’ll need to find your own clients. For in-house appraisers, pay differs according to experience, employer, and location, although you could make more with the right skillset and employer. In fact, the highest 10% of appraisers make over $97,000.
Jobs of the inspector
Home inspectors are the people who scour a home for everything that’s right or wrong with it—and that’s important. You need to be able to spot an unstable foundation or a plumbing system on the fritz. That means you’ll want a healthy knowledge of what makes a house work. That includes:
Heating and cooling systems
Foundations and basements
Wells and septic tanks
Local building codes
Indoor air quality
Jobs of the appraiser
A home appraiser’s job is to figure out the fair market value of a home. This is done by an on-site check, where you survey the property and take note of all the home’s amenities, aesthetics, appliances, size, number of rooms, types of construction materials used, and updates throughout the home. You also take note of lot size and its condition, as well as the general upkeep of the home’s exterior.
Home Inspection: What You Can Expect
It’s a good idea to make sure you know the exact condition of your potential future home before you decide to stake your claim. A home inspection gives you an intimate look at what your home may cost you in the future in maintenance and repair costs.
We’ll take a closer look at the home inspection process. We’ll show you what to expect when a home inspector visits your property and how much you’ll pay. We’ll also go over what the inspector will and won’t look at during their inspection.
What Is A Home Inspection?
During a home inspection, a real estate professional called a home inspector takes a look around your property. They look for any potential problems with the home that you might need to deal with later. As the buyer, you’re free to attend the home inspection. After the inspector finishes touring the property, they write a report that contains everything they find during the visit.
No home is perfect. Your inspection results give you a closer look at the real condition of your property. No one wants to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a home just to find that it has irreparable structural issues. Be sure to schedule your home inspection before you close on your loan. This leaves time to contact the seller and adjust the sale if the inspection reveals major issues. Ask your real estate agent for home inspection company recommendations.
What Do Home Inspectors Look For?
Your home inspector will take a look at all of the home’s major structures and features. Some specific areas where he or she will look for problems include:
The home’s basic structure: Your inspector will look for problems with a home’s structure, like cracks in the walls or damage to the home’s foundation.
Roof and attic: They’ll look at the exterior of the roof and search for signs of damage. This includes things like missing shingles or a sinking roof. They’ll also look at your gutters and rain guards to make sure water flows away from your property. They’ll look in your attic for signs of leaks, structural damage or insulation issues as well as damage to your fireplace if you have a chimney.
Basement: They’ll mainly look for basement water damage. Basements are especially vulnerable to water issues, which can quickly cause expensive structural damage.
Plumbing: They’ll look at your plumbing system, making sure that toilets and water flow, shut off and turn back on at the right times. They’ll also look for leaks and test your hot water heater.
Electrical: Your inspector will first check to make sure that your electrical system is properly grounded. Grounding helps avoid overheating and fires and can be an expensive issue to correct. They’ll review your circuit breaker, wiring, ceiling fans and outlets to make sure they’re working.
Appliances: Your inspector will check to make sure that large appliances (like your oven and dishwasher) are in working order as well as check their connections to make sure they won’t cause a fire hazard.
Garage: They’ll look for damage to your walls and ceiling and test your garage door opener.
Other systems: Your inspector will make sure that your home’s furnace is running properly and check out your air conditioning system and sprinklers
WHEN DO YOU NEED A HOME INSPECTION?
As a buyer, home inspection is critical. It can confirm that your dream house is worth every penny of your investment, or it can uncover a number of underlying problems that need to be fixed before you buy.
As a seller, you are on the receiving end—your home must be inspected before it can be sold.
This sounds simple enough, but once you receive your home inspection report, you’ll quickly see how complicated the process can become. A thorough home inspection will survey a house inside and out. It will include a detailed report of the conditions of a home, spanning wiring and electrical systems, interior plumbing, windows, doors, walls, floors, ceilings, attic, basement, foundation, structural quality, and more.
This is especially important for buyers who are ready to sink hundreds of thousands of dollars into a new home.
THOUGH A HOME INSPECTION GIVES LEVERAGE TO THE BUYER, IT MATTERS TO THE SELLER TOO.
IF YOU WANT TO SELL YOUR HOME QUICKLY AND AT A COMPETITIVE PRICE, YOUR HOME INSPECTION MUST COME BACK WITH MINIMAL ISSUES. Sellers can prepare in advance to ensure that a home is in working order, from foundation to roof. Hiding major household issues prior to an inspection is never advised as it could nullify a potential sale.
