Whether you are purchasing your first home or selling and upgrading, the smart homeowner wants to make sure they are getting the best value for their buck. One way to make sure this happens is by using a home inspection checklist.
This is an excellent way to discover what home improvements are necessary before putting your home on the market. If you are purchasing, use this list to prevent beginning homeownership from coming with hidden headaches. This is especially important when dealing with an FSBO purchase.
Even if the home appraisal value is high, discovering problems ahead of time will prevent you from paying a professional inspector to discover minor issues.
Exterior Structure and Grounds
Look at the foundation of the home. There should not be any significant cracks. Exterior walls should be straight without any sagging.
Other factors that affect the curb appeal of the home include flaking or stained paint, missing or damaged roof shingles. The chimney should be straight and undamaged.
Make sure there is no standing water near the home. Gutters should not show signs of decay or failure to properly drain. Verify that detached sheds, garages, fencing, and decks are in good condition without rotting wood or terminate infestation.
Attic and Basement
The attic needs to have adequate ventilation through end louvers or soffit vents. Check for staining from the roof, indicating leakage.
Electrical splices should be contained in a plastic or metal box. Check for properly installed adequate insulation.
When in the basement make sure it shows no sign of moisture or water damage. Make sure the sump pump operates properly.
Heating, Cooling, Plumbing, and Electrical
There should be no gas odor from heating and cooling systems and air filters clean. There should be no open seams in the flues and the cooling system should have no visible rust.
Plumbing should not show damage or evidence of leaks. The water heater should not have any rust. Check that water pressure is within the acceptable range.
Look at the wiring to make sure it is in good condition, there are no exposed electrical splices, and cables are secured and protected. Check the service panel to make sure it has normal capacity and cables are properly connected.
In the bathroom verify that there are no signs of water damage or leakage. Check drainage of the tub, shower, and sinks. Make sure the toilet is stable, has no stains around the base, and flushes properly.
Check under the kitchen sink for signs of water damage. Verify water pressure, that sink properly drains, and the garbage disposal operates. Verify exhaust fans are working, and all built-in appliances operate.
Make sure there are no signs of cracks or staining on ceilings or walls. Check doors to make sure they open and close properly. Verify light switches function and check for sufficient electrical outlets in each room.
Make sure built-in cabinetry, stairway treads, and risers are solid. Check the number of air conditioning and heating vents in each room. Verify there are sufficient working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
For every fireplace check for cracking and staining. Verify the flue is clean and lined.
This Does Not Replace a Professional Home Inspection
The above list gives you insight into the condition of a home but is not a substitution for a professional home inspection. They have the training and knowledge to see problems you may overlook.
Even if the home passes inspection, there is always the possibility of a problem developing. Click for more information on selecting a home warranty.
Why Use a Home Inspection Checklist?
You may wonder about the necessity of a home inspection checklist if you have a professional home inspection. The list provides you with insight into what buyers are looking at. It also allows you to shop wisely.
If you enjoyed learning what to look for when inspecting a home, we invite you to check our blog for more interesting topics. Knowledge is power in all aspects of your life.