A Home Inspection Checklist For Buyers
Buying a home is a major investment in any person’s life. Avoiding those so-called “lemons” is the key to a successful purchase. Protecting the buyer from a poor investment is the home-inspection process. Explore this home-inspection checklist that can be applied to any property that you visit.
1. The Walk Around
A property can tell a story from just its exterior elements. Take a walk around the property. Examine the foundation for cracks or other damage. Look at the siding and any water faucets connected to the structure. Poor upkeep among any of these areas will tell you if the property is worth even entering the front door in the first place.
If the home has a chimney, take a close look at its exterior. Crumbling elements translate into expensive repairs in the near future. Go as far as observing the landscape for any overgrown trees or bushes. These plants can create structural problems if they grow under or over the property.
2. Major Appliances or Systems
Several systems come with any home, such as:
Each system should be carefully examined by potential buyers and the final inspector. They should run smoothly without any shorts, leaks or other issues. Ideally, run each system through a full cycle to see how it reacts to everyday use.
Don’t forget to inspect those major appliances that come with the home. Dishwashers, ovens, laundry systems and other items should work without any problems.
Your home inspection can include the roof without venturing to its topside. From the front yard, use binoculars to inspect the materials. Make a mental note of any missing shingles or loose sections.
If the home has an attic, take a look at the roof from this vantage point. Any leaks or structural damage is often seen in these areas. An aging roof tells you that the home may need other repairs too. Be wary of putting any money into a home with a bad roof because this single element impacts almost every part of the property’s structural integrity.
4. Doors and Windows
The doors and windows are often overlooked during an inspection. They can tell a lot about a home, however. Every door should swing in and out without being caught in the frame or on the floor. Windows should slide in their respective directions with ease.
If you notice any problems in these areas, they may point to structural issues. A failing foundation, for example, can make the windows almost impossible to open. Cosmetic damage and old hardware can always be replaced at a low cost, but structural issues can compromise the entire property’s stability and value.
5. Water Flow
A home inspection should also include drainage. Look at the exterior’s gutter system along the roofline. The gutters should have solid connections to the structure with no debris hindering the water flow.
Explore the property’s front and back yards too. Seek out low-lying areas that might have unusual amounts of water trapped within them. The entire property should have a contour that slopes away from the structure. If appearances are deceiving, ask if you can run the sprinklers. Any water should drain away from the area and into the street’s gutters.
6. Interior Details
Touring the home’s interior may seem like a reprieve from analyzing the property, but there are a few details that require your attention. Inspect the walls for any water stains, which tend to look like yellowing patches. Get down close to the flooring so that you can see any damages, including tears in the carpet or moisture issues with laminate planks. Any damages in these areas should be pointed out as concerns for potential buyers.
7. Asbestos, Mold and Mildew Concerns
If you’re touring a home that’s older than 1979 or 1980, consider paying for an official asbestos assessment. This material can be harmful to anyone living in or around it. Professionals are the only people who can determine if a structure has asbestos within the construction.
Look for signs of mildew or mold too. They often indicate a leak or other issue with the plumbing or drainage around the structure. Repairing the source of these microbes will make the property a better buy than it is now.
Many homes look spectacular from afar, but they hide a lot of problems. Remember that this checklist is a way to make a rational decision about a purchase. If one home doesn’t work out, there will be other ones to enjoy. You’ll ultimately find the perfect home with critical information backing up the investment.