Inspection day is one of the most thrilling parts of the home buying process – after you’ve placed an offer, you get to step inside the home, walk through its living spaces, and take a closer look at every room. At this point, many buyers can already feel what it’s like living there!
The most important thing about home inspections to keep in mind however, is it’s an opportunity for you to see if the home’s condition is up to par before you decide to close the deal.
One of the best ways to approach a home inspection is to be prepared and stay organized. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:
Looking for a professional inspector
Your best ally during a home inspection is a licensed, professional home inspector who will conduct a detailed, in-depth inspection. You can gather recommendations, search online and look for reviews, or use resources such as Zillow’s Agent Finder Tool.
Once you’ve found a potential inspector, ask them for a sample report so you can get an idea of their process and see if they can provide a thorough analysis.
What to do on inspection day
On inspection day, you and your agent should be present during the entire process. The seller’s agent will likely be there as well to address any possible questions asked by the inspector. Remember to set aside the entire morning or afternoon in your schedule, as a home inspection can take up some time – you want to avoid rushing through it.
While details regarding the home’s systems and other maintenance tips will show up in the final report, being there in person is still the best way for you to learn about your future home.
Your home inspection checklist
Below are some of the important items you should look at closely during the inspection. If some of the items on this list aren’t covered in your inspector’s final report, find out why.
- Lot – Check the distance of the drainage from the house, and look for damp or soggy areas.
- Foundation – Pay close attention the walls and ceilings, and check for prominent cracks or shifts in the foundation, both inside and outside the home.
- Exterior – Check if the exteriors require repainting or repairs. Inspect gutters and downspouts, and look for dangling wires, loose boards, or other components that may need additional costs to repair or replace.
- Roof – Check the roof’s overall condition, and ask about the last time it was replaced.
- Attic – Look at the roof’s interior structure and check for leaks.
- Heating/cooling – See if the system is in good working order. If it was previously converted, find out if tanks or old components are still installed within the home.
- Possible leaks in the interior – Pay attention to ceilings and areas surrounding windows for potential leaks.
- Electrical – Test switches, search for malfunctions, and ask if all outlets have been grounded.
- Appliances – If appliances are included in the home, ask about date of purchase and take note of each unit’s overall condition.
- Plumbing – Check for malfunctions and strange noises, know whether the sewer line has been scoped for any possible cracks.
- Basement – Check if the basement has sufficient insulation, and if it shows any signs of dampness.
- Odor – If any unusual odors are present in the home, find out if you can identify the source and if there is any solution. Musty odors can be a sign of leaks, a wet basement, or other damp areas within the property.