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Home Inspection Checklist for First-Time Home Buyers

Was your offer accepted on that home you have been dreaming about? Congratulations! But you might want to hold off on celebrating just yet.

Purchasing a home is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. It is not only a big financial investment, but also a place where you and the ones you care about will create memories that will last a lifetime. So, before you sign on the dotted line, make sure there won’t be unwelcome surprises after you move in.

As a first-time home buyer, house hunting can be an exciting and overwhelming experience, rife with emotions and uncertainties. To help make the home-buying process go as smoothly as possible, read on to learn what every home inspection checklist should include.

House Exterior

  • Roof
    Do you notice any damaged, cracked, or missing shingles? Are there stains, moss, or dark spots? Also, find out how old the roof is and if it needs repair or replacement. Is the chimney in good condition?
  • Exterior
    What is the condition of the gutters and downspouts? Can you see evidence of standing water? Does the siding appear to be in good shape? Is there proper drainage transporting water away from the house? Is the exterior paint peeling or faded
  • Foundation
    Can you see cracks in the concrete or on the structure? Are there shifts in the foundation at the base of the walls? Are there signs of rotting wood or termite damage?
  • Windows and Doors
    Do they open and close easily? Notice any darks spots of moisture around frames or between panes? Are they caulked properly?
  • Yard and Deck
    Are the walkways and driveways in good condition? Do you see any damage to the garage, patio, and stairs? Does the property come with a deck? If so, inspect the boards for signs of rotting, warping, and cracking.

House Interior

  • Heating and Cooling
    Are there any strange odours coming from inside the home? Are the home’s heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system (HVAC) functioning properly? How old is the water heater?
  • Attic
    Notice any stains on the underside of the roofing in the attic? Is there enough insulation and ventilation? Are there any open electrical splices? Is there any moisture buildup?
  • Plumbing
    Is there sufficient water pressure? Spot any leaks around the sinks? Do the toilets flush properly? Do the pipes leak? Are there leaks in the septic tank?
  • Electrical
    Do all the light switches work? Are the cables secured and protected? Can you find the electrical panel? Are the ceiling fans functioning?
  • Home safety
    Can you locate the required smoke and carbon monoxide detectors? Does the property come with a fire extinguisher? For older homes, ask about the possible presence of asbestos and lead paint.

While having your own home inspection checklist is great, it is always a good idea to hire a professional home inspector. A trained specialist will have the knowledge and experience to spot hidden issues you might have missed that can come back and haunt you later.

The typical inspection lasts two to three hours to complete. The home inspector will examine the condition of the house you are planning to buy, assessing the property from top to bottom. Once they are done, the home inspector will provide you with a written report on their findings, notifying you about any potential problems.

No matter how much you may want that house, don’t turn a blind eye to those potential red flags. With the right home inspection checklist and home inspector by your side, you will be well on your way to moving into that dream home.

If you are a first-time home buyer, reach out to House Sound Home Inspections today.


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