Touring homes is often one of the most exciting parts in the home buying process. But as you’re keeping an eye out for the features on your “wants” list, it’s also important to watch out for underlying issues.
To help you out, we’ve prepared a handy home inspection checklist for you to view as you’re touring homes. Looking closely at these items while you’re walking through a property will help you ask the right questions during an inspection.
Check the roof for dark areas, stains, moss, cracks, or other signs of damage. Inspect the ceiling and attic and search for moisture and uneven sections. Look for missing tiles or shingles, and see whether existing ones are curled, or worn down. Find out when maintenance work was last performed on the roof.
Check if the home’s downspouts and gutters are attached properly, and find out if they drain water effectively away from the house.
Ask what type of siding the home has, and see whether or not it’s in good shape. If parts of the home are constructed out of bricks or stonework, look for any visible cracks.
Cracks in a home’s foundation are red flags, since they won’t just go away. Instead, they get worse over time, increasing the likelihood of the entire foundation collapsing, which puts you in a tedious and costly situation.
Some telltale signs of structural cracks in foundations are:
Cracks in stair steps
Cracks more than 1/8” in width
Cracks in the beams or foundation slabs
Vertical cracks that have wide openings in the top or bottom
Doors and windows
Look for signs of moisture around window panes and door frames. Check if all windows and doors latch properly. Look for cracks in glass windows, and see if window frame joints are caulked.
Heating and cooling
Be aware of any unusual scents around the house during the walkthrough, as this could be signs of a faulty HVAC system or the presence of mold or mildew.
Find out what type of systems are installed, and inquire about their current condition. You can look for a manufacturing date or a serial number to get information on the system’s age.
Try out all light switches to check if they’re functional. Check if all outlets are grounded (any two-prong outlets are not).
Ask to see the home’s electrical panel, and see if it’s an older model that has fuses, or a newer one with circuit breakers. Check for exposed wiring and splices, aluminum wiring, or “knob and tube” wiring. Outdated and/or faulty wiring is a major fire hazard, and can be tedious and time-consuming to repair.
Check the water pressure from all faucets and showers, and flush all toilets. Pay attention to any unusual noises. Check for visible leaks under sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms, and check to see if pipes are rusted.
Once you’re done…
Give a copy of your notes and photos to the professional home inspector, who will examine the property thoroughly. If any of the issues you’ve identified are confirmed in the official inspection, consult your real estate agent to find out whether or not the seller is willing to pay for these repairs.
Looking for the finest Charlotte, NC real estate options? Get in touch with our team at Valarie R. Brooks Real Estate today by calling 704.488.5458, or send us an email at Valarie(at)ValarieRBrooks(dotted)com