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5 hints for home inspections

Sofie Delauw/Sofie Delauw / Stocksy United

Though home inspections have become a standard part of the home sale process, the phrase "contingent on home inspection" tends to produce anxiety among buyers and sellers alike.

According to Angie's List, buyers can expect to pay about $400 for an inspection of a 2,000-square foot home. The cost will vary depending on home size and location. If you’re preparing to buy a home and are ready for the inspection, read the tips below to maximize success.

Leverage these tips:

  1. Get a referral. Referrals for inspectors may come from realtors and others. Choose an experienced one who not only knows homes but can convey findings in terms you will understand.
  2. Ask for photos. Some inspectors take pictures of the property you can have for future reference. Ask about it while screening candidates.
  3. Follow the inspector. During the actual inspection, follow the inspector through the house and ask how things work. Every valve, knob and switch serves a purpose. Learning how to turn on and off the utilities in the home could help you prevent major repairs such as burst pipes in winter.
  4. Ask about the electrical panel. Does the home have capability to add on functions later, like an air conditioner? Those details will come in handy if you have any plans to update the space. Once the home is yours, practice shutting off the main power and label circuits.
  5. Don't count on home inspectors to find major problems. Their job is to check areas of a home that are readily accessible and determine whether things work. For example, they may discover mold, but they won't open a wall to check for it.