Home-Buying Checklist: 15 Things To Inspect When Visiting A House For Sale

In the hunt for the perfect abode, it’s easy to get swept away by the home’s charming features, price, and location. Some homeowners, however, often overlook the little yet significant details that could make or break their home ownership. 

Remember: You’re putting a huge chunk of your income on your home purchase, so you’d want to make sure your home meets your lifestyle needs. 

If you’re visiting a potential home, here are 15 commonly ignored home features you should inspect. 

1. Home inspection fundamentals

Does the property have a solid foundation? How about proper wiring? Have you checked the plumbing and heating and cooling systems? It’s not enough that your home’s interior design looks taken straight out of a magazine – it should be sturdy and functional. 

There are seven categories to prioritize: foundation, structure, electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling systems, interior, and exterior. Major issues on these features are considered as home buying red flags, as major repairs can break your bank. 

If you’re unsure which ones to check, you can hire a professional inspector to do the daunting tasks for you. Inspectors keep a comprehensive checklist. 

2. Interior layout and flow

Imagine your daily routine and try walking through rooms. 

Can you move with ease from indoor to outdoor living areas? How about traveling from the kitchen to the dining area? Can you walk from point A to B without bumping into furniture pieces or sharp corners? Are the passages easy to navigate? An easy, natural flow from one room to another should be a major consideration. 

3. Amount of natural light 

While the amount of natural light should be one of the most important aspects of your home, it’s also one of the most commonly overlooked. After listing down your “top contenders”, make sure to revisit them at a different time of the day. See how the natural light works in the home. No one wants to live in a dark, cave-like home, right? 

4. Window size and placement

Speaking of natural light, you might want to pay more attention to the windows of the property. Are the sizes sufficient? Are they placed in ways that could maximize the light entering your abode? Look for a home with enough, well-placed windows. While you can always add and revamp the windows, they can be pricey. 

5. Ventilation

Does every room in the property receive sufficient airflow or there’s a room or two that make you feel suffocated? Does the house smell? Are the heating and cooling systems working properly? 

6. Flooring 

This is another expensive renovation you might have should you settle for a home with a faulty flooring. See if there will be any damaged or stained flooring urgently needed to be replaced. 

7. Size of the rooms 

Envision yourself living in that property. Think about the furniture pieces, appliances, and other personal items you’ll be placing. Are the rooms too big or too small for your lifestyle? 

8. The number of bathrooms

If your family consists of more than two members, you’ll probably need more than one toilet and bath. Just imagine the chaos of five family members, all rushing for school and work at 7 am and pressuring whoever’s inside the only bathroom in the house. Since adding a bathroom isn’t cheap, find a home that offers ample bathrooms your household needs. 

9. Strange odors 

Are there any strange odors coming from the inside of the home? Odors might be warning signals to a bigger existing problem. You might have a problem with mold, sewage, burnt electrical equipment, dead animal stuck in the plumbing or duct system, or a gas leak. 

Aside from asking your property buyers agent about the history of the house, it’s a smart move to hire inspectors to assess the problem. 

10. Architectural details

Get the most out of your mortgage by finding a home with great architectural details. Exposed beams, intricate molding, trim, and mantels, high ceilings, elaborate staircases, and other beautiful architectural details can set your home apart from other cookie-cutter properties. 

11. Appliances

Are the appliances included in the rate? Don’t rejoice yet – make sure they’re working well and they’re energy-efficient. 

12. Kitchen features 

The kitchen is the heart of the home. This is where you’ll be cooking meals that gather people together. That said, it’s a must to consider the size, shape or layout, the number of storage units, and the amount of natural light entering the space, and see if these features meet your cooking needs. 

13. Utility bills

Whether it’s from the previous owner or anybody from the neighborhood, it would be a smart move to see the water, electricity, and other monthly bills. The amount may vary based on the location, so check to know what to expect. 

14. Street parking and driveway width

Are you planning to purchase a smaller house that doesn’t have ample space for a garage? See how wide the driveways are and ask whether or not you can park on the street. Some towns, cities, and villages have strict rules and regulations regarding street parking. 

15. Neighborhood 

Consider all the aspects of your potential new neighborhood. See if there are school districts. Look into public transportation systems available to get in and out of your neighborhood. Check the home’s proximity to work, supermarkets, restaurants, and other major commercial areas. It’s also important to look into how walkable or bikeable your neighborhood is.

Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is a resident writer for Bridge to Bricks Property Buyer’s Agent, a leading property buyer’s agent in Sydney. Her fondness for architecture, interior design, and real estate makes it easy for her to write inspiring pieces of content.