Homebuyers' inspection list
In a nutshell, here are the top 10 things that should be on your homebuyer inspection checklist:
1. Roof condition: Check for any signs of damage, leaks, or missing shingles.
2. Electrical system: Test all outlets and switches, and check for any exposed wiring.
3. Plumbing system: Inspect all pipes and fixtures for any signs of damage or leaks.
4. HVAC system: Test all air conditioning and heating units for proper operation.
5. Foundation: Look for any signs of cracking or shifting that could indicate structural damage.
6. Windows and doors: Check for proper operation and any signs of damage.
7. Exterior walls: Check for any signs of water damage or other structural issues.
8. Interior walls: Check for any signs of water damage, mold, or other structural issues.
9. Floors: Check for any signs of damage or unevenness.
10. Attic/Crawlspace: Check for any signs of water damage, mold, or other structural issues.
Want a one page print out, with check boxes and all? Click here: HOME INSPECTION CHECKLIST
Otherwise, read on for more details on what you/your home inspector is looking for and why.
Look for issues
Buying a new home is one of the most exciting events in your life. It's also probably the biggest financial commitment you'll ever make. The home inspection checklist is a must for all buyers. Some people skip this step to save time or money. However, it'll benefit you in the long run to stop problems from the outset rather than pay for repairs down the road.
Plumbing & HVAC
Plumbing and HVAC systems are critical to your home and to your comfort. Well-built plumbing components and a high functioning heating and air conditioning system will keep you and your family members happy for years to come. As your home inspector begins the process, you can ask permission to stand by as they conduct the inspection. They'll be keeping an eye out for leaky, rusted, or broken pipes. They should also go into every room in the house and stand near the vents. Do you feel steady airflow? If you don't, there's a problem somewhere in the vents or with the heating or cooling (HVAC) unit. It's important to pay attention to unusual smells such as gas. A home inspector will also test the water temp and pressure- the temperature should not exceed 125 degrees Fahrenheit.
Watch the foundation
Your mind will be at ease if you know the foundation is strong and sure. The home inspection checklist is not complete until the foundation has been investigated. The inspector should examine it for cracks or any shifting at the base of the walls and ceiling. Look for standing water or other moisture under the home (if it's a single family house or townhome on a raised foundation). The drainage system should also carry water properly away from the home.
Check the roof
A good roof should last at least 20 years, and some do their jobs for up to 50. Still, don't neglect this part of the home inspection checklist. The home inspector will examine the roof for evidence of missing shingles, leaks or weak spots. Large areas of patching will also be a red flag, and can be discussed further to assess whether repair(s) or a full replacement is recomended.
Eye the electrical
The inspector should spend some time looking at the wiring in the house. The circuit box should also be in good condition and be able to handle sufficient electrical loads. You must not see any exposed wires or splices.
Keep in mind that these are "typical" areas of focus for most residential home inspectors. Special properties, such as condos, or homes that are built on land requiring a well for water and a septic system for waste removal, can require specialty inspections. It's important to work with a Realtor who has great connections with a variety of inspectors to keep you ... and the largest purchase of your life ... safe.
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