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Home Inspection Checklist And Common Mistakes To Avoid

Home Inspection Checklist And Common Mistakes To Avoid

Planning on buying a home in the Kansas City Northland area? In the process of acquisition? Check out this home inspection checklist and common mistakes you should avoid.  home inspection checklist

Not every home sale goes through. In fact, one in every 20 sales contracts gets cut short before closing. Why?
About one-third of all terminated real estate contracts occur after the home inspection results come in. After all, you don’t want to buy a home with major, costly issues.
Instead, it’s important to have a home inspection checklist on hand. That way, you can complete a thorough review of your new home before you move in. Not sure what to look for?
Keep reading for your complete home inspection checklist!

We’ve also included a few mistakes you’ll want to avoid throughout the process. With this guide, you can find your new home and have peace of mind.
Get started with these tips!

Home Inspection Checklist

Try to prepare yourself before the actual inspection day. You’ll likely want to explore areas of the house on your own before the inspector arrives.

Make sure these items are a part of your home inspection checklist:

  • Foundation
  • Roof
  • Attic space
  • Exterior stucco or paint
  • Rain gutters and downspouts
  • Electrical panel
  • Light switches and power outlets
  • HVAC system
  • Plumbing fixtures, faucets, and water heater
  • Appliances
  • Walls, ceilings, and floors
  • Doors and windows
  • Stairs and front steps
  • Porches and balconies
  • Basement
  • Garage
  • Walkways
  • Driveways

Your inspection will likely take a few hours. Make sure you’re present. Take the time to ask questions, write down notes, and take photographs as well.
If there’s anything that concerns you, take the time to ask during the home inspection. Try to find out as much as possible about the home’s condition during this time. That way, you can avoid future issues (and costs) down the road.
Here’s an in-depth look at some of the home inspection checklist items you’ll need to consider:


You’ll want to make sure the structure of your home doesn’t sag or lean. Other issues that might impact the home’s structure include:

  • Visible cracks in the basement walls
  • Cracks around door frames or windows
  • Floors that are uneven or bouncy
  • Gaps between your walls, floors, window frames, or door frames
  • Nails that pop out of the walls
  • Cracks in the stonework or bricks
  • An uneven front porch or stairs
  • A cracked or leaning chimney

Next, take a look at the roof.


When completing a new home inspection of your roof, you’ll want to make sure your shingles aren’t worn down. Instead, they should still have some texture.
Make sure there aren’t any missing or buckled shingles as well. Don’t forget to check the attic and ceiling for moisture, which could indicate mold issues.


Electrical issues can lead to dangerous consequences. When studying the home’s electrical system, make sure to look for:

  • Exposed wiring or splices
  • Aluminum wiring
  • Undergrounded three-prong plugs
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter protection
  • Painted outlets


No one wants to live in a home with plumbing issues. When examining the plumbing, make sure there’s:

  • Adequate water flow
  • No signs of mold
  • No evidence of leaks
  • No broken or rusty pipes
  • Proper drainage for the sinks, tubs, and showers
  • Properly operating toilets

Make sure the thermostat is working properly as well. You’ll also want to verify that your water heater is clear of sediment build-up.


You’ll want to review the HVAC system during the spring and fall seasons. That way, you can make sure your HVAC unit is working properly before harsher months. Here are a few HVAC concerns to keep an eye out for during your new home inspection:

Dirty air filters
Rusty units
Combustion gas orders
Open seams in the flues to the chimney connection
Cracked ductwork
Asbestos on heating pipes, water pipes, or air ducts
Getting your HVAC unit checked regularly will ensure energy efficiency.

The scope of your home inspection can sometimes vary. However, most inspectors are primarily concerned about your home’s physical components. There are a few items they won’t include on your home inspection checklist, including:

  • Trees and landscaping
  • Lawn sprinklers
  • Swimming pool equipment
  • Sewer lines
  • Drainage
  • Odors
  • Fireplace
  • Internet service
  • Carpets
  • Pests and rodents

If you’re moving into a new home, you might want to inspect these items on your own:


Take the time to budget for additional examinations. If the inspector notices a problem, you’ll need time to fix the issue. Then, you’ll want the inspector to return to verify the problem was rectified.
For example, you might have problems that require additional investigation for an expert. If you have asbestos or mold, you’ll likely want a mold expert to take a look.
Once the mold is cleared away, you’ll need to schedule an additional home inspection to confirm the problem was resolved.
Home inspections usually cost between $300 and $450. However, the cost can increase to above $600 if you have an issue like mold or termites.
With that in mind, you’ll want to budget for each home inspection.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

As you review your home inspection checklist, there are a few common mistakes you’ll want to avoid. Take the time to complete a thorough home inspection and avoid these five home inspection mistakes.

1. Forged Inspections

Some people skip their home inspection process altogether. Whether you’re buying a new home or a previously owned one, this is a major mistake.
Make sure to have your home inspected by a professional. You’ll also want to verify that there are no forgeries or illegal installments. Otherwise, you could end up in legal trouble sometime in the future.

2. Choosing the Cheapest Option

When hiring someone to complete your home inspection, you might feel the need to choose the cheapest option. However, this single mistake could lead to additional home inspection mistakes.
Some of the cheaper home inspectors aren’t as experienced as others. They might have a difficult time finding clients. As a result, they feel the need to provide their services at a lower rate.
Don’t hire someone who is inexperienced to inspect your home. Instead, make sure to choose someone with years of experience under your belt. If you’re working with a real estate agent, ask them for suggestions.

3. Not Remaining Present

During the home inspection process, make sure you’re at the inspector’s side. That way, you can ask all of your questions during the inspection. You might also notice something you would have otherwise missed.
After all, you want to take a closer look at your potential new home before all the paperwork is signed.

4. Focusing on the Wrong Items

Don’t waste your time on the wrong home inspection items. Instead, focus on the most important list of demands. Focusing on smaller items might make a seller less receptive to making the necessary changes (or making the sale).

5. Not Getting Repairs Inspected

Once every issue on your home inspection list is reviewed and repairs are made, make sure to request a second inspection. Many people fail to have the home reinspected after repairs are complete. However, following up with a second inspection will give you peace of mind you’re making the right choice.
Buy the Perfect Home!

Ready to find your dream home? With this home inspection checklist, you’re on the right track. Make sure to speak with your real estate agent to find a qualified inspector as well.
Eager to speak with a real estate agent? Contact us today to speak with a member of our team today. We’re here to help!

Find your dream home in the Kansas City Northland area – Then feel secure with a home inspection.

Call Eric Craig Real Estate Team at (816) 726-8565 for all of your real estate needs.

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