New home or not so new, it pays to know what to look for regarding its structure, equipment and surroundings. Though a final assessment can be made by an inspection service company, this checklist can serve as a reminder of what you should look for - in order to make a wise buying decision.
- Foundation. Check floors and walls for evidence of water seepage or moisture problems. Minor settling cracks not structurally significant.
- Drainage. Sump pump for foundation draining. Crawl space dry.
- Termite and wood rot. May require inspection from qualified exterminator for existing and potential problems.
- Floors. Condition of flooring, whether plank or plywood. Solid construction of bridging and joists.
- Walls. Condition of walls, whether drywall or plaster. Absence of water marks.
- Attic. Sufficiently insulated and ventilated.
- Fireplace. Damper in working order, flues to chimney clear.
- Heating. Type of plant...minor periodic maintenance required - oil fan motor, lubricate bearings, clean humidifier, replace filters, etc.
- Hot water system. Type and gallon capacity. How long present unit in service (if older home).
- Electrical. Standard house current, number of circuits, outlets and circuit breakers sufficient for everyday needs. Condition of wiring.
- Plumbing. Good water pressure throughout house. Tie-in to local water supply and sewage disposal system. Pipe joints clean and rustfree.
- Appliances and fixtures. Range, refrigerator, dishwasher/disposal, laundry facilities, etc. all in working order. Accommodation for gas grill hook-up. Bathroom and kitchen fixtures in good shape.
- Lot and landscaping. Grading level or properly contoured. Trees and shrubs sufficient for needs. Fences, walks, patio and driveway in good condition.
- Exterior walls. Type suitable to weather conditions, need for any periodic maintenance (painting).
- Doors and windows. Easy to open and close (or replace) for storm/screen removal or installation.
- Roof. Gutters and downspouts in good condition. If older home, how long have shingles been in use? (Normal 20-25 year life-span.) Chimney flashing tightly caulked.
- Garage. Doors or opener in good working order. Sufficient electrical and heating access.