Checklist for Inspecting and Buying a Home
Whether buying a new home or not, it pays to know what to look for in its structure, equipment and surroundings. Though a final assessment can be made by an inspection service company, this checklist can serve as a reminder of some things to consider to make wise buying decisions.
- Check the foundation, floors, walls and poured concrete.
- Make sure there's no evidence of water seepage or moisture problems.
- Minor settling cracks are usually not structurally significant.
- Make sure there's drainage.
- If necessary, make sure there's a sump pump for sanitary and foundation draining.
- Check to see if the crawl space is dry.
- Inspection by qualified exterminator is necessary for existing and potential problems related to wood rot and termites.
- Check the condition of flooring, whether plank or plywood.
- Check for solid construction of bridging and joists.
- Check walls, whether drywall or plaster. Make sure there are no water marks.
- Make sure the attic is sufficiently insulated and ventilated.
- Check that the fireplace damper is in working order, and flues to the chimney are clear.
- On heating and air-conditioning systems, check what minor periodic maintenance is required, such as oil fan motor, lubricate bearings, clean humidifier, replace filters, etc.
- Check the hot water system – type and gallon capacity. How long has the present unit been in service? The most recent safety codes require tanks to be raised. Check with your realtor for specifications.
- Check the electricity to make sure that the standard house current, number of circuits, outlets and fuses and circuit breakers are sufficient for everyday needs, and the condition of wiring is good.
- Check for good water pressure throughout the house and that the tie-in to local water supply facilities is all in working order.
- Bathroom and kitchen fixtures should be in good shape. Make sure the range, refrigerator, dishwasher/disposal, laundry facilities, and any other fixtures are all in working order.
- Check exterior lot and landscaping. Is it properly graded or contoured? Are trees and shrubs sufficient for your needs?
- Check that fences, walls, patio and driveway are in good condition.
- Be sure exterior walls are suitable to weather conditions. Check doors and windows. Are they easy to open and close (or replace) for storm/screen removal or installation?
- Are the roof, gutters and downspouts in good condition?
- Is the garage door or opener in good working order? Is there sufficient electrical and heating access in the garage?
Checklist for Inspecting and Buying a Home by Fannie Mae can be found at http://www.realtor.com/