Copyright 2006 - 2014
As a consumer, even is the product is something big, like a house, you should go into the buying process armed with some knowledge and some checklist of things that you will be look at or for. You likely already have a list in your head, or on paper, of the features that you want in the home - the number of bedrooms, the kitchen size and layout, garage size, lot size, etc. I’ve posted a Home Buyers Checklist that may be useful for making neighborhood comparisons for multiple homes. Download that and use it when you go out to do drive-by’s or visits.
What most buyers don’t go armed with is a list of things that you should look at and evaluate about the houses that you see that will have impact on its value or on the amount of money that you may put into it later - items that likely would turn up in an inspection if you make an offer.
You can get ahead of the game by using the Home inspection Checklist that I’ve posted at the end of this link. This checklist is not meant to substitute for a professional home inspection. You should still have that done on any house that you make a successful offer on . What this checklist will do is to give you a list of things to look for or check out as you are visiting homes. If you see lots of things on this list that need immediate attention, then you need to think a bit longer about the house and the number of projects and costs that you mat be taking upon yourself. These items are all things that you should be able to visually inspect, without having to take anything apart or open op any of the things that a professional might get into and which might be dangerous for a layperson to try.
If you’re a home seller, this Home Inspection Checklist might help you identify things that you could attend to yourself that would make you home more attractive to buyers and avoid home inspection issues later, after you’ve already got an offer in hand. At the very least, if you use the checklist to identify any major issues, like the roof needs replacing or the carpets will need to be replaced; so that you can at least get estimates for those jobs and will be in a better position to negotiate any concessions that you may have to offer. I generally recommend to home sellers that they get a professional home inspection up front, in order to identify any hidden issues - mold, furnace problems, recalls of building materials used in the house. It’s well worth the $300 or so to be an informed seller and to be ready to deal with any issues.