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Five hints for home inspections

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.

Get the most out of your home inspection with these hints

  1. 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. Some inspectors take pictures of the property you can have for future reference. Ask about it while screening candidates.
  3. 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. It will come in handy if you have any plans to install ceiling fans or light fixtures. 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 up a wall to check for it.
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