Home Inspection Guide

This is a valuable tool for you as it is a professional evaluation of the structural and mechanical condition of the home you are about to purchase.

A home inspection is not the same as an appraisal. It's a professional evaluation of the structural and mechanical condition (not the market value) of the property. If possible, you should plan to accompany the inspector on his or her rounds. Every inspection should include an evaluation of at least the following:

  • Foundations
  • Doors and windows
  • Roof
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Ceilings, walls, and floors
  • Insulation
  • Ventilation
  • Septic tanks, wells, or sewer lines
  • Common areas (in the case of a condominium or cooperative)

Other common contingencies include:

  • Obtaining clear title to the property
  • Selling an existing home within a specified period of time
  • Requiring that the seller pay a portion of the buyer's closing costs
  • Obtaining a satisfactory well and septic test
  • Requiring the sellers to make certain repairs prior to closing
  • Appraised value of no less than the offered price

When you submit your offer, you should be prepared to make a deposit (the amount may vary based on the area). This deposit is often referred to as "earnest money" and is given as a show of good faith on your part that you're sincere about your offer. If the sale goes through, the amount of earnest money you put down will be deducted from the amount you owe the seller at closing. If the seller rejects your offer, or the sale falls through because one of your contingencies is not satisfied, your earnest money should be returned.

All lending products are subject to application and credit approval. Home equity loans and lines also subject to acceptable appraisal and title search.