"Home Inspection Checklist Template for Buyers"

What Is a Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers?

When you are in the process of purchasing a home, you will want to conduct a thorough examination of the house and property using a Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers.

Alternate Name:

  • Home Inspection Walk Through Checklist for Buyers.

This checklist should be performed by a licensed inspector to ensure that the home is properly checked for damage and other issues. A Printable Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers can be downloaded below.

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Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers - What to Include?

  1. The inspector will check the exterior of the home and surrounding property for the following:
    • Any cracks or issues with the foundation and to make sure no walls are sagging or damaged;
    • The roof is well-maintained without holes, missing or damaged tiles, and the gutters are functional. Additionally, the roof should not be sagging in any areas;
    • If the home has a fireplace, the top of the chimney should have a cap, and the structure of the chimney should be in good standing;
    • There is no standing or pooling water near the home that could indicate poor drainage or plumbing issues underground;
    • Any greenery such as trees and shrubs are well maintained around the exterior of the home and are not touching phone or power lines;
    • All sidewalks, driveways, and entrances should be walkable without major damage or cracks;
    • Any wood fencing or paneling is free from rot or termite damage.
  2. The interior of the house will be checked for the following:
    • All electrical work such as lighting, outlets, and switches are properly functioning without sparks or exposed wires;
    • The attic, bathrooms, and basement should be checked for dampness and signs of mold or rotten spots;
    • Plumbing and water pressure will be checked for consistency and to ensure water drains easily. Fixtures will also be checked to make sure hot and cold signals are paired correctly with the plumbing;
    • The sewer line will also be checked for cracks or possible obstructions;
    • Any appliances that come with the purchase of the home will be checked that they are functional, can maintain even temperatures (for items like the oven or refrigerator), and any signs of damage are noted;
    • The home's heating and cooling systems are working correctly and ventilation is available in every room in the home;
    • Strange odors, such as those coming from sewage issues, mold or mildew, and gas leaks will be checked for and whether they will need to be fixed before or after the purchase is complete.
  3. A final notes section for the inspector to include areas that they found of concern during the inspection and their recommendation for repairs. It will then be up to the buyer and seller to discuss what items each side will be willing to pay for before the sale will be complete.
  4. At the end of the Inspection Checklist for Home Buyers, the inspector and buyer will sign and date the document. You will want to retain a copy of this checklist for your records.

