• Kitchen appliances (if part of purchase): Properly working devices and correct installation. Check condition. • Fire safety: Smoke detectors in place and operating, fireplaces, and stoves. • Pest inspection. Inspect for presence of wood-boring and other insects, molds, and fungi. If you live in certain high-risk areas, it’s wise to order an additional service — for example, earthquake, tornado, or flood inspection. The specialist will help you to estimate the resistance of the property during natural disasters. Your inspector may recommend you ask for a second, specialized opinion, such as a structural engineer in case weakness is suspected in bearing walls. Don’t procrastinate and wait to get this done. There have been situations in which the closing meeting had to be postponed because of failure to properly deal with discovered inspection issues in time. A good expert is hard to find. Choosing the right inspector is the key to a thorough and comprehensive report. You may search online, paying attention to reviews of that inspector. 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 with whom you’re working — your buyer’s agent, not the seller’s agent. Some buyers don’t attend the inspection along with the inspector, looking only at the report that the inspection company provides. This is a common mistake during the home-buying process. This is one of your first opportunities to fully take a tour around the house, with a house inspection expert, and see its features and condition up close. The second most common mistake is to go to the inspection and be too afraid to ask questions about what you see. Some things that are common knowledge to the inspector might be new to you. Ask. Don’t be intimidated about asking for an explanation if you don’t understand what’s going on.
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