Home inspections needed to obtain a new mortgage loan can cover a number of different features in a property. The most common home inspection, a general home inspection, is rarely a required process. A home inspection is commonly recommended by most professional in the housing and mortgage industry, FHA recommends new home buyers obtain an inspections part of the loan process. However, certain inspections may be required under a particular loan program or for a particular property or property location.
New mortgage borrowers should not be confused with the role an appraisal plays in the property evaluation and loan approval process. First and foremost, appraisals are for lenders where as the home inspection is performed by the buyer. As part of the mortgage lenders job of approving a mortgage loan, they will require an appraisal. An appraisal is different from a home inspection. The lender does an appraisal primarily to estimate the value of a house, to make sure that the house meets minimum property standards and to make sure that the house is marketable. The general home inspection is conducted to evaluate the physical condition: structure, construction, and mechanical systems, to identify items that need to be repaired or replaced and estimate the remaining useful life of certain physical aspects of the property.
While the general home inspection is not required, some inspections may be required by a mortgage lender to approve a home loan. With many FHA loans, a termite inspection or pest inspection will be required. Pest inspections or termite inspections are usually required if the property has signs of active termites or the region in which the property is located in is known for termite activity. Wood destroying pests can often be found in various parts of the country, but they are especially prevalent in warm climates and in the Southern United States. Not all properties are subject to termite inspections under FHA but many are.
Some home loans may require a well and septic inspection before the loan is approved. Well and septic inspections are performed on properties that are not using a municipal water and sewer system and are therefore have private wells and septic systems that most lenders will require are inspected for functionality. The well inspection will generally require a certified water test where as the septic tank often requires a simple inspection by an accepted inspector.
Roof inspections are not too uncommon for older homes or homes in which the appraiser has identified the roof as having potential problems with its structural integrity.
Radon tests may be required if the property or location leads the mortgage lender to believe there is a problem with radon gas in the property.
Lead paint inspections may be required but are seen far less in recent year as lead paint has not been allowed in homes for decades and most properties have had the issue ameliorated by now.
While certain inspections may be required under a particular loan program or because of the condition of a property, borrowers may want to consider some home inspections even if they are not required.