When you are considering purchasing a home, you will need to hire a home inspector to professionally inspect the home and draft a report detailing any and all issues with the property. This report will help you decide whether the property is worth purchasing and may influence your decision to negotiate the price.
However, it is also recommended that you conduct your own independent walk-through of the home. This will help you get acquainted with your potential future home and understand its condition and any necessary repairs or renovations. Conducting your own home inspection can also assist you in identifying instances of fraud by the home inspector in the event that they fail to disclose defects that they may have noticed while inspecting the home on your behalf. Below is a checklist that you can use for conducting your own inspection. Remember that this is not a substitute for hiring a professional.
- Do the sidewalks and driveway have cracks, potholes, or other defects?
- Are the trees, bushes, and other plants in good condition and well-cared for?
- Are stairs, steps, porches, patios, and decks in good repair without any security issues?
- Does the yard have any water drainage issues?
- Is the pool free of cracks, algae, or other issues?
- Are there are cracks or holes on the exterior walls of the home?
- Do the doors, windows, roof, steps, or porches appear to sag?
- Is the exterior paint in good condition?
- Are any windows cracked or missing screens?
- Is the trim around the doors and windows cracked, decayed or showing any signs of leaks?
- Are there any shingles missing or cracked on the roof?
- Are all the appliances in good working order?
- Does the kitchen sink leak or not drain properly?
- Do the electrical outlets work?
- Are the kitchen cabinets properly level, and do they show any signs of excessive wear and tear?
Bedrooms and Living Room
- Is the interior paint in good condition?
- Are there any issues with the floor, ceiling, or walls, such as holes, cracks, or stains?
- Do windows and doors open and shut properly?
- Do electrical outlets and light switches work?
- Is there any evidence of mold?
- Do the sink, toilet, bathtub, or shower leak?
- Does the fan work properly?
- Are there any issues with cracked tiles?
- Does the heating and cooling system work properly?
- Does it appear to have been serviced recently?
Attic and Basement
- Is there any evidence of a leak or flooding?
- Is there any evidence of an insect or animal infestation?
- Does the garage door function properly?
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Home Inspection?
If you find anything suspicious and defective during your home inspection, you should consult with a real estate lawyer on your next step. A real estate lawyer can help you evaluate how to proceed, whether you should move forward with the purchase, and whether to litigate any issues.