Real Estate Appraisals vs. Home Inspections

Do you understand the difference between Real Estate Appraisals vs. Home Inspections? If you’re looking to buy a new home you should because not knowing could be a very costly expense down the road.

Today I was reading an article written by a friend in Idaho, Gabe McGuire, a fellow Reverse Mortgage Specialist based in Idaho. Gabe’s article, “Appraisals vs. Inspections, What’s the difference?” reminded me that most people not in the mortgage industry don’t understand some of the concepts that have become second nature for me and could benefit not only from a simple explanation but also references of some of the best providers I’ve come across during my time in the industry. For this and other great articles written by Gabe, you can visit his blog by clicking Gabe McGuire.

Real Estate Appraisals:

If you’re getting a mortgage with the home you’re buying an appraisal is going to be required. I won’t go as far as to say it’s impossible to find financing without an appraisal but the vast majority of real estate lenders will not lend money without knowing the value of the home secured by the property.

With the appraisal, the appraiser will do a basic inspection of the property to make sure the home is in sound condition but don’t expect him to catch every potential issue that could arise down the road. His basic responsibility is to certify the size, condition, and quality of the home as it compares to other homes in the area and give a value based on those factors. A great appraiser will go a little further and try to identify any potential problems but it is not something you should count on.

Current laws require the appraisal to be ordered by the lender and facilitated by an Appraisal management company. If you’re buying a home, don’t order the appraisal on your own as it can’t be used for the loan so you’re just throwing money away. However, if you’re just researching value on a property an appraisal might be a great idea. Locally in Southern Utah, I recommend Carl Wright and Nick Wyman at R1 Appraisals. You can find them at They serve all of Southern Utah but especially St George, Santa Clara, Washington in Washington county and Cedar City, and Enoch in Iron County.

Home Inspections

The Appraisal is designed to protect the lender. But the Home Inspection is designed to protect you. That being the case the inspection is not required and completely up to you to pay for. Although it represents extra costs a great Home Inspector could save you many thousands of dollars in future home repairs. A great inspector will make a thorough review of the home to identify any structural issues, worn-out appliances, or electric and plumbing problems.

A good inspector is worth every penny you invest. My recommendation is Jon Graf at North Star restoration Co. As a licensed contractor and disaster restoration specialist North Star is great at identifying potential risks. North Star is based in St George Utah but also has offices on the Wasatch Front and serves both Northern and Southern Utah. You can find them at

I specialize in Reverse Mortgages but If you or someone you love need help with any real estate financing please give me a call, I’m happy to help.

Trevor Carlson

President – Reverse Mortgage Specialist

Heritage Reverse Mortgage


Heritage NMLS #1497455 Trevor?s NMLS #: 267962

1060 South Main Street Bldg B Suite 301B

St George Utah 84770