Both home inspections and appraisals are part of the home buying and selling process. But they each serve a separate purpose.

Appraisals provide the property’s estimated value based on visual appearance. They protect lenders’ and buyers’ investments.

Home inspections assess major and minor structural concerns including roofing, foundation, and plumbing. They help protect buyers and sellers.

Woman looking at a small house

What to Expect from an Appraisal

A lender, like INB, wants to make sure the property you’re about to buy is worth the loan amount.  That’s why we could send a real estate appraiser to assess the value of your home.  The appraiser will look at other properties in the area and see what they’re selling for. He or she will look for something with comparable lot size, square footage of finished and unfinished space, style, and age, as well as other features such as garages and fireplaces. Recent purchase prices of properties in similar neighborhoods could affect the value of a home, so some appraisers may look beyond the neighborhood of the house.


  • Evaluate the size and condition of the house and other permanent structures. He or she will describe any improvements made to the house and what materials were used.
  • Comment on the neighborhood and surrounding developments or acreage. For example, if a new school or night club is being built across the street, there is potential it will affect the value of the home.
  • Consider the condition of the exterior of the property. Are the shrubs well-kept and the sidewalks free of debris? If not, the appraisal could reflect a lower value.
  • Consider any permanent structures on the property, and the land the house is built on.
  • May note structural problems, such as wet basements and cracked foundations. The appraiser will highlight obvious issues, but will not inspect the home to assure it is up to code.

Contact any INB mortgage lender if you’d like more information about home appraisals or inspections.

What to Expect from a Home Inspection

Home inspections are requested by buyers after the seller has accepted an offer, but before buying the house. The goal of a home inspection is to uncover any issues with the house that could be costly to the buyer. The inspector will:

  • Make sure major appliances are functional.
  • Evaluate the heating and air-conditioning system.
  • Examine the plumbing and electrical systems.
  • Check the siding and roofing for age and defects.

A good home inspection report is extensive, containing checklists, summaries, photographs and notes. Different inspectors offer different degrees of service.  Don’t be afraid to ask specifically what the services are and to ask for a reference check.

The home inspection usually takes several hours. Once complete, the inspector delivers their report to the buyer. The buyer can then use this information to gauge if they want to make the investment in the home. They can also use the information to renegotiate the home’s price.

If you have questions about appraisals or home inspections, anyone on our mortgage team will be happy to answer them and you can start here.