New home buyers who have applied for and have been approved for a VA or FHA loan need to know the specific requirements the inspections for their new home. Buyers will now need  a VA/FHA appraisal AND a home inspection. Many homebuyers are confused by this but actually they are not really the same thing and we can help you understand the difference.

A VA/FHA appraiser will indeed inspect the property from top to bottom. But the appraiser is looking at the property’s condition only to determine the value and marketability of the home. The appraiser is not concerned with any kind of hidden defects in the structure of the home – he or she only needs to document any obvious problems that could impact the property’s value to the lender.

A home inspector conducts a very detailed examination of the property and may use specialized tools and reports to help test the operation of the structure as well as the mechanical elements of the home. Items included in a home inspector’s watch list include:

  • Foundation
  • Walls
  • Roof
  • HVAC
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Well or septic
  • Gutters

The federal government requires FHA or VA - approved appraisals whenever the buyer’s loan will be guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration or Veterans Administration. While they do not take the place of a home inspection, VA and FHA appraisals also include a basic examination of safety and environmental issues – such as lead paint or asbestos in older homes.

The smart buyer will make sure that both the required government appraisal AND an objective home inspection are completed with full cooperation from the seller. The guidelines are there to protect you!