The First Time Home Buyer's Home Inspection Checklist

The First Time Home Buyer’s Home Inspection Checklist

Real Estate

Did you know that buying a house can become stressful? To lower the stress, get a home inspector. If you want a home inspection checklist for buyers, we can help.

In this guide, we’ll go over what to look for in a home inspection. This way, when you shop for a house, you’ll find a safe and secure spot.

Want to learn more? Keep reading.

Inspect the Kitchen

In the kitchen, you’ll want to examine the sinks, countertops, and cupboard doors for damage. Check that the range hood exhaust fan works well.

Next, look at the pipes below the sink and see if there are any leaks. See that the sink water flow works well.

Inspect the Walls, Ceilings, and Floors

Next, walk around each room to look at the walls, floors, and ceilings. Look for water spots, damage, and cracks. Walk across the floors and listen for squeaking and look out for any unevenness.


Check the faucet water pressure and flow. Check that the tub, shower, and sink drain well and that the toilet functions correctly. Look for loose or cracked bathroom tiles.

Make sure the plumbing below the sink is in good condition. Inspect the cabinets for damage or leak stains.

Doors and Windows

Next, you’ll want to walk around to check out the doors and windows. Make sure every one of them can open and close well.

Look for broken glass, cracked windows, or damaged screens. Was there any weather-stripping damage?

Do any of the windows or doors seem misaligned? Look for moisture around the frames or between the panes.

Don’t Forget the Basement and Attic

Is the basement or attic unfinished? What kind of insulation’s used?

Look for stains and large cracks in the exposed foundation. Are there any water leaks on the floor or ceiling? Look for any damage or decay in the structural wood.

In the attic, you’ll want to look out for water or structural damage.


For the plumbing, you’ll want to look out for leaking or damaged pipes. Make sure there isn’t any rust on the water heater. Look for all the water shut-off valves.

To prevent frozen pipes in the winter, make sure to close inside valves that supply the outside hose bibs.

The Exterior of the Home

When inspecting the driveway, look for uneven portions or cracks in the driveway. Is there any standing water?

Look for any cracks or decay in the house siding. Are there stains or paint flaking on the exterior surface of the house?

Do the downspouts and gutters drain away from the house? Make sure the siding is in good repair.

You’ll want to examine the roof with care. Make sure you check for cracks, curling, or rot on the shingles. Are there missing or broken shingles? Make sure the chimney and gutters are in decent condition.

Look for any dark spots, stains, or moss. Find out when the roof got replaced last.

Garage and Foundation

If there’s a garage, make sure the automatic garage door works well.

Is the outside foundation in decent condition? Look for cracks or an unstable foundation. You’ll also want to see if there are trees near the foundation.

Check the ground near the foundation. See if it’s squishy, soggy, or sunken.

Cooling and Heating Systems

Are there any systems in place, and do they still work? Look for a manufacturing date or serial number to understand the age of the system. Has there been a replacement? Or is the old system still in place?

If the home got converted from oil to propane, determine if an oil tank is still on the property.


Check to see if the outlets are grounded and if the light switches work. If you see any two-prong outlets, you’ll know that those aren’t grounded.

Look around to see if the home has an older electrical panel with fuses. Do you notice a new one with circuit breakers? Outdated wiring is a hazard and a hassle to upgrade.

Check the Appliances

Make sure you inspect the significant appliances in the house. Check that the refrigerator, washer, dryer, and oven still work. What’s their condition? Are they new, or will you need to replace them soon?

Components That Get Left Out

An inspector won’t examine the swimming pool, lawn sprinklers, or the landscaping.

They won’t check out the floors covered by carpeting or look for pests like carpenter ants or pests. Some inspectors might note if they see any of these.

A refund is the most you’ll get if they made a mistake. If a problem is expensive to fix, you’ll need to get a lawyer. The lawyer could end up filing a lawsuit against the inspector or work out a settlement.

Inspectors will only report what they see. They can’t note what’s behind the seller’s furniture, buried underground, or behind the walls.

The inspector will enter and examine the foundation if the crawl space is accessible.

If the house is full of furniture, the inspector won’t be able to inspect as much. If it’s vacant, it will be much easier.

Did you find the perfect home? Learn how to choose a home inspector.

Now You Have a Home Inspection Checklist

We hope this guide on a home inspection was helpful. Now that you have a home inspection checklist feel at ease. Work with an inspector to find your dream home.

Browse our other helpful resources on home, real estate, and more.

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