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Home Inspection Checklist ... 10 things you can check yourself!Home Inspection Real Estate Tips and Advice

All homes have problems. The only question is how serious are these problems? Good home inspectors understand the difference between major and minor problems and will communicate that difference to you at the time of the home inspection! Until then, use the following home inspection tips as a guideline in determining your feel for the overall condition of the home.

1. Curb Appeal. Driving up to the home take a look at the overall condition of the property starting from the curb to the landscaping to the home itself. Does the home look as if it has been maintained consistently? Is that new coat of paint hiding something or was it just in need of a new coat of paint?

2. The structure and foundation. Looking at the roofline of the home. Are there any noticeable deflections in the roof? Do the interior & exterior walls appear to be plumb/straight? Any excessive settlement cracks apparent inside the home or out? Do the doors open and close properly?

3. Water control. Does the ground slope away from the foundation of the home? Will gutters, downspouts and drainage pipes carry excess water away from the foundation... or into the crawl space? Is there any evidence of water damage, such as wood rot?

4. The roof. What is the age of the roof? Ask the seller or your realtor about the age of the roof. Does the roof appear to be in good shape? Are there visible cracks and or damage to the skylights? Is there water stains or previous repair to texture and paint at skylight opening(s) within the home. Signs of hail damage? Yards signs from roofing companies throughout the neighborhood are good indications of recent hail damage.

5. Details. Does the home appear to have been maintained properly? What is the condition of the flooring, ceiling and walls; carpet, tile etc.? Has the home been through any renovations? Do you see signs of quality workmanship in the finish details?

6. Kitchen & bath fixtures. Signs of leaking fixtures or water damage under the cabinets? Are sinks, toilets and tubs quality fixtures? Do they work properly? Take it for a test drive; you are looking to buy it, right? Turn on the tub and shower at the same time. Does the water pressure appear to be adequate?

7. Electrical system. Are the receptacles 2 prong or three prongs? Older homes are more likely to have 2 prongs and would need to be considered for an up grade to current standards. Does the home have GFCI protection at all outlets in the bathrooms, kitchens, and other required locations? Are the number and locations of receptacles adequate to the needs of the house? Is the main circuit breaker marked at least "100 amps"? Today’s electrical requirements have outdated many older homes electrical systems and could overload homes with less capacity than “100” amps in a home.

8. Water heater, plumbing. Is the water heater gas or electric (gas is much more energy efficient)? Do you have a preference? Is there a date of installation on the water heater? Are the Water supply pipes at the top of the water heater free of corrosion? If the water heater is in the garage; is it 18” from the floor?

9. Heating. Where is the furnace or heater located; attic, appliance closet or garage. What type is it; gas or electric? Are the filters readily accessible; attic, hallway. Do registers (AC grills) look clean?

10. Fireplace. Is the fireplace wood burning or does it have gas logs? Does the fireplace have screens or glass doors (doors are more efficient)? Is there a chimney cap on the top of the fireplace?

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