One of the most important things in any home buying process is the home inspection. A buyer can save himself a lot of trouble down the line by making sure any issues with the house are things he is willing and able to fix. Most real estate agents, when asked to provide tips for buying your first home, will insist that a home inspection is completely necessary. But what, exactly, gets checked out in a home inspection? The following home inspection checklist contains a general overview of what an inspector looks for.
- Construction of walls, floors, roof, ceilings and foundation. There should be no visible cracks or shifting in the foundation, and any trees should be well away from both foundation and roof.
- What is the overall condition of the roof? How are the gutters? Is there adequate ventilation? Check the attic for a better look at the interior of the roof and to check for evidence of leaks.
- Is there adequate insulation in the basement? Is it dry or damp? Be aware of musty odors that may indicate leaks or unwanted moisture.
Exterior and Lot
- Are there any low areas in the lawn that may become swampy later in the year? Does drainage run toward the house or away from it?
- Are driveways and walkways in good condition? They should be fairly level and free of potholes and severe cracks.
- All fences should be in good repair: sturdy, upright, and with most planks intact.
- Is the siding firmly attached? There should be no loose boards or mystery wires.
- Are all porches and decks sturdy? Look for rotting wood, flaking paint, or gaps between the porch and house.
Plumbing, Electrical System, Heating and Cooling
- All pipes should be inspected for rust, cracks, secure connections, and leaks.
- Double check furnaces, air conditioning units, sinks, toilets, showers, and other faucets for functionality.
- Listen for unidentified noises within the plumbing and furnace systems.
- Be sure all switches work and check that outlets have been grounded.
- Test the circuit breakers and all fans (both ceiling and exhaust)
- Make sure any appliances that are staying with the house are fully functional.
- Check ceilings for sagging, cracks, and water damage.
- Examine windows and doors for adequate insulation and to identify possible drafts.
- Make sure the floors do not slope or sag.
While this home inspection checklist covers many of the most common issues homeowners face, you will still want to have the home professionally inspected. Many issues with homes cannot be identified without proper training and equipment. The home inspector will have a more thorough home inspection checklist, and be able to give a much more detailed report about the condition of the home. Get more info here.