The Ultimate Home Inspection Checklist Before You Buy

Are you looking into buying a home soon? There are lots of procedures that go into buying your first place, including an inspection. This process is very important to new home buyers, and you should never rush or skip it. If you’re not sure what you should be looking for during this process, keep reading for the ultimate home inspection checklist before you buy a property. Whether you are purchasing an old home, a new home, a move-in-ready place, or a fixer-upper, these are all important points to take note of during the inspection period.

Importance of a Home Inspection

First of all, you should never skip this stage when considering whether to buy a house. A home inspection allows you to see the condition, safety, and potential costs of a home. It also offers you insight into the legality of the house. For example, the previous homeowner may have added an extension, garage, etc., without following the proper procedures and acquiring a permit. If you buy the property, the legal and financial burden for those errors may fall on your shoulders.

The home inspection is especially important for buyers who are looking for a fixer-upper listing. The inspection will give you the best idea of what features you will need to renovate and update. Because many renovation projects can be costly, it is extremely helpful to know what maintenance the home needs before committing to the listing. Plus, if a house does not meet your expectations as a buyer, a home inspection provides you with the perfect opportunity to back out.

What To Check

Now that you know why it’s so important to go through with a home inspection, here are the most important categories and items you want to look for.

Foundation and Structure

The best place to start when it comes to an inspection is the foundation of the home. If the property has any foundational or structural damage, this could be a big red flag. Structural damage could compromise the safety of the home and its occupants. Not only this, but these issues are usually some of the most costly to fix and require lots of work for DIY house flippers.

Here are some points to look out for concerning the foundation and structure of the house during your investigation:

  • Are there cracks present in the foundation or structure of the building, namely in the walls, ceiling, basement, or flooring?
  • If the home has a basement, are there any shifts in the cement or flooring there?
  • Does rain runoff have anywhere to go? Does the house have gutters and a proper drainage system that leads away from the base foundation?
  • Pay close attention to wood trim and beams–does any of it have rot or termite damage?


The next most important aspect of your inspection will be to check on the utilities. Like the foundation, utilities are also some of the most crucial features of a home. Similarly, they are quite costly to fix if damaged. Make sure you know the condition of all utilities that exist throughout the house, such as:

  • Plumbing/Water
  • Electricity
  • Gas

Other features that you should check alongside the above utilities include:

  • Insulation
  • Air Quality
  • Air Conditioning/Heating

These features greatly affect your quality of life while living in the space. Even more important than this, if any of these utilities have damages, they could cause a major accident, such as a fire, flood, or gas leak in your new home.


The exterior features that you want to check include the siding, roofing, and windows. Make sure to note the following:

  • Is the roof peeling or missing shingles or other materials?
  • Are the window frames bowed or straight? Do the windowpanes have any cracks in them?
  • What is the exterior of the home made of, and how is it holding up?
  • Is the exterior paint chipped or peeling heavily?

The condition of the exterior features can tell you more than just how the building looks aesthetically. It also grants you a glimpse into the overall condition of the home. Through this, you may gain an idea of what else you will need to update.


Your examination will cover similar conditions on the interior of the property as well. It will identify cracks in walls or paint, the state of the flooring, and the overall damages present. On top of this, you should also note the answers to these questions:

  • Is the seller including any appliances or furniture in the offer?
  • What is the number of electrical outlets, and where are they in each room?
  • Is the home generally updated or outdated?

It may be hard to gauge the overall safety of a home through an interior examination alone, but you can still get a good look into the condition of the listing. The property’s interior can also tip you off to some underlying problems you may need to fix.

Extra Inspections To Note

One aspect to note: the average home inspection won’t always hit all the above categories. Occasionally, you’ll have to hire an outside source to look at your new home. A good example of this is a mold or fungus inspection on the interior or exterior of your home. Mold can be tricky to deal with on your own. It is also difficult for the average homeowner to identify, which is why it is vital to call in professionals. A mold remediation company can help by examining your home and treating any mold growth that appears. If you are a new homeowner looking for mold removal in Arlington Heights and the surrounding area, contact Aloha Restoration Co. for your investigation.

It is easy to feel overwhelmed by the home inspection process as a new home buyer. But if you follow this ultimate home inspection checklist before you buy, you will know what to look for during your investigation, and the process won’t be so overwhelming. The inspection period is very important for your safety and moving forward financially in a new home. So, don’t rush it and be as thorough as you can. Soon, you will have the home of your dreams that checks all your boxes.

The Ultimate Home Inspection Checklist Before You Buy

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