+ Laundry room: ventilation and dryer systems, search for leaks and potential fire hazards. + Bathrooms: bathtub, shower, sink, and toilet inspection. Proper ventilation and plumbing. + Kitchen appliances (if part of purchase): Properly working devices and correct installation. Condition and quality. + Fire safety: smoke detectors in place and operating, quality and condition of fireplaces and stoves. + Pest inspection: Inspect for presence of wood-boring and other insects, molds, and fungi. If you live in certain specific high-risk areas, it is wise to order an additional service, such as earthquake, tornado, or flood inspection. The specialist will help you estimate how resistant the property is to natural disaster. Your inspector may recommend that you ask for a second, more specialized opinion, such as a structural engineer in case weakness is suspected in load-bearing walls. Do not procrastinate and stall on getting this done. There have been situations where the closing meeting had to be postponed because of failure to properly deal with issues discovered during inspection. A good expert is hard to find, but choosing the right inspector is the key to a thorough and comprehensive report. You may search online, paying close attention to reviews. Many real estate websites have a list of professionals with ratings and reviews. Ask your friends and family for a recommendation. An excellent source of recommendations is the real estate agent you are working with — your buyer’s agent, not the seller’s agent. Some buyers do not attend the inspection along with the inspector, looking only at the report that the inspection company provides. This is a mistake. It is one of your first opportunities to take a full tour around the house, with a house inspection expert, and see its features and condition close up in the company of an expert who can and will point out flaws you might not recognize on your own.
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