Home Inspection Checklist: What to Look for Before Buying
Buying a home is a thrilling and often life-changing event, but it's also a significant financial commitment, in most cases, purchasing a home is the largest investment you’ll make in your lifetime. To make sure your new house is not just your dream home but also a wise investment, a full home inspection is essential. Home inspections are often lengthy and can be hard to read, so we’ve put together a check list to help simplify the process. While you should try to go through the whole inspection report and findings, here are a few of the most important things you should look for.
Roof and Attic:
- Shingles: Begin with the roof. Look for missing, damaged, or curled shingles, which can lead to leaks and costly repairs.
- Attic: Inspect for signs of water damage, leaks, or mold. Problems here may be indicative of roofing issues.
- Roof Structure: Assess the overall condition of the roof structure to ensure it's in good shape.
Foundation and Structure:
- Foundation: Examine the foundation for cracks, bulges, or signs of settling. These issues can affect the stability of your future home.
- Basement/Crawl Space: Look for any signs of water intrusion or dampness, as this may point to drainage issues.
- Walls and Ceilings: Carefully inspect walls and ceilings for visible cracks, water stains, or sagging, which may indicate structural problems.
- Faucets and Fixtures: Test all faucets, sinks, and fixtures for leaks, proper water pressure, and functionality.
- Water Heater: Check the age and condition of the water heater, as older units may be less efficient and nearing the end of their lifespan.
- Pipes: Inspect visible pipes for signs of corrosion, leaks, or damage.
- Outlets and Switches: Ensure all outlets and switches work correctly and meet safety standards.
- Electrical Panel: Check the electrical panel for signs of overheating, damaged wires, or outdated components.
- Wiring: Inspect visible wiring for fraying, damage, or improper connections.
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC):
- Heating and Cooling Systems: Test the heating and cooling systems to ensure they are in good working order.
- Air Filters: Inquire about the age and condition of air filters and whether they have been regularly replaced.
Insulation and Ventilation:
- Insulation: Evaluate the insulation in the attic and walls for adequate coverage.
- Ventilation: Ensure that the home has proper ventilation in areas like bathrooms and kitchens to prevent moisture issues.
- Kitchen Appliances: Check the condition and functionality of kitchen appliances such as the refrigerator, stove, oven, dishwasher, and microwave.
- Laundry Appliances: Inspect the washer and dryer, if included with the home, to ensure they are in good working order.
- Siding and Paint: Look for signs of damage, rot, or peeling paint on the exterior of the home.
- Drainage: Assess the slope of the yard and the condition of gutters and downspouts to ensure proper drainage away from the home's foundation.
Pest and Termite Inspection:
- Wood Damage: Check for signs of termite tunnels, wood rot, or other wood-damaging pests.
- Pest Infestations: Inspect for any signs of pest infestations, such as rodent droppings or insect activity.
- Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Alarms: Ensure that these safety devices are installed, functional, and up to code.
Reviewing your home inspection can provide you with peace of mind and potentially save you from unexpected expenses down the road. There’s nothing worse than finally getting the keys to your home, only to discover a few weeks later than there’s a major repair needed, setting you back thousands. We are committed to ensuring that your home buying experience is not just exciting but also informed and secure. Our team is here to guide you through every step of your journey to your dream home.