The goal of a home inspections is to thoroughly inspect so you know what you are getting yourself into and can make an informed decision before placing an offer

In our local real estate market no property is perfect, regardless of age. Even new luxury condos can have material flaws that can only be identified by a seasoned professional inspector. The goal of a home inspection is to throughly examine the home so you can make an informed decision before placing an offer. The following is a summary of all the items addressed in a typical home inspection.


The first item on a home inspection checklist is typically the structural components inside the house. Many areas included are the basement, interior foundation, floors, ceilings, walls, roof structure and attic.


Inspection of the home’s exterior includes scrutiny of roof components, guttering, soffits and eaves, exterior windows and doors, decks, patios and wall cladding, trim and flashing. Garage door openers are also inspected, as well as the grading of the ground to ensure proper drainage away from the home.


Electrical, plumbing and HVAC areas include electrical wiring, outlets and light switches. Drains for water and waste, sump pump, water source and distribution, hot water system and the main water shutoff are scrutinized. Chimneys and flues and the gas source, vents and lines are all inspected.


Home inspectors scrutinize the interior of the home for anomalies and necessary repairs. Ceilings, floors, walls and stairways are inspected. Railings, steps and balconies are included in the checklist. Windows, doors and locks are checked for proper functioning and stability. Signs of water damage may indicate the harmful presence of bacteria or mold.


The kitchen and bathroom typically require some kind of ventilation. Home inspectors scrutinize for the presence and proper placement of ventilation and the adequate and safe functioning of it. They also check for adequate ventilation in the attic, crawl space and subfloor areas. The basement is scrutinized for insulation and, in appropriate regions of the country, inspectors note the presence, placement and condition of vapor barriers.


  • Siding: Look for dents or buckling.
  • Foundations: Look for cracks or water seepage.
  • Exterior Brick: Look for cracked bricks or mortar pulling away from bricks.
  • Insulation: Look for condition, adequate rating for climate.
  • Doors and Windows: Look for loose or tight fits, condition of locks, condition of weather-stripping.
  • Roof: Look for age, conditions of flashing, pooling water, buckled shingles, or loose gutters and downspouts.
  • Ceilings, walls, and moldings: Look for loose pieces, drywall that is pulling away.
  • Porch/Deck: Loose railings or step, rot.
  • Electrical: Look for condition of fuse box/circuit breakers, number of outlets in each room.
  • Plumbing: Look for poor water pressure, banging pipes, rust spots or corrosion that indicate leaks, sufficient insulation.
  • Water Heater: Look for age, size adequate for house, speed of recovery, energy rating.
  • Furnace/Air Conditioning: Look for age, energy rating; Furnaces are rated by annual fuel utilization efficiency; the higher the rating, the lower your fuel costs. However, other factors such as payback period and other operating costs, such as electricity to operate motors.
  • Garage: Look for exterior in good repair; condition of floor—cracks, stains, etc.; condition of door mechanism.
  • Basement: Look for water leakage, musty smell.
  • Attic: Look for adequate ventilation, water leaks from roof.
  • Septic Tanks (if applicable): Adequate absorption field capacity for the percolation rate in your area and the size of your family.
  • Driveways/Sidewalks: Look for cracks, heaving pavement, crumbling near edges, stains.
  • And, they should answer your questions so you feel confident and informed about the home you are buying!