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Appraisals, Inspections, Surveys & Assessments (they are not all the same)

An appraisal for lending purposes is a report of the property's reasonably expected market value. These reports are prepared by accredited, professional, real estate appraisers and contain an overview of: the neighbourhood, the land concerned, the materials and condition of the building exterior and interior, and note the number, type and sizes of rooms. An estimate of the replacement cost, and comparisons to similar properties recently sold in the area is also included. Sometimes this report will note an estimate of reasonably expected rent.

A survey certificate is basically a "birds eye view" line drawing showing the property lines and location of structures within those boundaries. This report will reveal any encroachments by buildings over the property lines. Some encroachments could affect the future market value of the property and be a concern to a mortgage lender. These drawings are usually required by mortgage lenders and are prepared by trained land surveyors. Acceptable survey certificates are often available from the seller of the property, or are ordered by the legal office doing the conveyancing.

An inspection is "a competent and thorough evaluation of the structure, systems and components of a home". It tells the buyer the condition of the home. The inspection report is usually a multi page book completed by the inspector as they examine: foundations, electrical, plumbing, heating, water heaters, appliances, fireplaces, drainage, roof, walls, floors, attic, crawl spaces, patios... Just in case any deficiencies show up, it’s a good strategy to have this done a day or two before the Appraisal.

An assessment is a special form of appraisal of the land and improvements, usually for municipal taxation purposes. In B.C. this is done by the B.C. Assessment Authority and is sometimes accepted instead of an appraisal when the loan is less than 65% of the value shown on the assessment.


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