Home Inspection Checklist: Here’s What To Look For


Buying a home is an exciting part of life, especially for first-time buyers. Many things need to be done when the purchase is made, including a home inspection. This essential part of the process will be required before the sale is closed to ensure buyers choose a quality property. Here’s everything you need to know about your home inspection. 

What’s a home inspection?

As a new homebuyer, when you purchase your first home, the property will need to be inspected by a third-party professional to ensure the house is in good condition. Your lender will want to ensure their funds are going to property worth investing in. The inspector will check all the home’s major components, including the exterior and visible aspects of the interior. They won’t be able to inspect areas that aren’t easily accessible or seen, like inside the walls and pipes. Still, they can provide an overview of the home’s condition. As the buyer, you’re responsible for the inspection cost, which can run between $300 to $650. Once the inspection is completed, you’ll be able to determine if you want to continue with the sale. 

Finding an inspector

You can take a few different avenues to find a professional inspector, and they all require some research. First, you can check the local inspectors in your area online, check their reviews, ask for quotes, and that should give you a good idea of how happy their previous clients have been. Another avenue can be to ask your family or friends who have recently purchased a home if they have a recommendation. You can also ask your realtor directly, and they’ll likely have a contact which they have worked with many times. When you conduct your research, you’ll be able to find out which qualities are essential to you, whether it be a certain amount of experience, a great customer experience, or something else, you can choose someone based on your preferences. 

What’s included in a home inspection?

A professional will be able to come into your home and know exactly what to look for, but you should know what areas are being checked in case you have any questions for them. The six major categories include the foundation, structure, interior, exterior, HVAC and plumbing, and the electrical. 


Exterior, Structure, and Foundation

  • Is the exterior of the home in good condition?

  • Does the siding have cracking, rotting, or other decaying?

  • What condition are the gutters in? Do they drain?

  • Is there proper drainage for water to be carried away from the home?

  • What’s the condition of the roof? Does it have patching or decay?

  • What’s the condition of the landscaping? Are there any soggy areas on the lawn? See this lawn care guide.

  • Are there any standing water areas?

  • Does the home appear to need renovations in the near future?

  • Has the exterior been recently painted, or is it peeling and faded?

  • Are there cracks in the stucco, near the windows, or doors?

  • Is there any evidence of termites or other pests?

  • Is the foundation in good condition?

  • Are there any cracks in the foundation or structure? Are there shifts by the base of the walls or ceilings?

  • Does the septic tank have any leaks?


Interior, Plumbing and HVAC, and Electrical

  • What condition does the overall house appear?

  • Are there any noticeable odors coming from any area in the home?

  • Are the appliances in working order and installed correctly? Are they all included in the purchase?

  • From what’s visible, does there appear to be proper insulation?

  • Are all electrical outlets in working order?

  • Is there any damage to floors or ceilings? This includes water damage or staining.

  • Will the flooring require any replacement or repair?

  • Are there enough electrical outlets in each room?

  • Are the windows and doors in working order? Have the frames been properly caulked?

  • Is there an adequate amount of ventilation throughout the property?

  • Are any of the sinks leaking?

  • Are any of the pipes leaking?

  • Are the pipes rusted or damaged?

  • Are the toilets in working order?

  • How is the water pressure?

  • Are the carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors apparent and in working order?

  • Is there an attic? Are there any stains on the ceiling below the attic? Is there enough ventilation and insulation in the attic? Are there any open electrical splices?

  • Is the water pump functioning properly?

  • How hot does the water get? Does it exceed 125° F?

  • Do any pipes restrict water flow?

  • Do the vents in each room provide sufficient airflow?

  • Does the AC unit appear to be in good condition? Is there any rust?

  • When were the air filters replaced last?

  • Is there a gas smell?

  • Does the home have any history of asbestos being present in pipes or air ducts?

  • Are there any exposed electrical splices? Are all cable secured and protected?

  • Is the service panel easily accessible?

  • Are any fuses or breakers overheating?



Once the inspection has been completed, depending on the results, you can decide to proceed with the sale or opt-out. If the home has much more damage than you expected or didn’t notice upon your showings, you have to decide whether it’s something you can live with. If you want to take on the cost of fixing the issues, you’re welcome to negotiate with the seller. If you’re not willing to make any renovations, and the seller won’t budge on the price, you may want to go back to square one. If there is very significant damage, like structural or foundation issues, your lender may not approve your financing. Whatever you decide after the inspection should align with your financial goals and how much work you want to put into your home. 


Buying your first home is an exciting time and cause for celebration, but relocating requires a lot of organization and can be stressful. Hire the right moving company near you.  Choosing the right inspector for your home doesn’t have to be an added stress, but it’s important you choose someone reputable. A home is one of the biggest investments you’ll make, and you want to ensure you are choosing a quality one.








Author Bio:


Kurtis Forster is a real estate agent for Team Forster in London, Ontario. He brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise about buying and selling real estate.

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