Property vs. Home Inspections; Which Do You Need?

Our firm believes that buyers benefit from having as many inspections done on their future home as possible before closing. The “home inspection” is the traditional inspection done on a home before the buyer officially closes on it. There is such a thing as a “property inspection,” but it is performed under different circumstances. This blog explains the basics of both types of inspections, as well as what buyers should look for in a home inspection. 

Property Inspection Basics

A property inspection is a regular service performed by the mortgage servicer after your house is foreclosed on or you defaulted on your mortgage payments. The mortgage servicer is either the original lender or another company that assumes responsibility for the mortgage. The purpose of a property inspection is to simply affirm – often once a month – that the house has not suffered damages from storms or vandals. The inspection can sometimes simply be a drive-by; the cost is usually under $20. 

Home Inspection Basics

Once a prospective buyer is ready to make an offer, the parties enter into a contract called an “Offer to Purchase and Contract.”. This kicks off the “due diligence” period in which the home is investigated by a licensed North Carolina home inspector. The contract stipulates acceptable conditions for the potential buyer to close on the house. 

Home inspections are much more intensive, thorough, and revealing than property inspections. The inspector will typically look over the house’s plumbing, electrical, heating, and air conditioning systems, in addition to structural components. The inspector’s scope, including items he or she is not inspecting, will be listed in detail on the contract the inspector signs. 

After the Home Inspection

The North Carolina-licensed home inspector will compile a detailed report on the inspection, including a summary that lays out any significant defects in the home. If any are found, negotiations will determine which party will absorb the cost of fixing the defects. 


Thomas & Webber is well-equipped to ensure that any contracts signed prior to closing allow for a robust home inspection. An attorney should especially look over non-standard real estate contracts before they are signed and insert any provisions that do not provide buyers a way to back out if the home inspection does not report that the house is in a satisfactory condition. Contact our firm soon to ensure a smooth closing process. We are passionate about helping the Lake Norman area thrive with satisfied clients, and we hope the next one is you.

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Thomas & Webber Law at the Lake

Our entire legal team is committed to providing you with first-class service and a knowledgeable, professional guiding hand to help you during your real estate closing.

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