When you find your dream home, it can be easy to overlook its flaws—and there may be some that you can’t see. Home inspectors are hired to provide an examination and unbiased opinion of the home’s condition. During their inspection, they’ll look for any major issues, as well as things you can’t easily inspect yourself, like the condition of the roof, foundation, heating and cooling systems, plumbing and electrical work. A home inspector will also look for evidence of insect, water or fire damage.
A home appraiser is a certified, licensed professional who acts independently to determine a home’s value. Not only will this unbiased person protect you from paying too much for your home, it also protects the lender from assuming liability for a home that’s worth less than the loan amount.
Homeowners insurance protects you and the lender in the event that your home is damaged or considered a total loss. Generally it is intended to cover the cost to repair or rebuild your home. Depending on the conditions of your home financing program, the insured amount may be higher or lower than the actual purchase price of your home. The insurance company you choose can give you a quote for your specific property.
Title insurance ensures property records are free of errors, mistakes in records, undisclosed heirs, omissions in deeds and liens against the property. The title company will issue an insurance policy that will pay to defend you in court if your title is challenged, and will compensate you if you lose. You will typically need both an owner’s policy and a lender’s policy, to protect both parties’ interests.