A Brief Home Buyers' Checklist
The following information is provided to allow you, as a buyer, to review the basic components of a home you may be considering buying. Although there are literally hundreds of items to check during a home inspection, a basic starter list will give you a feel for the home. This checklist is not a substitute for an inspection by a licensed professional home inspector.
Foundation and Drainage
The ground around the house should be sloped to allow rain water to drain away from the foundation. Gutter downspouts, if present, should direct water at least five feet away from the foundation. Flower bed borders should not hold water. The sides of a slab foundation should extend 3 to 6 inches above any ground cover. Look for cracks and exposed metal in the walls of the foundation.
Brick walls should not have cracks in the mortar or the bricks. Wood siding should be firmly attached and in good repair. All joints between walls, doors and windows should be tightly sealed with caulk. Paint should be uniform and not chalky. Soffits and fascia should be uniformly caulked and painted.
Roofing material should be undamaged from hail, tree limbs and foot traffic. Shingles should have a uniform coating of granules and should not curl at the edges. All flashing should be flat to the surface it covers.
All walls should appear flat to the eye. No bulges, seams or repairs should be visible. Paint should be uniform in color.
Ceilings and floors
Floors should be level with no trip hazards. To test for level, drop a hard rubber ball on wood or tile floors to see if it rolls to the sides of the room. Check for stains on the ceiling and floors.
Doors and Windows
All doors and windows should open, close and lock easily. Doors should be centered to their door frames.
Stairs should be evenly spaced with a solid handrail or guardrail.
Check all light fixtures and ceiling fans for proper operation. Run the garage door opener. Look in the breaker panel. Are all the breaker positions occupied by a breaker? If so, the panel may be operating at its limit.
Check all faucets and shower heads for proper flow of both hot and cold water. Do all the sinks, tubs, basins and showers drain properly? Do the drain stoppers work correctly? Do the toilets drain and refill properly? Does the water heater deliver hot water at all locations? Does the yard sprinkler system run correctly?
Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
HVAC systems should provide uniform warm and cool air to all parts of the house. Walk the house and feel for temperature changes from room to room.
The best way to test appliances is to run them through a complete cycle. Run the dishwasher and garbage disposal. Turn on the cook top burners. Set the oven to 350 degrees. Check for ice in the freezer.
This brief list gives you a start in evaluating a home for purchase. A comprehensive home inspection by an experienced and licensed home inspector is your next step in the selection process. We at Dallas Professional Home Inspections PLLC wish you the very best in your search for the perfect new home.
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