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A home inspection checklist for buyers is helpful when scheduling and attending a home inspection as the critical step in home buying. Understanding what occurs during a home inspection beforehand will alleviate some stress. While we are not home inspectors, we are frequently called to review the inspection results with homeowners regarding crawl spaces, foundation damage, and sump pump solutions.

What is a home inspection?

According to Rocket Mortgage,

An important part of the home buying process, a home inspection is a non-invasive, visual examination of a home’s physical structure and systems. If an inspection unearths problems, you can negotiate with the seller to lower the home’s price or arrange for repairs before closing. You may even decide to cancel the sale if there’s a big problem with the home and you can’t negotiate a lower purchase price or otherwise reach an agreement with the seller. 

A home inspection usually takes place right after the seller accepts an offer from the buyer. Then, after both parties sign the purchase agreement, the home goes into escrow. This process happens before or in the same timeframe as the home appraisal.

What to look for in a home inspection

A professional home inspector conducts a real estate home inspection for buyers. The inspector’s objective is to review the home inside and out and look beyond finished basements and high-tech appliances. Inspectors can only report what they can see, not what is inside walls, behind furniture and pictures, or certain outside items such as sprinkler systems, pools, and landscaping.  Many include Wood Destroying Pest inspections and should be discussed with your realtor and inspector to be included if not suggested.

What does a home inspector do?

Sump pump repair and installation near me

A home inspector looks for and discloses the physical conditions of the home’s systems and components.  A home inspection is NOT a comprehensive architectural or engineering study of the house. The inspector will:

  • Provides a written contract, also known as a Pre-inspection Agreement, which describes the inspection process and any limitations.
  • Observes readily accessible and observable installed systems and components.
  • Reports on those systems and components that, in the inspector’s professional opinion, are significantly deficient or near the end of their service lives.
  • Reports on any systems and components, which were present at the time of the home inspection, but were not inspected, and provide a reason why they were not inspected.

Read more about the Role of a Home Inspector from New York State.

What is in a home inspection checklist for buyers?

Items on a home inspection checklist vary by state and locality and significantly differ when purchasing a lake or oceanside home. However, things to look for during a home inspection may include the following:

  • Exterior Inspection, including roof, gutters, decking, foundation, garage doors, and outdoor lighting.
  • Basements- furnace/heating and AC, water heater.
  • Interiors rooms and spaces, including fireplaces, windows, doors, and stairways.
  • Attic- soffits, insulation, electrical splices, exhaust ducts, and ventilation.
  • Bathrooms include plumbing, fixtures, exhaust, and leaks from faucets, sinks, showers, and toilets.
  • Kitchen- appliances, ventilation, exhaust, shut-off valves, all plumbing, including water and ice in refrigerators.
  • Plumbing and electrical throughout, including drains, vents and waste systems, electrical panel, and all HVAC-related items.
  • The inspection may include a Radon test and a Wood Destroying Pest inspection.

While this list is not comprehensive, it is meant to impart some knowledge and prepare you for the inspection. Inspections can take up to three hours based on the home’s age, size, and location.

New construction walk-through inspection checklist for buyers

You have patiently awaited this day- your new home is ready! The walkthrough inspection is often called a punch list or a blue tape walkthrough.  Rocket Mortgage suggests that, along with your realtor or inspector, you can inspect the house and mark off any items that need attention – that’s where the blue tape comes in. Then, all the tagged parts of the home create a “punch list,” or “punch-out list,” for the builder to correct.

A blue tape walkthrough helps you and your builder identify big and small problems. That way, you can address any issues before you move in. Some may be a higher priority or need more work than others. But, left untreated, major damage may pose a real risk to the integrity of the home and any other residents’ safety.

What do you do after the home inspection?

After the inspection, your home inspector will prepare the results for you and your realtor to review and determine the next steps. Depending on the outcome, you may wish to rescind your offer or negotiate with the seller to remedy some of the items on the inspection.

With over 40 years of experience working with foundations and crawlspaces, we will determine what happened, stop it from happening again, and deliver a quote to you so that you can make the best decision.

Flooded, bowing, and damp basements can indicate more severe problems. We give our word that we will work to uncover the issue and inform you of the repair or replacement options. We never sell you services you do not need or want.  Forty years of quality service and happy customers tell us we are doing it right. Contact us to discuss your recent home inspection, and let’s see what we can do so you can purchase your dream home.

Aardvark Basement Proz LLC




Resources: Bankrate.com, Rocket Mortgage