Home Inspection Checklist

Outside Inspection

  • Is there standing water over the septic tank or the drain bed or around the foundation of the house? When was the last time the tank was pumped? Are the cover and tank in good repair? You should also contact a certified professional to conduct a thorough inspection of the system to make sure it meets all state and local building and health codes before you bid on the property.
  • Is the peak straight and level or do you see signs of sagging? Also look for worn or missing shingles, loose flashing, rotting under decking or trim.
  • Do all doors, inside and out, fit square? Look for signs of rot around door trims and especially the thresholds. Also look for signs of cracking at the thresholds that might indicate a problem with the foundation. Check to make sure the doors all seal properly, too, or your winter heating bills could be sky high.
  • Look for gaps and rotting around window frames. Also check to see how old the windows are. Are the windows energy efficient and easy to clean? Look for broken panes in basement and attic windows that are most often overlooked.
  • Check the driveway for cracks and crumbling. Also look for dips in the pavements that might indicate a problem with the soil underneath. Has the driveway been recently sealed?
  • Walk the entire fence to look for gaps. Especially if the fence is covered up by foliage. If the property has a pool and one of the neighborhood kids can sneak through your fence, you're liable if there's an accident.
  • Make sure all of the gutters slope toward the downspouts and the the downspouts extend away from the house. Look for signs of pooling water around the foundation and check for rust and leaks on the gutters.
  • Look for loose pieces of siding, gaps and holes. If there are loose pieces, check for water and weather damage underneath.
  • In most cities it's the property owner's responsibility to make sure the sidewalk in front of their property are in good repair. Look for cracks and crumbling and possible tree root damage.
  • Note the slope of the property and look for signs of standing water around the foundation. Also look at decks and door and window jams closely. When a door or window won't shut properly it could indicate a problem with the foundation.

Inside Inspection

Contact Professionals To Handle Inspections

It's more important than ever before that, before buying that house you've been looking at, have a home inspection performed by a qualified professional  As housing prices continue to drop more and more people are looking into the possibility of finally buying their first home.  And even more people are looking at these lower prices as an opportunity to pick up some inexpensive investment property.  While it's true that there are some very good deals out there on houses right now, buying Real Estate, whether it's for your own home or as in investment, should never be taken lightly.  Some of those foreclosure properties that you see going up for auction have attractive looking opening bids.

Tips

Before you start raising your paddle at the next auction you should stand back and be a spectator for a while.  Most of those homes never sell at foreclosure auctions and there’s a reason for that.  The minimum opening bid includes the balance owed on the mortgage plus and interest that’s accrued and, in today’s housing market, that minimum bid is oftentimes more than what the property is currently worth.  Think about it.  If there were already enough equity built up in the home, the owner would have sold it himself and cleared the loan.  But you will find some foreclosure properties that are reasonably priced and that’s when you need to get a home inspection done first, before you start bidding.  Some of those foreclosure properties have been vacant for months.  Utilities have been turned off and if the house was vacant over the winter the pipes could have frozen.  Since no one’s been living in the house it’s also been a welcome retreat for rodents and insects – or even larger creatures!  Vandals may have made their way in, too.  Anything could have happened in that house if it’s been vacant for awhile and, while it’s best to have a professional conduct your inspection, we’ve put together a home inspection checklist to help you determine the true value of that property BEFORE you make your opening bid.