Buying a home can take longer than you might think. In fact, homebuyers spend about 10 weeks searching for their new home. Even if you think you’ve found the home of your dreams, an inspection might say otherwise.
With this home inspection checklist, you can make sure everything is in order before you make your offer. Otherwise, you might end up moving into a home that needs a lot of fixing.
Avoid the stress! Instead, use this house inspection checklist to ensure your closing is a success. Get started with these tips for a smart homebuyer today.
Your Home Inspection Checklist
A thorough home inspection checklist will explore every aspect of a home. You can review these areas with the inspector to determine which problems might become unexpected costs. Here are a few must-have items to include on your house inspection checklist:
- Front steps
- Interior stairs
- Walls, ceilings, floors
- Doors and windows
- HVAC system
- Rain gutters/downspouts
- Electrical panel
- Light switches and power outlets
- Plumbing fixtures and faucets
- Water heater
- Exterior paint or stucco
Make sure to block off a few hours in your day to your home inspection. You’ll want to complete this house inspection checklist alongside the inspector. That way, you can ask questions on-site.
While you’re with the inspector, you should also take pictures and jot down any notes.
Make sure to voice any concerns during the inspection. This is your chance to learn as much as possible about the home’s current condition. Voicing your concern and making note of any damages you see can help you reduce your asking price.
It can also help you avoid future issues if you decide to move in.
Many small problems can become huge, costly issues in the future. For example, a small water spot could indicate a leak, which could invite flooding later on.
Reviewing even the smallest items on your home inspection checklist can help you avoid costly issues as a homeowner.
Now that you have a brief overview of your inspection checklist, let’s look further into a few potential problem areas.
First, let’s take a look at the roof. Do you notice sagging, worn-out shingles? The shingles should have some texture to them.
Make sure the shingles aren’t missing, either.
You can also determine if the roof is damaged by heading into the attic. Look for any water stains, which might indicate a leak. If there’s a leak, mold could develop.
Look for mold, moss, and rusting in the rain gutters, too. If there’s mold growth anywhere throughout the home, it could cause your family members respiratory or other help issues.
The House’s Structure
Next, let’s make sure the house doesn’t lean or sag. You’ll want to check the foundation for any problems that could impact the home’s structure.
First, look for visible cracks in the basement walls, around door frames, and along windows. Look for gaps, too. Do you see any space between the walls, window frames, door frames, or floors?
As you walk around the home, pay attention to the floors. Do they seem bouncy or uneven? An uneven front porch or stairs might also indicate a structural problem.
Otherwise, look for nails that pop out of the walls. Any cracks in the brick or stonework could also indicate a problem. You can have your home inspector review these areas for you.
Even the smallest electrical problem could pose a risk for your family. As you review the electrical components on your home inspection checklist, look for:
- Aluminum wiring
- Painted outlets
- Exposed wires
You should also keep an eye out for underground three-prong plugs. Otherwise, make sure the home doesn’t include tube or knob wiring.
Imagine living in a home with a broken AC unit during a sweltering summer or frigid winter. As part of your house inspection checklist, it’s important to make sure the HVAC unit is working properly.
Regular maintenance can extend an HVAC unit’s lifespan to over 15 years. Without proper maintenance, however, heating and cooling needs can become the most expensive part of your utility bill.
First, look for any dirty air filters. Filters should get changed regularly to avoid pollen and dander buildup. Otherwise, your family could end up breathing in dirty air.
Look for cracked ductwork, rusty HVAC units, and combustion gas orders. Are there any open seams in the chimney connection flues? What about asbestos on the air ducts and heating pipes?
A thorough check of the HVAC unit can help you determine whether or not you’ll need a new one before moving in.
Imagine living in a home without properly running water. Plumbing issues can become a quick disaster, especially if there’s mold or inadequate airflow.
As part of your home inspection checklist, make sure there’s no evidence of leaks when you check the plumbing. Look for broken, rusty pipes as well. You’ll also want to check to make sure the sinks and toilets are all functioning properly.
Don’t forget to make sure the sinks, tubs, and showers drain properly, too. Otherwise, you’ll have to deal with water buildup. Standing water could attract bugs or lead to mold.
Most home inspections cost between $300 and $450. However, the cost can often depend on where you live and how thorough of a service you’re receiving.
As you make plans to search for a new home, make sure to plan for additional inspections, too. Let’s say the homeowner fixed one of the initial problems you noticed. You’ll want to make sure they fixed those problems.
A second inspection will confirm the issue was resolved. Otherwise, you could end up paying for a home and those unresolved issues.
By making a plan, you can make sure your prospective home is in the best possible shape before you move in!
Getting in Tip-Top Shape: Your Home Inspection Checklist
Ready to find your dream home? With this home inspection checklist, you can make sure the property is in top-notch shape first. Complete a thorough home inspection with this complete checklist today!
Ready to schedule an inspection? Contact our team to get started!