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What Is A Home Inspection Checklist?

What Is A Home Inspection Checklist?

Mortgage companies and home buyers will often require a home inspection prior to closing a property sale to ensure it is in good condition. This is to prevent unexpected expenses from cropping up after closing such as having to replace a roof or repair a foundation. In order to ensure all items are covered during the home inspection, a certified and licensed home inspector will use a checklist covering both interior and exterior items and any areas of concern. The checklist can be fairly extensive and it is important the home inspector uses an industry-standard checklist to ensure proper coverage.

Even something as simple as a driveway will have extensive options and data provided so the prospective home buyer has all relevant information. Is the driveway concrete, asphalt, gravel or pavers? Is there significant damage resulting from weather, heavy machinery or basic wear and tear? If it is a concrete driveway, is there excessive or large cracking, crumbling and deterioration or staining and other discoloration? Keep in mind this is just the driveway. A proper home inspection checklist will have detailed questions and options for all areas of the home from top to bottom, inside and out.

The home inspection checklist will consist of 20 to 30 pages of detailed questions and areas to write observations when conducting the inspection. If the checklist is only a few pages long that should be an immediate red flag because not much information or insight can be provided in such a short document. The last thing a potential home buyer should see on a home inspection checklist is "driveway condition - good" or "roof protection - asphalt shingles". If the information provided is something that can be easily observable by the average home buyer, home seller or agent, then it isn't thorough enough.

Home inspection checklist examples can be found online by conducting a search or visiting home builder websites. Sample checklists can be a good starting point to provide relevant parties with valuable insight about what the checklist should contain. There might be slight variations but the basics should always be covered such as electrical, plumbing, flooring, roof and foundation. Consider a home inspection checklist to be comparable to detailing an automobile. There should be an excessive amount of minute details covering everything you never thought of and more. Since the home inspection should take no less than 2 to 3 hours, it's safe to say the checklist should reflect the amount of work involved. From mild wood rot on a porch post to a leaky faucet in a rarely used upstairs bathroom, no detail should be left out of a properly filled out home inspection checklist.

Many consumers when purchasing a product or service are often concerned with the price instead of the quality. Like any other service, a home inspection will be reflective of the saying you get what you pay for. If a cut-rate home inspector is conducting home inspections for half of what the standard industry rate is then it's best to move on. A home inspection checklist is an invaluable document for prospective home buyers as it provides a roadmap of everything that is questionable or needs fixing. It should be addressed during negotiations and referenced once the home buyer moves in. The best way to protect yourself as a consumer is to ask questions and be as informed as possible to make sure the individuals you hire do a proper job and protect your interests.

Image by: Daniel Kulinski