Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers

Buying a house is a big financial decision, and you want to know what you’re getting into. While not required by law, a home inspection by a licensed home inspector is highly recommended. A home inspector will assess critical components of the home you want to buy, and report any issues. With this Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers from the National Association of Realtors, you can get a better sense of what the home inspector will be evaluating and be prepared to ask the seller or your realtor pertinent questions.


The inspector will examine the foundation and framing of the home. Is the house settling? Is there a crack in the foundation? You will want to know before purchasing the home.


When evaluating the exterior of the home, the inspector will look at sidewalks, driveways, drainage, windows, doors, trim, siding, and any decks, porches or balconies for damage.


A home inspector will inform you of the age and condition of your roof and alert you to any loose gutters, buckled shingles, pooling water or leaks. In addition to determining the condition of the roof itself, the home inspector will also examine any skylights or chimneys.


Another important element of the house to examine is the plumbing. Is there poor water pressure? Banging pipes? Rust spots or corrosion? These could indicate a larger problem. The home inspector will look at the home’s water supply and drainage systems, water heating equipment, fuel storage systems, as well as any drainage/sump pumps.


Improper wiring in your new home will cost you money to fix or worse, cause a fire. Older homes are especially susceptible to electrical issues. The home inspector will make note of how many outlets are in each room, and examine the service entrance wires, service panels, breakers, fuses and disconnects of the home.

Heating and Air Conditioning

In addition to reporting on the age, energy rating and capacity of the water heater, a home inspector will also examine the condition of chimneys, vents, flues, and central air or through-wall cooling equipment.


A thorough look at the home’s interior could reveal leaks, insect damage, rot and more. The home inspector will look at the walls, ceilings, floors, stairs, railings, countertops, cabinets and garage for damage.


Is excess moisture building up? Is there mold growing? The inspector will check for adequate insulation and ventilation in unfinished areas such as attics, basements and crawl spaces.


While fireplaces are a nice feature to have, they can also pose a hazard in your new home if they are not installed and maintained properly. The home inspector should examine the vent and flue.

Now that you understand the importance of having a home inspection done and are familiar with the Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers, check out these Questions to Ask a Home Inspector. That way, you can buy with confidence!

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