Home Insurance Inspection Checklist

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Make sure a home is safe and in good shape before purchasing it.
Make sure a home is safe and in good shape before purchasing it. (Image: House for sale image by Heng kong Chen from Fotolia.com)

When you purchase a new home, it is important that it is safe and insurable. For this reason, it is important that you have it inspected by a professional so you can make sure your investment is not just a money pit. Additionally, when you have an inspector identify problems with a home, you can ask the seller to fix the problems on their own or reduce the selling price of the home to help cover the expenses of the repairs.

Walkways, Stairs and Doors

A home should have external doors that have weather-stripping and thresholds that are in good shape. All of the doors in the home should be easy to open and close, and have hardware that works well. The railing on stairs ought to be intact and steady, and stepping stones in walkways should be firm.

Drains

Good spout drains on the outside of the home should drain away from the house to avoid water damage. The yards of a home should slope away from it so water drains away from it. Gutters ought to still be attached to a home well. Basements, crawl spaces and attics ought to be dry.

Floors

Inspectors should look for signs of water damage on a floor, particularly around the areas of plumbing fixtures. The floor must be free of soft spots and water damage under the floorboards and supports. Carpets ought to be in good shape as well.

Fireplace

If a home has a fireplace with mortar between the bricks, it should not crumble. The chimney should have good stability and be unobstructed. The damper in the fireplace must be in good working condition.

Plumbing

Water damage to a house can incur extra repair costs so it is essential to check the home’s pipes and fixtures for leaks and cracks. The water pressure, including the hot water pressure, should all be even when more than one faucet is running at the same time. A home inspector ought to examine the walls near the showers for water damage. The hot water heater must be up to code and should not leak or have rust around it.

Foundation

The foundation of a home should be free of settling, shifting or cracks. The inspector ought to check for earthquake safety features and make sure the mudsill is dry and in good shape.

Roof

The roof of a home should be free of moss on its shingles and dry rot around the overhangs. Ideally, trees should not have contact with the roof or overhangs, and shingles ought to be in good condition. A home inspector should look for signs of a leaking roof, such as water stains on the ceiling in the home.

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