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New Home Inspection Checklist

Inspection list for new home

Buying a new home is such an exciting time in your life, whether it’s your first time or you’re finally investing in your dream home. There are a lot of things that land on your to-do list after you purchase a home, like inspections. Dealing with all these tasks can be overwhelming, and it’s a great reason to hire a realtor, as they can help navigate you through the process. Here’s what you should look for when having your home inspected.

Finding the right inspector

Hiring any professional to take care of something in your home can require a bit of research. Your realtor may be able to recommend someone they know and trust, and you may be interested in hiring them. If you’re starting from scratch, check out reviews, call and ask questions, and get quotes from multiple companies. Make sure they can provide credentials and have been in business for a while.

Inspection day

Your agent, the seller’s agent, and yourself will be present during the inspection, and it can take half a day, if not longer. You don’t want to rush this process, and you want the inspector to be thorough. Pay close attention to what they’re doing, and feel free to follow them through the house. A reputable inspector will welcome you to watch what they’re doing and may even provide tips and tricks for maintenance for your new home.

A basic checklist

Here’s what an essential inspection checklist might look like when reviewing a home.

Exterior:

  • Foundation
  • Roof, gutters and spouts
  • Structure of the home including the exterior material
  • Garage and driveway
  • Sidewalks
  • Patios, balcony, and any exterior stairs

Interior:

  • The attic
  • HVAC unit and thermostat
  • Ventilation
  • Waterheater
  • Electric
  • Electrical panel
  • Lighting and light switches
  • Power outlets
  • All appliances
  • Windows and doors
  • Walls and ceilings, checking for stains or leaks
  • Plumbing including faucets and toilets
  • Flooring
  • Stairs
  • Railings
  • Basement
  • Any odours

What’s not inspected?

Typically, a home inspection will not include checking for or dealing with rodents, termites and carpenter ants, or any airborne hazards. Inspectors won’t check on the landscaping, either. The low-wattage electrical systems in the home, like alarm systems and phone lines, won’t be inspected, as well as areas that they can’t reach or aren’t easily accessible.

Things to note

Who pays?

Typically, you, as the home buyer, will be responsible for paying for the inspection. The cost depends on the size of the home but can range from around $300 - $500 in the US and around R2000-4000 in South Africa. You should always get a quote from several inspectors to compare prices and make sure you’re not overpaying.

What do you do next?

Now that your inspection is completed, what do you do? If there are minor cosmetic issues with the home that could be easily fixed, you will be able to proceed with the home buying process. You can take care of those issues on your own or hire someone to come in to repair them. You may not be worried about them because you’re planning on changing the space anyways.

If your inspection reveals some serious issues with your home, you will need to consider whether or not you want to proceed with the purchase. If there is structural damage, airborne hazards, or something serious, you may want to back out.

You have the option of requesting quotes from local contractors to see how much they would charge to repair any damages, and if you’re willing to pay the price, you can proceed.

These reasons are why it’s crucial to have a contingency in your offer based on the inspection, which is pretty standard. Still, if it happens to be excluded, you could be on the hook for the purchase regardless of the state of the home.

You are protecting your most valuable asset by hiring a professional inspector that is qualified and experienced. However, keep in mind there is always room for human error.

Perfection is out of reach

You may have an excellent home inspection, but once you move in and spend time in the home, you notice some issues. If it’s obvious that shouldn’t have been missed, you can contact them to see what they will do to amend that mistake, if it’s a crucial problem.

If you happen to move in and three months later, your furnace breaks, well, that’s just part of being a homeowner.

Parting advice

The best advice is to do your research, pay close attention during the inspection, ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable with the process, and bask in the joy that is your new home!

Sources

  • https://www.zillow.com/home-buying-guide/home-inspection-checklist/
  • https://www.bankrate.com/real-estate/home-inspection-checklist/
  • https://www.homelight.com/blog/home-inspection-checklist/
  • https://www.curbed.com/2016/6/21/11925150/home-inspections-questions-checklist
  • https://vocal.media/lifehack/home-inspection-checklist-for-buyers

About the author

Elizabeth La Riva, (R) ABR, E-Pro, MRP a native of Lima, Peru, and speaks fluent English and Spanish. She is an agent at Oahu Military Real Estate, serving the area of Oahu, Hawaii. In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering and giving back to the community!

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Recommended reading

If you enjoyed this post and have time to spare, why not check out these related posts and dive deeper down the rabbit hole that is homeownership.

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