When buying a home, buyers not only look for the best price, they also want to make sure the property is everything the seller claims it to be. This is why home inspections have become an accepted part of the home buying process. As Paramount Management explains, it protects buyers by ensuring they do not encounter any unpleasant surprises after they complete the purchase of a property.

Most homebuyers, (and sometimes home sellers) understand the value of home inspections and are happy to pay for the service. But what about the home appraisal, is it entirely necessary in the home buying process? And, is an appraisal not the same as an inspection?

These questions are often asked by people who are new to the home buying process. Most of them assume the home appraisal is simply a home inspection by a different name. As a result, they think it is an unnecessary waste of time and money.

Is this view correct; are home appraisals no different from home inspections? Below we explain what each process is, their respective functions, how they are different, and most importantly, why appraisals and inspections help protect buyers’ interests.

What is a home appraisal?

Home appraisals are required for nearly all mortgage loans. They are conducted by third-party appraisers who evaluate the home based on its condition, location, and the value of comparative homes. The appraiser does a walkthrough of the home and surrounding areas. They also analyze sales data for similar homes that recently sold in the area. They then combine all this information to determine the home’s estimated market value.

What is a home inspection?

A home inspection is a highly detailed examination of the physical structures and systems of a house. The inspector goes through the home using a checklist of 1,600 items that guides him or her through every component of the property. The goal of the inspection is to uncover any underlying issues with the property. It gives prospective buyers a more complete view of the house and allows them to make a more informed decision about whether to buy or not.

Difference between the appraisal and inspection


A home appraisal determines the value of the home. It helps lenders ensure that a house is not overvalued since the property will serve as collateral for the loan. This is so that in the event that the borrower defaults, the bank will be able to recover its funds by selling the home.

The home inspection determines the physical condition of a home. It helps the buyer assess the risk of buying the property.

Required by whom

The home appraisal is required by lenders as part of the mortgage process and the appraiser works for the lender. The home inspection is set up by the buyer and the home inspector works for the buyer (or seller, in the case of the seller’s inspection).


A home appraisal involves a simple walkthrough of the home. An inspection is a grueling assessment that can take up to three hours.

Impact on a home loan

An appraisal can determine how much money a borrower is able to borrow. If the appraiser values the home lower than its offer price, the borrower will make up the difference if they proceed to buy the house. Home inspections do not affect loan amounts.

The process

The appraiser conducts only a visual inspection of the home. The inspector does a visual inspection but also uses special devices and specific know-how.

Buyer involvement

Buyers are usually not allowed to be present during the appraisal. Buyers are encouraged to be present during an inspection by The Best Property Inspections LLC (when COVID-type situations allow), and the inspector will discuss the problems they uncover with the buyer.


The appraisal factors the condition of the home and its features; lots sizes in the area; school zones; crime rates and the value of similar homes in the neighborhood. An inspection concerns itself only with the physical state of the home.

The report

At the end of the appraisal, the appraiser gives a report of their findings to the buyer, seller, and lender, with explanations on how they arrived at their estimated value for the home. The result of an appraisal is somewhat subjective because it is based on the appraiser’s interpretation of data.

After the inspection, the inspector gives a detailed report to only the buyer. The report does not recommend any course of action; it simply supplies the buyer with the information they need to make a good decision. The result of the inspection is more objective because it looks at the actual physical condition of different parts of the home.

Benefits: why you need an appraisal and inspection

The home appraisal ensures that you do not overpay for the home, it gives you a basis for renegotiating with the seller and helps you avoid paying excessive property taxes.

The home inspection will give you intimate knowledge of the home’s condition so that you can be confident about the purchase. Based on the inspection, you can assess the cost of future repairs or use the report as a negotiation point during closing.

Danielle Marshall is an employee of Paramount Management & Realty. Paramount Management & Realty manages rental properties in Phoenix, Arizona. Paramount provides residential management, commercial property management, HOA management, and multi-family management services.

Ordering an inspection of your home before listing it for sale helps you avoid surprises and streamline the sales process. When a buyer makes an offer on your home, he or she will order an inspection and the information in the report can affect the sale. As the owner, you can order a pre-listing home inspection to discover problems before putting your home on the market.

Reduce Stress with a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

One of the benefits of a pre-listing inspection is that it reduces the stress surrounding the process. It’s common to have a little anxiety about where problems may exist. An inspection uncovers these issues and gives you the opportunity to take care of them before offering your home for sale.