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Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers
Use a checklist like this to make sure that you are looking at all parts of the house. Check off
the items that are in good condition and make notes about those that are not. This checklist
should not be relied upon as a home inspection report, nor should it be considered a
substitute for a home inspection.
1. Grounds.
Proper grading drainage
Driveways, sidewalks, patios,
away from the house
entrance landings in good
condition, and pitched away from
No evidence of standing
the structure
water
No branches or bushes touching the
No leaks from septic tank or
house or overhanging the roof
leach field
Exterior structures in good
Yard, landscaping, trees, and
condition, no evidence of termite
walkways in good condition
damage or rotted wood
Railings on stairs and decks
Downspout drainage directed away
are adequate and secure
from the structure
2. Structure.
Ridge and fascia board lines
Sides of the house appear straight,
appear straight and level
not bowed or sagging
Window and door frames
Visible foundation in good
appear square (especially
condition - appears straight, plumb,
bowed windows)
with no significant cracks
3. Exterior Surfaces.
Masonry veneers: no cracks
Adequate clearance between ground
in joints, no broken, spalling,
and wood siding materials (6"
or flaking components
minimum)
No stains on exterior
Siding: no cracking, curling, loose,
surfaces
rot, or decay
©
TEMPLATEROLLER.COM
Home Inspection Checklist for Buyers
Use a checklist like this to make sure that you are looking at all parts of the house. Check off
the items that are in good condition and make notes about those that are not. This checklist
should not be relied upon as a home inspection report, nor should it be considered a
substitute for a home inspection.
1. Grounds.
Proper grading drainage
Driveways, sidewalks, patios,
away from the house
entrance landings in good
condition, and pitched away from
No evidence of standing
the structure
water
No branches or bushes touching the
No leaks from septic tank or
house or overhanging the roof
leach field
Exterior structures in good
Yard, landscaping, trees, and
condition, no evidence of termite
walkways in good condition
damage or rotted wood
Railings on stairs and decks
Downspout drainage directed away
are adequate and secure
from the structure
2. Structure.
Ridge and fascia board lines
Sides of the house appear straight,
appear straight and level
not bowed or sagging
Window and door frames
Visible foundation in good
appear square (especially
condition - appears straight, plumb,
bowed windows)
with no significant cracks
3. Exterior Surfaces.
Masonry veneers: no cracks
Adequate clearance between ground
in joints, no broken, spalling,
and wood siding materials (6"
or flaking components
minimum)
No stains on exterior
Siding: no cracking, curling, loose,
surfaces
rot, or decay
©
TEMPLATEROLLER.COM
No vines on the surface of
Stucco: no large cracks (discuss all
the structure
stucco cracks with a professional
inspector)
Vinyl or aluminum siding:
no dents, damage, no bowing
Exterior paint or stain: no flaking or
or lose siding
blisters
4. Windows, Doors, and Wood Trim.
Wood frames and trim pieces
Storm windows or thermal glass
are secure, no cracks, rot, or
used
decay
No broken glass (window or storm
Joints around frames are
panes) or damaged screens, no
caulked
broken double-paned, insulated
window seals
Muntin and mullion glazing
compound in good condition
Drip caps installed over windows
5. Roof.
Composition shingles: no
Chimneys: straight, properly
curling, no cupping, no loss
flashed, no evidence of damaged
of granulation particulate, no
bricks or cracked joints,
broken, damaged, or missing
mortar/cement cap in good
shingles, no more than two
condition
layers of roofing
Flat roofs: no obvious patches, no
Flashing around roof
cracks or splits, minimal blisters
penetrations
(alligatoring) and wrinkles, no silt
deposits, sealed tar at flashings
Exterior venting for eave
Wood shingles or shakes: no mold,
areas: vents are clean and not
painted over
rot, or decay, no
cracked/broken/missing shingles,
Gutters: no decay or rust,
no curling
joints sealed, attached
securely to structure, no
No evidence of excess roofing
bending or sagging, no
cement, tar, or caulk
sections of gutter or
Soffits and fascia: no decay, no
downspout missing, gutters
stains
clean, no mud deposits
©
TEMPLATEROLLER.COM
6. Attic.
No plumbing, exhaust, or
Adequate ventilation, clear path
appliance vents terminating
into the attic for air entering
in the attic
through soffit vents, adequately
sized gable end louvers, all
No evidence of decay or
mechanical ventilation operational
damage to the structure
No stains on the underside of
Sufficient and properly
roofing, especially around roof
installed insulation (moisture
penetrations
barrier installed closest to
the heated area of the house)
No open electrical splices
7. Interior Rooms.
Electrical outlets test properly (spot
Adequate number of three-pronged
check)
electrical outlets in each room
Floors, walls, and ceilings appear
Fireplace: no cracking or damaged
straight and plumb and level
masonry, no evidence of
back-drafting (staining on fireplace
No stains on floors, walls, or
facade), damper operates properly,
ceilings
the flue has been cleaned and lined
Flooring materials in good
Heating/cooling source in each
condition
habitable room sashes painted shut,
no decay; windows and doors have
No significant cracks in walls or
weather-stripping, "weep holes"
ceilings
installed
Paint, wall covering, and paneling
Windows and exterior doors operate
in good condition
easily and latch properly, no broken
Evidence of adequate insulation in
glass, no sashes painted shut, no
walls
decay; windows and doors have
weather-stripping, "weep holes"
Wood trim installed well and in
installed
good condition
Lights and switches operate
Interior doors operate easily and
properly
latch properly, no damage or decay,
no broken hardware
©
TEMPLATEROLLER.COM
8. Kitchen.
Working exhaust fan that is
No excessive rust or deterioration
vented to the exterior of the
on garbage disposal or waste pipes
building
Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter
Water flow in sink adequate
("GFCI") protection for electrical
outlets within 6 feet of the sink(s)
Built-in appliances operate
properly
Dishwasher: drains properly, no
leaks, baskets, door spring operates
Built-in appliances operate
properly
properly
No leaks in pipes under sinks
Cabinets in good condition:
doors and drawers operate
The floor in the cabinet under the
properly
sink is solid, with no stains or decay
9. Bathrooms.
Working exhaust fan that
Toilet stable, no rocking, no stains
doesn't terminate in the attic
around the base
space
Caulking in good condition inside
Adequate flow and pressure
and outside of the tub and shower
at all fixtures
area
Plumbing and cabinet floor
Tub or shower tiles secure, wall
under the sink in good
surface solid
condition
No stains or evidence of past
If the sink is metal, it shows
leaking around base of bath or
no signs of rust, overflow
shower
drain doesn't leak
Sink, tub, and shower drain
Toilet operates properly
properly
10. Miscellaneous.
Smoke and carbon monoxide
Automatic garage door opener
detectors (where required by
operates properly, stops properly for
local ordinances)
obstacles
©
TEMPLATEROLLER.COM
Stair handrails where needed
and in good condition
11. Basement or Mechanical Room.
No evidence of moisture in
Visible structural wood: no sagging,
the basement
no damage, no decay, no stains, no
damage from insects, sills attached
Exposed foundation; no
to the foundation with anchor bolts
stains no major cracks, no
flaking, no efflorescence
Insulation at rim and band joist
12. Crawl Space.
Insulation between crawl
No evidence of insect damage
space and heated areas,
Insulation on exposed water supply,
installed with vapor barrier
waste, and vent pipes
towards the heated area
No evidence of moisture damage
Adequately vented to
exterior
13. Plumbing
Galvanized pipes do not
Visible pipes: no damage, no
restrict water flow
evidence of leaks, no signs of stains
on materials near pipes; drain pipes
Well water test is acceptable
slope slightly down towards outlet
to septic/sewage system
Water pump: does not short
cycle
Water heater: no rust, vented
properly, sized to produce adequate
Hot water temperature
quantities of hot water for the
between 118 and 125
number of bedrooms in the house
degrees Fahrenheit
14. Electrical.
Wiring in good condition,
Service panel: adequate capacity, all
cables secured and protected
cables attached to the panel with
cable connectors; all fuses and
No aluminum cable for
breakers are not overheating
branch circuits
©
TEMPLATEROLLER.COM
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