Maui Blog - Georgie Hunter R(S): Buying a home on Maui - what's the difference between home inspection and appraisal?

Buying a home on Maui - what's the difference between home inspection and appraisal?

Buying a home on Maui - what's the difference between home inspection and appraisal?

You're buying a home on Maui and things are going great.  You found a nice house you love and negotiations led to an accepted offer, congratulations!  Things are moving fast and this is the time to pay close attention.  Your agent has provided you with names of home inspectors and you need to get that scheduled ASAP.  There's a lot you might not understand, so be sure to ask your Maui Realtor who will be happy to explain things.

What's a home inspection?

  • thorough inspection of the home done by a professional inspector and hopefully certified inspector
  • you decide who does the inspection
  • functional things are tested, including plumbing and electrical systems and appliances
  • structural things like roofs and foundations are observed and inspected
  • repairs needed will be noted; upcoming issues will be noted; safety and health hazards will be noted
  • you pay for this inspection which can often be paid at closing through escrow
  • the report benefits you, and you may or may not want to share it with the seller
  • detailed report will be provided to you within a few days, advising you on matters that might affect your decision to buy


What's an appraisal?

  • valuation of the home done by a professional appraiser working in conjunction with the lending institution
  • the lender/bank decides who does the appraisal
  • value is estimated based on square footage and age of improvements to the home and lot
  • comparable properties from the nearby area are included in the report
  • you pay for the report by way of your loan application, and usually not upfront
  • the report benefits the bank as it helps them decide how much money to lend you
  • detailed report will be provided to your lender, usually within a week, giving a valuation of your home on today's market

Which one comes first?  The home inspection should be done right away because it will have an impact on whether or not you are moving ahead with the purchase.  Once you know just exactly what improvements or repairs need to be made you can decide to either cancel the purchase or keep going.  The degree of repairs might lead you to try and negotiate the work or the purchase price with the seller.  If you decide to stop the purchase you will need to notify all parties ASAP.  If the deal is off, then there is no need to have the appraisal done.  Your lender will usually wait for your decision before ordering the appriasal, in an effort to save you some money.

Both the home inspecton and the appraisal are important steps in buying your Maui home.  Each one can either float your boat or sink it.  Be sure to consult with your real estate agent about each step.  When all things go smoothly it will lead to happy buyers and sellers, and that's the goal when buying a home on Maui.

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Got questions about the real estate market, about buying or selling a home on Maui?  Please contact me, a local Maui REALTOR.
call or text me 808 283-0635 ~ EMAIL 
Aloha from Maui... 

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Comment balloon 10 commentsGeorgie Hunter R(S) 58089 • April 25 2013 07:33PM


Georgina, So many of my clients mix up the difference between a home inspection and an appraisal. You've done a great job in breaking down the differences and some of the similarities of the two job titles. Well done! 

Posted by Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS, Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority! (RE/MAX Northwest.) over 5 years ago

Good blog for the beginer who is just starting to look for a home. You do a great job in what each phase of buying requires of the new buyer to know. It could make for a good handout.

Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) over 5 years ago

Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving the positive feedback!

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) over 5 years ago

This is excellent advice, Georgie.  Get that home inspection done before wasting money if you don't intend to move forward.

Posted by Jane Peters, Los Angeles real estate concierge services (Home Jane Realty) over 5 years ago

Georgina-Inspections and appraisals can be viewed as different kinds of insurance for the buyer.

Posted by Wayne Johnson, San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale (Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS®) over 5 years ago

This is a great explanation of the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection.  Thanks for saring Georgina.  Congrats on the feature!  

Posted by Amanda Christiansen, Christiansen Group Realty (Christiansen Group Realty (260)704-0843) over 5 years ago

Georgina, a good home inspector will pick up on the things an appraiser will also find. Having an inspection done first is essential. Good explanation of what makes up both an inspection and an appraisal. G+1'd!

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 5 years ago

Do they check for spooks, spirits? And do you have your baked beans soaking for tonight's feed ..carry over from the New Brunswick Canada tradition?

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) over 5 years ago

I've found a lot of home buyers are confused by appraisers and home inspectors.  Your blog does a great job with clearing that issue up for everyone.  A must read for those buying a home for the first time.

Posted by Vince Chinell, CPI (VICO Home Inspection) over 5 years ago

An appraisal is not needed for a cash buyer but I reccomend to the buyer to have one done so you know where you stand.  It gives you a baseline. 

Posted by Sheri Sperry - MCNE®, (928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR® (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 5 years ago

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