Home Inspection Checklist: What to Expect and What to Inspect

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Before you actually spend your hard-earned money for a new home, a key step you should do is to get a professional home inspection.

Home inspections are conducted by third-party contractors. These are people who are highly trained to perform in-depth examination of any home or property, from top to bottom. They analyze the condition of a home to make sure that it meets all the state construction requirements and safety standards, and whether the property needs repairs before a new family can move in. Home inspectors also check for dangerous substances that might be present in your home, such as mold, mildew and asbestos. Ignoring these things do not only cause great damage in your home, it can also expose your family to health hazards.

Once the inspection is completed, you will have to talk to the buyer regarding the repairs needed and who will cover the cost. In most cases, it should be shouldered by the previous owner. However, you can assume the responsibility and negotiate a lower buying price. For costly repairs, checking your financing options is important. You have to know whether you will need to get a personal loan online or tap your home insurance company.

Home Inspection Checklist:

The homeowner is responsible for giving the home inspector safe access and adequate lighting to perform the inspection. While they have the option not to, the buyer or the homeowner is advised by the American Society of Home Inspectors to be around during the inspection.

On your upcoming home inspection, use this checklist to ensure that everything is covered:


The foundation is a critical structural component of a house. It affects the overall strength, stability and of course, longevity. Home inspectors look at many things concerning the home foundation. They may enter crawl spaces, attics, and load-bearing components that are not insulated. Water damage is an early sign of a foundation problem, along with moisture and mold. Checking it should be part of a home inspector’s routine.


Professional inspectors are able to thoroughly examine whether the home flooring is in good shape or not, regardless of the floor type – whether it’s hardwood, laminate, tile, vinyl, or carpet.


Roof damage can be very costly. A home inspection covers problems like rust spots, missing, worn or broken shingles, missing or damaged chimney cap, presence of moss and lichen, and more. Leaks are major issues too. If unnoticed, it can cause serious water damage in your home.

Home Inspection Checklist What to Expect and What to Inspect


An exterior inspection is part of the process as well. Anything that has been added to the house can affect the site and the building, and therefore should be evaluated too. This includes siding, trim, windows, and more.


An attic inspection is not only important to ensure proper insulation, but also to determine if there are any other problems, such as holes, inadequate insulation or water damage. The inspectors will examine the vents, presence of pests, skylights, and even the chimney. They should check for moisture, mold, leaks, and rotting. They should also check the framing for any damage.


Mildew odors could mean that the basement is too moist. The home inspectors should look closely to the walls and floors for patches of mildew and dampness. They might use a device or meter to measure the presence of moisture. Moisture is a real problem because it deteriorates the building materials, attracts insects and can lead to a whole host of other problems.


An electrical inspection is necessary to ensure that the property meets the electrical safety standards and law codes in your state. This helps prevent possible surges especially during storms, fire, and electrical shocks which are all life-threatening.


You want to fix all plumbing issues the home might possibly have before you move in. During the inspection, the water pressure is checked by turning on multiple faucets and flushing toilets at the same time. The inspectors may also check the septic system to see if there’s a drainage problem.


Homes sold don’t usually have appliances included. But in any case, if they are permanently installed or left as part of the sale, equal attention is needed too. The inspectors should also check for faulty appliances or wiring systems, which can cause your energy bills to hike up. Typical appliances that are subject to inspection are kitchen ranges, dishwashers, refrigerators, food waste disposals, and built-in microwaves.

Heating/cooling system

This requires a thorough review of the house’s HVAC system. This tells you straight away if the heating and cooling systems in the house you’re buying warrant any repairs. The inspection includes the air filter, blower compartments, electrical connections, equipment condition, safety controls, heat pumps, and so on.

When it comes to buying a home, you should never forget about the most important step, which is conducting a home inspection. It helps you make the right decision, negotiate for better deals, and prevent further damage in your new home. With this checklist, you can be sure that nothing is left behind during your upcoming home inspection.


About the author: Lidia Staron has been working as a writer, editor and literary coach for 5 years. She contributes articles about the role of finance in the strategic-planning and decision-making process. You can find really professional insights in her writings.


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