Appraisers & Home InspectorsConsumer Guides

Personal Home Inspections

The purpose of your personal inspection is only to eliminate those properties from consideration that have too many obvious deficiencies. It is not designed to take the place of a professional house inspection. If a house passes your initial “tests” (location, wants and needs, etc.) you will probably want to schedule a second showing where you can spend an hour or so doing an inspection of the house.

What to look for:

Foundation – Are there obvious cracks? Any apparent shifts in the foundation?

Roof – Does it appear new, old, or of an indeterminate age? What is the overall condition?

Evidence of leaks – Check inside as well as outside. Check all ceilings and areas around windows.

Basement or crawlspace – Is there dampness? Is there adequate insulation?

Attic – How does the interior of the roof structure look?

Quality and workmanship – In general and in any additions

Apparent energy efficiency – Does the house appear tightly sealed?

Electrical – Any obvious malfunctions?

Plumbing – Any unusual noises or malfunctions?

Appliance condition – What is the age and condition of the stove, dishwasher, refrigerator (if included), etc.?

Heating/cooling system – Does it seem to do the job heating or cooling?

Exterior – Is the house going to need repairs or paint soon?

Lot – Does the drainage appear good—and away from the house?

Lot – Are there any trees encroaching on the roof or foundation?

This article courtesy of The Home Buyer’s Information Center, a complete guide to buying a home. 2002

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