Home Inspectors are a top-to-bottom review of a home. They're performed by licensed professionals known as home inspectors, and they're an essential part of the home purchase process.
The timing of a home inspection will vary but, generally, they're performed after the buyer and seller have reached an agreement on the sale of a home.
Home inspections are different from home appraisals, which are evaluations of a home's value. Appraisals are used as part of the mortgage approval process, and help determine a buyer's loan-to-value.
Inspections, by contract, are evaluations of a home's condition and defects, and which compels the seller to allow said inspection within some number of days from signing -- usually seven to ten.
This period is known as the "Real Estate Inspection Contingency".
Note, though, that home inspections are subjective and, generally, will only uncover problems that arise from visual cues, such as water marks found on a wall.
A home inspector will review all of the following areas of a home: