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Home Buying Checklist: Essential Items for Your Home Inspection

When purchasing a home, a detailed inspection checklist is vital to assess the property thoroughly. It covers grounds, structure, exterior, interior, kitchen, and bathrooms. Hiring a qualified professional is essential for accurate evaluation of foundation, roof, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. Attending the inspection as a buyer helps in making informed decisions on repairs or negotiations with the seller. Structural elements to inspect Check in the foundation of a potential home To ensure the foundation of a potential home is in good condition, conduct a thorough inspection by examining the exterior for bulging walls, cracks wider than 1/8 inch, crumbling concrete, and water pooling. Internally, check for cracks, moisture, and signs of water damage like musty odors. Request information on past repairs and modifications affecting the foundation. For manufactured homes, ensure compliance with HUD standards through proper foundation inspections to ensure stability and lender requirements are met. Damaged roof signs during home inspection During a home inspection, several signs of a damaged roof include: �Clogged gutters: If the gutters are full of leaves, limbs, or pieces of shingles, it could indicate that the roof shingles are deteriorating and falling apart. �Sagging: A sagging roof deck is a sign of a bigger, underlying roof issue, such as too much weight on the roof or improper structural design. �Two layers of shingles: More than one layer of shingles adds more weight to the roof, which can lead to sagging and other problems. �Damaged shingles: The inspector will check for curled, cracked, or missing shingles, which are signs that a roof replacement is needed. �Weather damage: High winds, hail, heavy rains, and snowfall can cause damage to the roof, especially if the original homeowner doesn't address the damage promptly. �Moisture or leaks: Indoor moisture or leaks are a sign of roof damage, which can lead to mold growth and other health issues. �Algae growth: The presence of algae or moss on the roof shingles can indicate that water is collecting in a certain area, which could be a sign of a sagging roof or rotting underneath the shingles. How to identify problems with walls and ceilings in a home inspection To identify issues with walls and ceilings in a home inspection, you should pay attention to the following signs: �Cracks: Look for any cracks in the walls or ceilings, as they can indicate structural settling, foundation problems, or other issues with the house's structure. �Unevenness: Check for sloping or uneven floors, which can be signs of foundation problems or other structural issues that may require significant repairs. �Water Damage: Signs of water damage like water stains on walls or ceilings, damp insulation, or puddles of water can indicate a leak in the roof that needs prompt attention. �Quality of Interior Finishes: Assess the quality of interior finishes such as flooring, paint, and fixtures to gauge potential renovation or redecoration costs. Flooring issues should be looked for when inspecting a home When inspecting a home, you should look for the following flooring problems: �Water infiltration: Check for signs of water damage, such as cupping or crowning of the floorboards, which can be caused by excess moisture beneath the boards or a very dry environment above it. Also, look for buckling, peaking, or sagging floors, which can be indicative of moisture or water damage. �Moisture-related problems: Inspect for leaking wet areas in bathrooms, kitchens, and laundries, as well as site drainage issues. Check for mold, which can cause wood framing and subfloors to crumble. �Inadequate preparation/installation: Look for signs of improper installation, such as nail heads working loose, crooked boards, or vinyl flooring revealing imperfections in the subfloor. �Surface drainage issues: Ensure that the grading around the house slopes away from it to avoid water accumulation around the foundations. Poor surface drainage can overcharge the perimeter drain around the footing, leading to possible infiltrations. �Window well installation: Check that window wells are properly anchored to the foundation and sealed to avoid infiltrations from the sides. Poorly installed window wells can contribute to water infiltrations. �Subfloor separation: Squeaks, pops, and other noises as you walk across a floor can be a result of subfloor separation or improper tile or laminate installation. �Levelness of the floor: If the floor is covered in ceramic tiles, it should be level. Transitions from one surface to another should not present a hazard for tripping. Use a spherical object, such as a marble or golf ball, to check for a level floor. If the ball rolls, have your inspector find out why. �Maintenance issues: Look for signs of pet stains, spills, or other moisture damage in carpeting, and negotiate a price adjustment for any and all damages found. �Foundation issues: Inspectors may flag issues like misaligned or sticking doors and windows, as well as sagging or slanting floors, which could indicate a possible foundation issue. �Drainage spots outside: Check whether the water is flowing away from the foundation, basement, or crawl space. Improper gutters or those that are overflowing and not large enough for the home's roof can cause water to seep into cracks within the home. Summary When creating a home inspection checklist for buying a house, ensure to cover structural elements, roof condition, walls, ceilings, and flooring. Check for foundation issues like cracks and water pooling, roof problems such as clogged gutters and damaged shingles, and signs of damage in walls and ceilings. Inspect flooring for water infiltration, inadequate installation, drainage issues, subfloor separation, and maintenance concerns. Including these areas in your checklist helps identify potential issues and make informed decisions when purchasing a home.