A pre-listing inspection allows you to decide how and when to repair any issues because you have control over the timeline before listing. Without an inspection, your buyer’s inspection may reveal problems that will have to be repaired promptly in order for the sale to go through.

Price Your Home Accurately

Pricing your home is one of the key elements of closing the sale. Buyers may not even tour the property if you price it too high. Price it too low and you’re losing money on the deal.

It is a challenge, however, to price your home appropriately without knowing its true condition. A pre-listing inspection solves this problem by outlining any defects ahead of time so you can adjust the price accordingly. If you find that your home is in great shape, you can ask for a higher list price

Sell Your Home Faster with a Pre-Listing Home Inspection

Buyers typically feel better making offers when they’re shown a current inspection report. The inspection shows that your house has been priced according to its actual condition. When you share the results of your inspection, the buyer will see you as more trustworthy and will have more confidence moving forward.

Make Upfront Repairs

With a pre-listing inspection, you and your real estate agent can decide which repairs to make before listing. If electrical problems or roofing issues are discovered, those are repairs potential buyers might not want to deal with. A home with expensive repair needs will either need to be updated or else listed at a lower asking price.

Getting defects fixed before putting the home on the market gives you the advantage of selling an improved home. You’ll likely recoup the repair costs because you can list the property for more money.

Benefits of a Pre-Listing Inspection: Avoid Renegotiation Hassles

Waiting for the buyer’s inspection following an offer on your home allows room for negotiations. You can avoid lengthy renegotiations with a pre-listing inspection because you’ve priced the home fairly and disclosed any defects or needed repairs.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

As a homeowner, you want to keep your house comfortable and attractive. There are some home maintenance services that should be scheduled regularly to care for your property and avoid costly repairs. Staying on top of a maintenance routine prevents problems later.

Roof Inspection

Check your roof at least twice a year. This is a recommendation from the National Roofing Contractors Association. Look for broken or missing shingles, cracked or rusted flashings, moss, and tree branches and debris. Regular examinations will catch problems before they cause major damage. Loose or missing shingles let rainwater seep into the roof and attic, leading to mold growth and structural damage. Heavy storms can cause leaking and damage to wood and drywall.

Annual HVAC Inspection

HVAC inspections are important to the health of your system. Every homeowner should have their heating and cooling system inspected at the beginning of spring and again in the fall. The technician will change your furnace filters, vacuum and clean your system, tighten bolts, and inspect the system for normal wear and tear.

Chimney Cleaning is One of the Most Important Home Maintenance Services

Having a professional chimney sweep clean and inspect your fireplace and chimney helps to prevent fires. Creosote is the residue that is left behind when you burn wood. It’s highly flammable and can ignite, causing a fire in your chimney. This is dangerous because chimney fires can cause overhanging tree branches to ignite or the flames can spread into the house.

To Help Maintain Your Home, Check for Termites

A termite infestation can cause significant damage to your home. These pests eat the cellulose of any wooden components. The damage they cause can become costly, especially when they destroy structural supports of the home. A yearly inspection will alert you to termites before their colony gets out of hand.

Necessary Home Maintenance Services Include Pumping the Septic Tank

Cleaning out the septic tank is essential for maintaining your plumbing system. If your home has a septic system, the tank needs to be pumped every 3 to 5 years on average.

Backup from a septic tank is not only unpleasant, but is a health hazard. The technician will inspect the tank to see that it is in good working order and empty it with a vacuum hose. Keep this task on your routine maintenance list to avoid any problems with overflowing sewage.

A home is one of the largest investments you will make in your lifetime. Protect your investment by taking proper care of it and scheduling routine maintenance so everything works smoothly.

The Best Property Inspections LLC offers annual maintenance inspections to find any defects or failing components of your property. Contact us to schedule our services.

In nature, mold contributes to the breakdown and decay of organic materials. It is not so helpful when it grows indoors. It can survive anywhere there is moisture, particularly in bathrooms, kitchens, attics, and basements. Mold causes damage to surfaces and also exacerbates asthma, allergies, and other health issues. If you suspect that mold is growing in your living spaces, take action immediately. Call a professional inspector if you notice any of these signs of mold in your home.

