Buying a Home: What to Inspect Before You Purchase

Whenever you are in the market for a new home, there are a few things to keep in mind in regards to the home’s inspection. Knowing what to look for with an inspection before you purchase is essential to avoid potentially costly repairs and necessary upgrades.

Buying a Home: What to Inspect Before You Purchase


Always conduct a thorough walk through of both the interior and exterior of any homes you are interested in purchasing yourself. Check the base of the walls along with the ceilings in each of the room.

Check the condition of the exterior walls as well as the base of the foundation of the home, especially if the home is sitting on a raised foundation. Search for potential cracks, leaks, and other holes or openings that may signify a deeper and more problematic issue related to the overall structure of the house or dwelling itself. Take note of any large trees that may have roots encroaching on the house’s foundation, as this may lead to devastating consequences if the tree and root are not taken care of as quickly as possible.


Inspecting the roof of a home for sale is extremely important, as installing an entirely new roof can range anywhere from $10,000 to more than $30,000, depending on the size of your home and the type of roof the property requires. Inquire about the overall quality and condition of the roof in addition to the date it was last replaced and repaired. Take photos of as many areas of the roof as possible to further inspect the condition of the roof by zooming in and using close-ups.

Lot and Surroundings

Does the home you are looking at have curb appeal? Is the landscaping updated and well-maintained? Take notice of any drainage that appears near the home along with soggy areas which may ultimately mean that there are drainage and sewage issues linked to the home itself.

Home Exterior

Check the exterior of the home to compare the overall condition of the walls, paint, and even tile or brick that is currently in place. Are there issues with dangling wires, loose paneling, or loose siding on the exterior of the home? Ensure there is not asbestos anywhere inside or outside of the home, as this requires replacement and can quickly add to the cost of the home before it is safe to reside in.

Attic and Insulation

Always inspect the attic of a home you are interested in buying if it has one available. Check the attic itself for potential leaks and cracks from the roof to ensure that the roof itself does not need any serious repairs or replacements. Verify that your attic is fully insulated with proper material to keep your home as warm or cool as you desire without worrying about the risk of spiking your energy bills and overall energy usage.

Basement Inspection

Check the basement of any home you are interested in bidding on to ensure it is not extremely damp, showing signs of leaks, or showing evidence of flooding in the past. Be sure to ask about the potential of flooding and whether or not the basement currently has proper drain setups in place to handle heavy rains and flooding if it occurs.

Have your professional home inspector check the basements of homes you are interested in for proper insulation, while also inspecting any crawlspaces that are available. While it is important to check basement areas for leaks, it is also just as equally as valuable to inspect all areas and ceilings throughout the home for potential water cracks and problem leak areas.

Electrical Issues

Always test electrical switches to ensure they are all in working order. Have you noticed any odd malfunctions related to the electrical setup of a home you are touring? Are all of the outlets throughout the home currently grounded? How updated are the electrical panels in the home and do they require upgrades or replacements before moving in? Consider all of these factors relevant to electricity in a home before settling on the property that is ideal for you.


Take note of any odd or strange noises you notice from the plumbing throughout the house you are interested in. Ask about the type of plumbing that is currently in place and whether or not the home or neighborhood itself has a history of sewage and drainage problems associated with the plumbing itself.


Inspect the appliances. Inquire about the option of keeping appliances upon making your purchase, while also learning more about how updated and new each of the appliances are. Are you interested in all stainless steel appliances for your new home? Keep your personal preferences in mind when comparing all of the homes you are interested to determine the best way to go about getting the most out of your investment.


Anytime you are completing a walkthrough of a home that is currently for sale on the market, it is important to keep any odd scents or odors in mind. If a home smells damp, musky, or “old”, it may have flooding, plumbing, or leakage problems. It is also essential to check for potential air flow problems to determine whether or not the home is the most suitable for you.

Heating and Cooling

What type of heating and cooling system does the home you are interested in currently have in place? Are you interested in an energy-efficient setup that requires an additional investment? Does the home offer central heating and cooling or do you require additional air conditioners during the hottest months of the year? Inquire about the age of the furnace and cooling system of the homes you are eyeing to avoid having to invest large amounts of money shortly after completing the purchase.

Becoming familiar with the process of home inspections allows you to determine which homes are in the best condition for you and your family, before making a purchase. The more you understand the process of inspections, the less likely you are to feel stressed and overwhelmed when seeking a new home that is just right for you.

Call Sam McDadi Real Estate Inc. at 905-502-1500, if you have any questions about purchasing your dream home.