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House Inspection Checklist: What To Pay Close Attention To

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Blog by Mary Roy | October 12th, 2015

10136616_s.jpgIf you have found a house that appears to meet your needs, you should use a house inspection checklist to perform your own inspection of the interior and exterior. You will want to look out for any obvious problems. Unless you are in the market for a fixer upper, the problems you find may provide adequate reason to pass on one house and move on to the next.

It is important to note that your inspection is different from a professional one that a lender may require in order for you to get a mortgage. Once you make your offer, you will still need a professional home inspector to go over the house carefully. Your goal is simply to spot any problems that could eliminate the house from consideration.

House Inspection Checklist


  • Look for cracks in ceilings and walls, especially over doorways and windows.
  • Inside the house, look for uneven gaps at the tops of closed doors and windows.
  • Check for straightness down the length of the foundation wall. The wall should be straight from side to side and up and down.
  • Check for drainage issues outside. The ground should slope away from the foundation.


  • Look for signs of moisture problems like stains or mold. Check for a damp or musty odor.
  • Check plumbing to make sure that it is not leaking or obviously damaged.
  • Look for measures to waterproof the space such as sump pumps.


  • Look for signs of leaks on walls and ceiling.
  • Inspect open insulation for moisture damage.
  • Check for a damp, musty odor.
  • Make sure that there is adequate insulation.


  • Inspect the home's exterior siding to make sure that it is in good shape and can provide both moisture protection and insulation.
  • Check the yard sprinkler system to make sure that it works.
  • Look for signs of decay or termite damage on the porch or deck.
  • Make sure that the porch has a foundation and does not simply rest on soil.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning

  • Check the HVAC system to make sure that it is functioning properly.
  • Find out if the HVAC system is appropriate for the size of the home.

Electrical Wiring

  • Look for the main fuse or breaker box. It should be easy to find and in good condition.
  • Check the number of outlets in the home to make sure that there are enough for your family's needs.
  • Look for ground fault circuit interrupters in the bathrooms, kitchen and laundry room.


  • Check sinks and tubs to see how well they drain. This may necessitate filling and draining more than one sink or tub simultaneously.
  • Turn on faucets to get an idea of the available water pressure.
  • Flush toilets to make sure that they work and to find out if they will need to be replaced later on.

Chimney and Fireplace

  • Look for crumbling or loose mortar.
  • Check the rain cap to see if is loose.
  • Look for signs of smoke and for stains from creosote on the exterior.


  • Check shingles to make sure that they are all there are in good shape.
  • Look for curling shingles, which indicate that a roof is nearing the end of its usable life.
  • Inspect gutters for damage.


  • Check to make sure that doors fit tightly and do not allow air infiltration. No light should be visible from the outside when the door is closed.
  • Make sure that door hardware is functioning correctly.

Interested in learning more about what to look for when touring a house? Contact us at Mary Roy and Team today!