Health Symptoms Can Indicate Mold in Your Home

If you are sneezing and coughing while you’re at home, you may have a mold problem. If you notice your symptoms improve when you leave the house, it is even more likely that you have mold growth in the home. Mold isn’t always visible; it is often hidden beneath surfaces. Because of this, health symptoms may be the only clue that mold is growing in your home.

Musty Odor

Another sign that indicates mold in the home is an odor. Don’t ignore a musty smell simply because you cannot see mold. It could be hidden in the wall, beneath the sink, or under the carpeting.

Visual Signs of Mold in Your Home

The most obvious sign is actually seeing the mold. You may notice spots and streaks on sinks, pipes, tubs, walls, and other areas that have contact with moisture. The spots can be almost any color and grow in various patterns. Some varieties grow in patches, while others grow in stripes and streaks. Simply wiping mold away doesn’t solve the problem. Depending on the surface, you may be able to use vinegar, borax, or bleach to eliminate it. The mold spores must be killed or they will continue to return and spread. A serious mold infestation needs to be treated by a mold mitigation professional.

Don’t risk your family’s health or your home’s good condition by allowing a mold problem to persist. If you notice any signs of mold in the home, call a professional to schedule a mold inspection.

The Best Property Inspections LLC offers home inspections, including mold testing, to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to request an appointment.

Some people represent themselves when purchasing a new home and it often ends up being more stressful, time-consuming, and frustrating than if they had worked with a real estate agent. Here are 4 reasons to hire a real estate agent when buying a home.

Have a Bigger Pool of Houses to Choose From

When you look at online listings of houses on the market, you are only seeing some of the homes that are for sale. In a hot real estate market, houses are bought and sold without ever being listed publicly. This is because real estate agents often know about new homes for sale before they are posted online. Hire a real estate agent to have access to more homes that fit your wants and needs.

Hire a Real Estate Agent to Schedule Showings

Touring different houses for sale is an exhausting process, and scheduling all those meetings takes time and coordination. When you hire a real estate agent, he or she will schedule showings for you. Your agent will coordinate showings so that you can tour multiple houses in an area in one afternoon, making the most of your time.

Guidance While Filling Out Paperwork

During the process of buying a home, there are many different documents and forms you will need to read and sign. Much of it is written in industry-specific language that isn’t easy for a layman to understand. Filling out this paperwork can be stressful and confusing. Your agent will guide you through it and answer any of your questions and concerns.

Success With Negotiations When You Hire a Real Estate Agent

After you have received your home inspection report, you may want to negotiate with the seller over the price or to request repairs. It is best to leave these negotiations up to two professionals: your agent and the seller’s agent. Real estate agents are trained and experienced in negotiating. They will come up with a civil and fair solution.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides inspection services to home buyers in Pima, Cochise, and Graham Counties. Contact us to book an appointment in Southeast Arizona.

Many homes that were built before 1978 have paint that contains lead. Lead is a dangerous substance that is especially harmful to children. Read on to learn about lead paint in the home and what to do if you have it.

When is Lead Paint in the Home a Problem?

The U.S. government banned the use of lead paint in houses in 1978. However, there are still millions of homes that have lead paint on the walls, often underneath newer layers of paint. Lead paint is especially dangerous when it chips or peels and contaminates household dust. Lead paint is a greater hazard on surfaces that see a lot of wear, like door frames or window sills.

How to Tell if You Have Lead Paint in the Home

The only way to know if the paint in your home contains lead is to have it professionally tested. Luckily, lead testing will determine if the base layers of paint contain lead, even if they are under multiple layers of non-lead paint.

Health Problems Caused by Lead

The most common causes of lead poisoning in children are lead paint and contaminated dust from the paint. Lead poisoning can cause irreversible damage to your health. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Seizures
  • Learning disabilities
  • Hearing loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Digestive troubles
  • Fatigue
  • High blood pressure
  • Headaches

Exposure to lead during pregnancy also causes complications, including miscarriage and premature birth.

What to Do About Lead Paint in the Home

Any home built before 1978 should be tested for lead paint. If the test results show that you have lead paint in your house, here are your options:


Hire a contractor who specializes in lead paint removal. Professionals will remove lead paint with a sander that’s equipped with a HEPA-filtered vacuum or by using a low-temperature heat gun.


Another strategy involves removing and replacing the entire parts of the structure that contain lead paint, like drywall, doors, and windows.


