The homebuying process looks something like this: Get preapproved for a mortgage, find your dream home and win the bidding war. But before you can move those boxes in and start enjoying your new property, you have one more major step to take: the home inspection.
A home inspection isn't an appraisal. In fact, an inspection has nothing to do with your home's value -- or how much your lender is willing to finance. It's simply a way to assess a property's safety and long-term viability.
Here's what you should know about home inspections:
What's covered: A home inspection includes the roof, foundation, insulation, appliances, HVAC systems, plumbing, electrical systems and more.
The home inspection is designed to protect you, your family and your investment, so choose your inspector carefully. Make sure the home inspector is experienced and licensed and insured where required. And don't forgo an inspection just to save a little cash. If anything, a home inspection report can give you extra leverage in negotiations.