So you’re finally ready to make a big move! Buying a home is an exciting milestone to approach but you may feel overwhelmed as to where to start and what to look for. It’s easy to fall in love with a house for what you see but it’s what you don’t see that can rain on your parade.
What many forget when entering the housing market on the buyer’s side is a home inspection. Having a quick home inspection checklist can alleviate any possible blind spots when deciding to purchase a home. Here is a quick checklist to refer to when you’re on the hunt for your dream home!
Why You Should Consider a Home Inspection?
When you’re buying a home, having a home inspector come in and do a thorough inspection will only save you money and time in the long run. A home inspector does a detailed inspection of every aspect of the house and knows what works and what doesn’t. They also keep records of everything they have inspected for you to look at and decide where to go from there.
Home inspectors range from a price of $315-$600, depending on the inspector and where you live. In your contract, there should be a place to negotiate who pays for this, whether it be you or the seller. Once you receive the report from the home inspector, you can use it to your advantage when negotiating the price point for the house.
Home Inspection Checklist
Once you begin to look at the house you want to purchase, here are some things you want to emphasize on the inspector’s checklist.
The exterior is the first thing you see when you approach the home you want to buy. Pay attention to see if the gutters are properly attached and if they drain like they are supposed to. Take a look at the siding and see if nothing is falling apart.
Note if everything looks as it should be and nothing is deteriorating.
If the home has a garage, look to see if the door opens properly, or if there is damage from water, mold, or other factors. Water damage is detrimental to the foundation of a home so keep an eye out for it in the interior of the home as well.
This can be tricky on the inspector’s part because you need specialists to assess the roof and foundation. However, you can still ask the inspector to note any spots, or stains on the roof and any cracks in the foundation at face value. It’s best to take those notes and contact a specialist if you want detailed input.
Now it’s time to focus on when you walk into the house.
This may seem silly but it’s important to notice any odd smells throughout the house. This may point you to mold, mildew, and if the owner has a pet that goes everywhere.
Don’t be afraid to ask about doors. this may seem obvious but can be overlooked. All the doors should open and close properly, and the locks should work.
Another thing to be overlooked. Windows should close and open with ease and screens should be intact.
Look for any creaky steps both outside or inside. Feel the railings to see if they are loose. If the stairs are made of wood, make sure nothing is rotting or if there are any soft spots. If it’s made of brick, look out for loose bricks.
All the outlets should work and even make note of if there are enough outlets. Some houses, believe it or not, don’t have that many depending on when it was built. All switches should be capable of turning its correspondent off an on i.e. the ceiling fan.
Fixing electrical wiring can be expensive on top of buying a home so it’s best to do your due diligence now.
Heat and Air Conditioning
Nothing is worse than moving into a home in the dead of summer or winter and realizing that you can’t cool down or warm-up. Some homes don’t have central air so if that is a must then it’s best to find out early on.
Do the faucets turn on or do they seem worn down? Do the toilets flush? Is there hot water or do you have to leave it on for a long time to get it? Are there obvious signs of leakage under the sink?
If the homeowners are proving appliances with purchase, make sure they work. Does the kitchen fan turn on and is the fridge running because if it’s not, it’ll be expensive to catch it!
Rodents and Roaches
Look out for rodent droppings. Rodents and roaches can be hard to exterminate and can be costly so try to see how clean the home is during the inspection. Although in some locations, rodents are hard to avoid, it’s best to be aware that it even exists.
What To Do After Your Home Inspection?
Now that you have looked through your checklist and asked the home inspector to go through these areas, look at the final report they gave you. The home inspector did the part of letting you know what is in good condition and what needs to be worked on. Use this report as an advantage when negotiating the price point of your home.
If there are a lot of things that need to be fixed, you should bring it up to the seller. You can ask them to pay for the repairs, or you can ask them to deduct the cost of them from the sale price of the home.
Home Inspection Checklist Benefits
Skipping out on the home inspection checklist and the home inspector will only provide you more headaches in the future. Falling in love with a house at face value is simple but it can be detrimental when you have to fix up a lot of things that could’ve been taken care of. Home inspectors are trained to see things that you may not.
There are many other red flags to look that you can add to this checklist when looking at a home to purchase. It will land you a great price point for your home and it helps keep both parties accountable during negotiations.
Check out our page for more great tips on home inspections or to schedule an inspection!