Enclosure means covering the lead paint with a new surface, such as new drywall. Window sills can be covered with a vinyl cladding. This method temporarily protects your family from lead paint poisoning, but the lead paint is still a hazard if you remodel in the future.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides lead paint testing and other home inspection services. Contact us to book an appointment in Southeast Arizona.

A swimming pool on your property is great for family and friends, but without proper maintenance, it can easily become unusable. If you’re unsure of the necessary steps for maintaining your swimming pool, the good news is that it’s a fairly simple process. To help you out, here are five tips for keeping your pool clean and clear.

1. Chlorinate When Maintaining Your Swimming Pool

The purpose of chlorine is to keep the water free from any bacteria that might be dangerous to humans. One easy way to chlorinate your pool is to install a chlorinator, a tube-shaped tank that fits next to your pool filter. With a chlorinator, you add slow-dissolving chlorine sticks to the tank. If you don’t have a chlorinator, another option is a floating container that dispenses chlorine. However, these containers can put a child’s health at risk, so they aren’t a good choice if you have young kids.

2. Clear Away Debris

Another step in maintaining your swimming pool is to regularly remove any debris. Use a skimmer net to remove any leaves and twigs from your pool once a day or several times a week. You should also have skimmer baskets around the edges of your pool to catch excess debris. Empty all skimmer baskets regularly so they don’t overflow back into your pool.

3. Vacuums: Necessary Tools for Maintaining Your Swimming Pool

A pool vacuum is an important purchase if you have a home swimming pool. The purpose of a vacuum is to remove debris from the bottom of the pool and clear away any built-up sediment. While manual vacuums are available, automated pool vacuums propel themselves around the bottom of the pool and can be left alone to do the work.

4. Clean Your Pump Filter Often

Your pool’s pump is a vital piece of equipment that cycles out old water for clean, filtered water. If you don’t clean the pump’s filter regularly, you’ll end up with hazy, contaminated water that can become a bacterial breeding ground. To clean the filter, shut the pump off and close the skimmer valve. Then remove hair, lint, and other debris from the filter.

5. Regulate the pH

One final tip for maintaining your swimming pool is to regulate the pool water’s pH. Testing and adjusting the pH might sound complicated, but a pH testing kit will do the job for you. For safety, your pool water’s pH should stay between 7.4 and 7.6. Test the water weekly, and if it falls under 7.4 (too acidic), add soda ash to raise the pH. Conversely, if it’s ever above 7.6 (too basic), add muriatic acid. Both of these pH-adjusting chemicals are easy to find in pool supply stores or online.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides pool and spa inspections to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to schedule our services.

Buying and moving into a newly constructed home is an exciting experience. Since your home is new, you may believe that you don’t need a third-party home inspection. However, a new home does not guarantee a perfect home. Even good builders can leave behind issues that a homeowner may not notice during the first months of ownership. Discovering these problems after your builder’s warranty ends will cost you money. The smart move is to get a builder’s warranty inspection while the warranty is in effect.

1. A Builder’s Warranty Inspection Protects Your Investment

Your new home is likely is the largest purchase you’ve ever made. You should protect your investment with a builder’s warranty inspection. The inspector’s job is to thoroughly check your home for issues that aren’t apparent to untrained eyes. A professional inspector knows when seemingly minor issues can indicate a larger problem. The inspection cost is small compared to how much you’ve invested in your home.

2. You Can’t Rely on the Code Inspection Only

You may be wondering why you need a builder’s warranty inspection since a municipal inspector has approved your builder’s work and issued a certificate of occupancy. First, the primary purpose of the municipal inspection is to verify your home meets a minimum standard. Secondly, these inspections tend to be brief and cursory because municipal inspectors have large caseloads. Municipal inspectors are limited to inspecting for code compliance only.

3. Have Problems Fixed Before the Warranty Expires

Since your builder’s warranty typically expires one year from your settlement date, don’t wait until the last minute to schedule your builder’s warranty inspection. The ideal time to have your inspection is one month before your warranty ends. That gives you enough time to notify the builder of outstanding issues and have them addressed during the warranty period. Once the warranty expires, any underlying problems become your expense.

The Best Property Inspections LLC provides builder’s warranty inspections and other home inspection services to Southeast Arizona. Contact us to request an inspection. Note: A Builder’s Warranty is not the same thing as a Home Warranty. For information on Home Warranties from Consumers Advocate, click here.

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