A HOME INSPECTION IS NOT THE SAME AS A BUILDING CODE INSPECTION OR AN APPRAISAL; IT DOES NOT PROVIDE A GUARANTEE OR INSURANCE ON A PROPERTY.
A home inspection also is not perfect. Most potential buyers mistakenly believe that a completed inspection report is all you need to get into your dream house. However, home inspectors are not infallible; skill level will vary. Buyers are encouraged to attend a home inspection to provide a second look at a new home. A home inspection report is designed to assess visible property weakness, yet it can still overlook critical defects in a house.
Complete Guide: What a Home Inspection Does & Doesn’t Include
Buying a home is one of the most important steps in our lives. It is a significant investment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. That’s why a professional home inspection is always recommended as part of any home purchase. However, many home buyers are don’t know what a home inspection includes and doesn’t include.
What a Home Inspection Includes
Here is what you can expect from a qualified home inspector: First, your home inspector will inspect all the visible, physically accessible and observable systems, elements, and components of the building. Then the home inspector will provide you with a report with the findings of the inspection, including their recommendations for repair.
A home inspector will check and inspect each segment component of the house listed below. They will check the following components of the building:
Roof: The condition of the roof, the materials used, the drainage system, chimneys, skylights, and flashing. They will inspect for any repairs or damage to the shingles and gutters.
Foundation and structure: including the floor, walls, ceiling, and roof structure
Electrical systems: check the electrical systems to verify it is functioning correctly and check for safety defects. This also includes the electrical panel box, grounding, wiring, electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers.
Plumbing systems: check the plumbing system, including the water heater system, plumbing pipes, and plumbing fixtures including bathtubs, showers, toilets.
Heating systems: check the heating equipment, chimneys, fireplaces, venting, and ductwork.
Air conditioning systems: The condition of the central and other cooling systems and ductwork.
Built-in Appliances: check any built-in appliances such as stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers, microwaves, washer machines, dryers, etc.
Basement, Attic, and Garage: check the foundations, walls, floors, windows, framing, roof, wiring and electrical systems, and garage door openers.
Exterior: the condition of the exterior paint and siding, lights, outlets, and more.
Safety features: fire and carbon monoxide alarms, the condition of staircases, guardrails, etc.
Grounds: check the condition of sidewalks, driveways, fences, and lot drainage.
Some features and systems may not be covered in your home inspection unless specifically requested. While the items listed below are not part of a standard home inspection, they may be added for a fee depending on your home inspectors’ training and skillset. When you call to schedule your home inspection, you should inform your home inspector if you need any of these items inspected.
Void in the Insulation
Voids in the insulation are areas of the floor, ceilings, and exterior walls where insulation is missing. Voids in the insulation can be due to poor installation or damage. The reason insulation voids are not usually inspected is that many of these areas are inaccessible. Insulation voids help transfer heat and can reduce the home’s energy efficiency. Even small voids will result in reduced insulation effectiveness that will have an impact on room temperatures and utility costs.
The Ultimate Home Inspection Checklist
You’ve finally put an offer down on your dream home. Congratulations! You’re nearly a full-fledged homeowner! You can’t wait to settle into your new nest and make it your own. But not so fast. First, you must inspect. As the homebuyer, it’s your responsibility to hire a professional inspector to examine the property and tell you about its condition. A detailed home inspection will let you know exactly what you can expect from your purchase. It should be safe, secure, and meet local building codes.
Your prospective home may look beautiful and shiny to the untrained eye. A fresh lick of paint and new countertops can mask bigger problems beneath the surface. Fortunately, an inspector is trained to identify issues that may slip past the average house-hunter. Once the inspection is complete, your inspector will prepare a thorough report on the state of the house. They can tell you what, if anything, will need immediate attention, and what minor fixes can wait until after the move.
What You Need To Know About Home Inspections
When to Inspect
After you make an offer on the home, you’ll have a specific window of time in which to get the property inspected. It could be as long as a week or two or as short as a few days. If you’re buying in springtime, keep in mind that this is a real estate agent’s busy season. It helps to have your home inspector picked out early in the home-buying process, especially if the inspection window is short.
The Right Person for the Job
When it comes to buying a home, you want to know that you’re making the right decision, and a good inspector will help you do just that. But how do you know which one is best? The right person for the job will be licensed in the trade, with experience under their belt, and lots of good reviews to their name. Do your research and do lots of it. Consider asking them for a sample inspection report. Read online reviews and check with friends, family, or even your real estate agent.
An average home inspection can cost between $300 and $600. However, it can fluctuate based on the inspector you hire, the size, type, and age of the building, and the amount of work that needs to be done.