How to Inspect a Potential Home Before Buying

By: Helison Aniyi

How to Inspect a Potential Home Before Buying

Tags: How to Inspect a Potential Home Before Buying

After searching for a new home for many months, you have finally found the right one for you. Of course, you’re excited and would like to move in right away, but you shouldn’t make a rash decision. Since buying real estate is a considerable investment, you must make an informed decision, not an emotional one. So, even if you find a home that looks perfect, know that there’s no such thing as an ideal house. Home staging is essential for selling real estate, but it can sometimes be deceiving for the buyers. When you see a home looking its best on the surface, you might forget about what can hide underneath the surface. Here are some ideas on how to inspect a potential home before buying.

Use professional help to inspect a potential home before buying

Of course, you as a buyer know best what you want from your new home. And during the viewing of the property, you can assess the general state of the house. If you are pleased with everything, you will even place an offer. However, before making the purchase, you should hire a professional to check for any hidden issues.
This is important because if the home inspector finds any major problems, you can ask the seller to fix them. If the seller refuses to do so, you can renegotiate the price with special consideration for the repair costs. Or, worst-case scenario, if the repair costs are too high, you can back out of the deal.
To find the right home inspector, you should ask for some recommendations. First, you can consult with your real estate agent, who can provide you with some names. Second, you can ask family and friends for references. The idea is to find somebody well-qualified and with a lot of experience.

To properly inspect a potential home before buying, find the right home inspector.
Alt-tag: A man wearing a construction helmet inspecting a doorframe while holding a clipboard in his hand.

Inspect a potential home before buying by checking some key aspects

A home inspection can be very detailed, depending on the service package you opt for. However, if the inspection report shows minor issues, those are common and easy to fix. Therefore, you should focus on the major issues that will require a lot of money and time to repair. So, here are some key aspects that you should look out for.

Checking the exterior

One of the most common issues of houses is the roof. Just imagine moving into your new home and dealing with leaky ceilings after the first storm. Thus, it’s essential to ask the seller when the roof was last replaced. Then, it would help if you looked for damaged flashing or missing shingles. And make sure the downspouts and gutters are attached and draining correctly.
While you’re on the roof, don’t forget about the chimney. This is another issue that will cost a lot of money to repair. So, it would be best to look for faults in the masonry, damage to the interior, and signs of corrosion.

Check the roof and chimney to make sure everything is okay.
Alt-tag: View of the roof and chimney of a house over a hedge.

Checking the basement

Start inspecting the home from the bottom to the top. This is important because any problems on the bottom part can affect the entire structure of the house. While inspecting the basement, it’s essential to look for signs of moisture and mold. If you don’t see any, it’s still a good idea to ensure that the basement is properly insulated. And since you are down there, you should also inspect for signs of termites and other pests that can damage the structure of the house.

Checking the plumbing

Plumbing issues can cause a lot of damage to a house, and repairing them is not that easy. Just think about it, to get to a leaky pipe, you might need to make holes in the walls that need to be fixed afterwards. Plus, once you fix the wall, you have to repaint the entire thing to look even. So, to avoid all this, look for signs of leaks and check the water pressure and drainage. You should also ensure that the water heater is in good working order.

Ensure that there are no plumbing issues and save yourself from a lot of unforeseen repairs.
Alt-tag: Image of a yellow valve.

Checking the electrical installation

Fixing electrical problems is just as complex as fixing plumbing issues. Once again, you might have to make holes in your walls to replace electrical cables or repair damaged ones. Therefore, when you inspect a potential home before buying, make sure there are no electrical malfunctions. You should also check that the outlets are grounded to avoid electric shocks.

Checking for hazardous materials

Recent laws and regulations have forbidden certain materials in home construction. However, if you’re not buying a recently-built house, you should check for hazardous materials. The most common ones that can be found in older homes are lead paint and asbestos. While sellers should disclose such things initially, it’s not a bad idea to check for yourself.

Be well-prepared before buying

The entire process of buying and moving into a new home can be very stressful. Therefore, it’s essential to be well-prepared and plan everything. Firstly, think about when is the right time to move. For example, if you’re planning on relocating this spring, you need to know that there are some pros and cons of a spring relocation. It’s essential to consider all the sides of this decision. On the one hand, it can be cheaper and easier to find available movers than it is in the summer. On the other hand, the weather is more unstable, and if it rains on your moving day, the entire process will be very unpleasant.
Secondly, before buying and moving into a new home, you need to think about the home improvements you want to make. There’s no such thing as a perfect house, so you’ll probably have to make some repairs or upgrades. And it would help if you did these things before moving in because it will be much easier without all the furniture and boxes.
Finally, it’s also a good idea to do market research on moving companies. Note that not all of them provide the same services and prices. So, to get the best deal possible, try to get more estimates and compare moving quotes. Otherwise, you might even risk becoming the victim of a scam.


Finding a home that is right for you is not easy. But even when you find it, you have to assess it carefully to make sure that it is in good condition. Otherwise, the repairs might end up costing you half of the home’s value. So, before purchasing a home, hire a professional to identify all the hidden issues. And use these ideas on how to inspect a potential home before buying so that you don’t miss any of the critical aspects.