Home Inspection Checklist

What Should You Look For Before The Home Inspection?

This checklist will help you keeps track of areas where you’ve found concerns that you want the inspector to pay attention to. The inspector should address these issues in the report so you can add to the inspection contingency. Be sure to attend the inspection and go over your concerns with your inspector. Download the Checklist below.

The Home:

  • Age?
  • Square Footage?
  • Bedrooms and Baths?
  • Ranch, Two Story, Split level.
  • Siding and type of foundation.
  • Occupied or Vacant

Lot:

  • Size of the lot?
  • Does the ground/drainage slope away from the house?
  • Are there any obvious soggy areas?
  • Trees, shrubs, bushes next to the foundation?
  • Retaining walls? Their condition.

Roof:

  • Age of the roof?
  • What is the overall condition?
  • Has it ever been replaced?
  • Do you see curling shingles?

Exterior:

  • Does the house look like it will need repairs or repainting soon?
  • Are gutters and downspouts firmly attached?
  • Are there loose boards or dangling wires?
  • Is there asbestos in the exterior material, which would require added costs if it needed to be repaired or replaced?
  • Are there walkways, patios, driveway and what is their condition?
  • Type of siding and are there evidence of damage?

Attic:

  • How does the interior of the roof structure look?
  • Are there signs of active leaks or moisture stains?
  • Is there sufficient insulation?

Interior evidence of leaks:

  • Check ceilings and around windows in each room looking for dampness or moisture stains.

Basement:

  • Is there dampness?
  • Foundation cracks?
  • Bowing in the foundation wall?
  • Adequate insulation?
  • (If there’s a crawlspace instead of a basement, you might want to leave this for the professional home inspection.)

Foundation:

  • Type of foundation: concrete, block, etc.
  • Are there obvious cracks in walls or ceilings?
  • Evidence of apparent shifts in the foundation?
  • Walk around the exterior and look for cracks, shifting, etc.
  • Are there any trees encroaching on the foundation?

Electrical:

  • Do the switches work?
  • Are there any obvious malfunctions?
  • Have the outlets been grounded?
  • Age of the electrical panel?
  • If old, has the panel been updated and expandable for additional appliances or a potential remodel?

Plumbing:

  • Age of the water heater?
  • The condition of the water heater?
  • Any unusual noises or malfunctions?
  • Evidence of plumbing leaks.
  • Moisture stains or evidence/indication of mold.
  • Has the sewer line been scoped to check for potential cracks?

Appliances:

  • If these are included: what is the age and condition of the stove, microwave, dishwasher or refrigerator?
  • What appliance is actually included with the purchase?

Heating/cooling system:

  • Does it seem to do the job?
  • Age of the furnace?
  • The condition of the furnace?
  • Where is the furnace located?
  • Evidence of adequate maintenance.
  • If the system has been converted, are the old systems or tanks still in place?
  • The condition of the compressor?

Interior odor:

  • Does the home smell?
  • Can you detect what it might be and whether it could be fixed?
  • Musty odors in the basement could signal a wet basement.
  • Is there a humidifier in the home?
  • Is the crawlspace wet or damp?
  • Is there a vapor barrier? Adequate insulation?

Do you have a Seller’s Disclosure? Be sure to have it with you along with this checklist, to make sure you’ve covered all your bases.

Click To Download your Home Inspection Checklist