What’s the Difference between an Appraisal and a Home Inspection?

Home Inspection versus Appraisal

What’s the Difference between an Appraisal and a Home Inspection?

If you’re planning to buy a home, an appraisal is an important step in the process. It’s a professional evaluation of the market value of the home you’d like to buy. In most cases, an appraisal is ordered by the lender to confirm or verify the value of the home prior to lending a buyer money for the purchase. It’s also a different step in the process from a home inspection, which assesses the condition of the home before you finalize the transaction. Here’s the breakdown of each one and why they’re both important when buying a home.

Home Appraisal

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) explains:

“A home purchase is typically the largest investment someone will make. Protect yourself by getting your investment appraised! An appraiser will observe the property, analyze the data, and report their findings to their client. For the typical home purchase transaction, the lender usually orders the appraisal to assist in the lender’s decision to provide funds for a mortgage.”

When you apply for a mortgage, an unbiased appraisal (which is required by the lender) is the best way to confirm the value of the home based on the sale price. Regardless of what you’re willing to pay for a house, if you’ll be using a mortgage to fund your purchase, the appraisal will help make sure the bank doesn’t loan you more than what the home is worth.

This is especially critical in today’s sellers’ market where low inventory is driving an increase in bidding wars, which can push home prices upward. When sellers are in a strong position like this, they tend to believe they can set whatever price they want for their house under the assumption that competing buyers will be willing to pay more.

However, the lender will only allow the buyer to borrow based on the value of the home. This is what helps keep home prices in check. If there’s ever any confusion or discrepancy between the appraisal and the sale price, your trusted real estate professional will help you navigate any additional negotiations in the buying process.

Home Inspection

Here’s the key difference between an appraisal and an inspection. MSN explains:

In simplest terms, a home appraisal determines the value of a home, while a home inspection determines the condition of a home.”

The home inspection is a way to determine the current state, safety, and condition of the home before you finalize the sale. If anything is questionable in the inspection process – like the age of the roof, the state of the HVAC system, or just about anything else – you as a buyer have the option to discuss and negotiate any potential issues or repairs with the seller before the transaction is final. Your real estate agent is a key expert to help you through this part of the process.

Bottom Line

The appraisal and the inspection are critical steps when buying a home, and you don’t need to manage them by yourself. Let’s connect today so you have the expert guidance you need to navigate through the entire homebuying process.

Thank you to all Veterans

Yesterday I was fortunate to tour the shores of Normandy, walk the beach and visit the American cemetery. How heroic our soldiers were and how proud I was to be an American. Over 9,000 Americans are buried in the cemetery. All marked with beautiful white marble crosses.

As we approached our group joined into the Pledge of Allegiance and then followed with taps. It was a very emotional day.

Thank you to all Veterans. Today is your day.IMG_0138

Mobile Eastern Shore AL Real Estate Podcast

This month’s edition covers Mobile Eastern Shore real estate market activity and then we’ll talk about how to avoid the pricing pitfalls and still manage to get top dollar for your home!

Features special guest Terri Murphy of US Learning.

Program length: approximately 7 1/2 minutes

download podcast mp3 file | subscribe to podcast feed


To learn more about current Mobile AL real estate market conditions, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com.  You may also request a complimentary relocation package!

Happy Memorial Day, Fairhope AL!

I hope that everyone is enjoying a relaxing and safe holiday weekend. In honor of the occasion, I thought I would share this touching poem – “Memorial” – with you:

Here’s to those who paid the price
And stood atop the wall,
Who didn’t call it sacrifice,
But duty to a call.

Beyond our power to add, detract,
Or honor with parade,
Or praise with words all copper-plaqued,
In public squares displayed,

They held the line, they took the brunt
Directed at our flank.
From general to lowly grunt
Now “hero” is their rank.

For some – unknown – the laurel wreaths
Must rest on unnamed graves.
For others still, their God bequeaths
No slabs or architraves.

For other heroes, living hearts
Still speak aloud their name.
Their daughters, sons, and better-parts –
To memories lay claim.

