A home inspection is a detailed visual assessment of all areas of a house. Professional home inspections are carried out by certified home inspectors who charge clients a fee to visit a house and complete a detailed analysis and report of deficiencies. You can get a sense of what a home's problems might be like before bringing in a professional by using a do-it-yourself checklist.
Printable DIY Home Inspection Checklists
Using the Checklists
Begin with the exterior of the home. Go through each item on the list, noting the item's condition and whether it needs to be repaired or replaced. Using a tape measure to record measurements makes it easier to accurately assess the cost of repairs/replacement items. Complete the interior checklist the same way.
- Purchasers can use the information on these forms to highlight areas of concern when hiring a professional home inspector. The information is also useful in negotiations with the seller, and to more accurately determine all the costs involved in purchasing the home.
- Home sellers may use home inspection checklists as a way to predict areas that potential buyers will see as negotiating points, and choose to make repairs or renovations prior to listing a home for sale.
Rely on a Professional Inspection
Use the home inspection forms above to perform an initial DIY check-up, but a professional home inspection should always be obtained prior to purchasing a home. Visit HomeInspector.org or InspectorSeek.com to locate professionals in your area who are certified by recognized professional associations for the home inspection field.
Please note that a special license is required to inspect and test for asbestos, radiation, methane, radon, insects, rodents, mold, mildew and fungi, and formaldehyde and are not generally included in the cost of a basic professional home inspection.
Make an Informed Decision
Buying or selling a house is a major life event. Though it is easy to get caught up in the excitement of moving into or out of a home, don't let your emotion cloud your judgment. Complete a home inspection to identify potentially expensive and large problems prior to completing a real estate transaction.
Doing a home inspection on your own can be a good way to get an idea of things around the house might need attention prior to buying or selling a home, particularly if you are well-versed in home repair and have a good eye for repair issues. Unless you are a trained home inspector, however, you should always rely on the expertise of a professional to inspect a home before you make the decision to buy.