Home Inspections Are Not Appraisals

A property appraisal is a document that provides an estimate of a property's 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.

The Federal Housing Authority (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:

 

  1. To estimate the market value of the property.
  2. To make sure that the property meets FHA minimum property requirements/standards (health and safety).
  3. 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 HUD's minimum property requirements/standards. These deficiencies may not be the same as those items noted in a home inspection report.