Some met the foe with angry eye;
Some trembled at the fray;
Some grieved for wife and family;
Some paused to kneel and pray.

Yet, as their hour approached its mark
And minutes became rare,
All gazed into the dreaded dark,
And stood – where we weren’t – there.

We praise with words their bravery,
Their steadfast soldiers’ hands,
That shielded us from slavery
And wrack from foreign lands.

Now pause awhile, and think on them.
Let recollection stir
To memory, through this artless hymn,
Of those and who they were.

~Dean C. Broome, MD JD

As summertime officially approaches, this is a great time to be thinking about buying Fairhope AL real estate. To begin searching Fairhope AL real estate, please visit JudySells.com or call me at 866-560-7474.

Fairhope AL Real Estate Inspections

Contrary to popular belief, home inspections are not just for new home purchases!  It is extremely important to have your Fairhope AL real estate inspected professionally on a regular basis to ensure you keep up with any necessary maintenance or repairs. 

Home inspectors offer many types of inspections to suit Fairhope AL real estate owners’ needs – some of these include:

*           – Pre-Listing Inspections

*           – Pre-Purchase Inspections

*           – New Construction Inspections

*           – HUD/FHA Inspections

*           – Multiunit Inspections

*           – Annual Maintenance Checkup

A home buyer can save thousands of dollars by having a professional home inspection performed before purchasing a home.  Also, in areas with extreme weather circumstances, inspectors can help locate potential problems or damage that may be hidden to the naked eye.

To learn more about Fairhope AL real estate or for a referral to an experienced home inspector, please call me at 866-560-7474or visit JudySells.com.  You may also begin searching for Fairhope AL real estate here!

Fairhope AL Real Estate Trends: Catering To The Boomers

With the Baby Boomer generation becoming the largest-growing segment of the American population, it should be no surprise that these folks – not who we might think of as “trend-setters” – may be the ones driving the latest design and building trends in real estate.


This article in the Wall Street Journal explains how designers and architects are catering more and more toward the Baby Boomers.  Research is now showing that many of this generation are choosing to stay in their homes through retirement, instead moving to “assisted living” or a retirement community.

This influx of aging buyers has led to home renovations and new construction including halls and doorways wide enough for walkers and wheelchairs, as well as more master suites and laundry rooms on the first floor.  The technology behind home appliances and fixtures is also catching up, with a myriad of appliances and home design elements more senior-friendly. 


Some of the innovations in home design and appliance re-design include:

  • Stoves that monitor pots to prevent boiling over
  • Adjustable typeface on appliance control panels
  • Faucets that turn on and off with just a touch anywhere on the spout
  • Dishwashers designed to be mounted at a more comfortable height
  • Refrigerators with doors and storage designed to reduce bending over
  • Adjustable volume/pitch of oven alarms

I saved the best for last.  There is even a toilet on the market with an electric-blue nightlight built in and a motorized heated seat cover that rises with the touch of a button.  Now there’s an amenity that everyone can appreciate!


The impact these trends will have on the real estate market as a whole is uncertain, but with more Baby Boomers purchasing Fairhope AL real estate, light-up toilets may come standard with the next home you purchase!


To learn more about trends in Fairhope AL real estate, please call me at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com.  You may also begin searching homes here!

Which Fairhope AL Neighborhood Is Right For You?

Whether you are a newcomer to the area or just purchasing Fairhope AL real estate for the first time, navigating the different neighborhoods can be overwhelming when you are trying to find the one that fits your needs best.  You may find the perfect home, but later discover the property values in the neighborhood have plummeted due to foreclosures or other circumstances.


Realty Trac’s Neighborhood Locator tool is a great resource when researching Fairhope AL neighborhoods.  You can search for neighborhoods that offer the best bargains or that boast the highest home appreciation rates.  You can also find areas that are ideal for first-time homebuyers, or that are similar to the neighborhood you currently live in!  The neighborhoods are evaluated based on home costs, crime rates, public school systems, and demographics. 


To get more detailed information about Fairhope AL real estate and neighborhoods, please call me any time at 866-560-7474 or visit JudySells.com.  You may also begin searching Fairhope AL real estate here!