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Home Inspection Checklist for Savvy Home Buyers

Buying a home is a huge decision. It can be incredibly difficult to know if you are making a smart purchase or one massive...

Buying a home is a huge decision. It can be incredibly difficult to know if you are making a smart purchase or one massive mistake as you travel through the journey of mortgage loan applications and adding your signature to a mountain of documents in order to finalize the sale. Many homebuyers in the United States and abroad have found that it’s a good idea to create a list of prospective upgrades and issues.

As you look closer at properties on the market, it becomes clear why you should have a home checklist. The more properties you visit the more you will realize that no home is perfect, so inspecting the key elements and basing your decision partly on the home improvements, upgrades, and repairs that will be necessary once you move in is the best way to go forward with a buying opportunity.

With the Covid-19 pandemic keeping us largely indoors for the better part of the last year, and with no end in sight, becoming a home inspector as you search through properties for your next move is critically important. You will be spending more time than ever in your home for the foreseeable future.

Start with outdoor spaces.

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Beginning outside is a great way to funnel your search through the priority zones in a home. The fixtures that exist externally are often some of the most costly repairs. However, they will only need replacement every decade or two — sometimes longer. The roof, air conditioning unit, doors, and windows are all outward-facing or external systems that are essential to keeping a home and its residents safe.

If a home needs a new unit to regulate the air temperature inside you can factor this need to invest in a replacement unit into your offer for the property. Air conditioning systems are a complex component of a home, and it’s a good idea to have your AC unit and HVAC system as a whole serviced regularly to maintain its usefulness over the longest possible time period. An aging or unserviced air conditioner may spell trouble throughout the home, so beginning with this important piece can help you understand any other work that may need doing on the house in order to provide the living conditions that you are seeking.

Repair work throughout any home is typically conducted at a level standard, if the homeowner hasn’t committed to maintaining his or her roof or air conditioning unit then it may be a sign that other spaces in the home — the bathrooms, electrical work, or kitchen — may be lacking in maintenance and upkeep that should be done on a regular basis as well. These outdoor essentials are some of the hardest to fake by a seller looking to cash in on a quick sale, however, and should top the checklist for your home inspection.

Flooring

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The floors are another great item to include high up the checklist. Homeowners who are moving into a new property typically like to see new carpeting or hardwood floors installed by the seller. In fact, many prospective buyers direct their real estate agents to show them homes that exclusively boast these quality-of-life upgrades.

Many buyers relish in the opportunity to install brand new flooring themselves. Targeting properties with carpeted bedrooms and living room space can give a new homeowner the exceptional growth potential to recreate the space in their own design.

Balancing price reduction with included amenities is a fine act, and getting it right will bring you and your family a great peace of mind that is hard to come by in many circumstances. Bring your checklist along with you to your next real estate viewing in order to make the best decision possible.

Samantha Watson joined Urban Tulsa as a staff writer, before becoming Copy Editor earlier this year. Some of her previous writing and editing work can be found at the LA Times, the New York Times, and Washington Post.
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