No matter if you are already a homeowner or just a renter looking for some digs you can call your own, you have to be prepared for the house hunting journey. There are a surprising number of telltale signs which can help determine if the home you buy is a sound investment. There could be anything from a significant crack in the foundation to rotting beams in the attic due to damaged flashing. These things and many others will end up costing the buyer, even more, money in the short term to repair or correct. So, it is mission critical to assess a home and judge its worth with a professional. We’ve assembled a must-check list to serve as a not only a reminder but as an essential tool to aid you, and your home inspector pick the right home at the right price.
While you are touring a home, you positively should take note of specific areas of interest which you would potentially want to inspect in greater detail later down the road with a home inspector. Once you’ve finished the walkthrough and you think you might want to buy or sign a rent-to-own contract; you will use this checklist to assess the condition of the house and determine its value as an investment vs. the asking price.
Without further ado here is the must-checklist to use while you’re going through the home.
- Are there missing shingles or shingles that look damaged or old?
- Is Flashing installed around areas that may leak?
- Are wooden beams or insulation damaged or discolored in the attic?
- Is there a moldy smell in the attic?
Foundation / Structural
- Look for cracks in the outer walls, particularly around the four edges top, bottom left, and right edges and along windows or door frames.
- Check for trees that may have roots growing into or under the foundation.
- Check the garage floors for distinct cracking in the cement.
- Inquire about any previous damage to the home; water, fire, or anything else.
- Are there any signs of damage on the walls near the ceilings in each room and along the ceiling itself?
- Is the yard slopped for drainage to flow away from the house?
- Do any of the areas on the yard feel soggy or seem unusually wet?
- Are the driveways and cement walkways (if any) in a good state?
- Inquire as to the material of the pipes used in the plumbing.
- Check for leaks under the sinks toilets, showers, and tubs.
- Check the water heater/tank for leaks and ask its age.
- Any odd noises or banging when water runs through pipes?
- Check the light switches are in correct, working order.
- Make sure each outlet is grounded.
- Check the ceiling fans for integrity.
- Ask if the electrical panel has been a part of any product recalls.
- Check for any funny smells coming from the vents.
- Ask about the age of the HVAC system.
- Do the exhaust fans work in the kitchen and bathrooms.