A home inspection is exciting because it is the first chance that the buyer gets to step into the house before completing the purchase. It is also important because it is the time for the buyer to find out serious flaws in the building, its interiors, foundation and exterior and ask the seller to fix them or even allow the buyer to walk away from the deal unscathed. Lastly, it can be tiring when too many things have to be checked upon.
A home inspection is only a chance that the buyer gets to visually examine and ascertain the home’s overall condition. This activity can turn into an exhausting one if the buyer has to check too many physical aspects of the home. This is when a home inspection checklist comes in handy.
Property Inspection Checklist – The Indian Context
Property inspection by a qualified home inspector is not a practice that has caught up in our country. However, if you have decided to avail the services of a home inspector for the purpose, the following is what the inspection entails. The home inspector will visit the premises of the chosen property, check various aspects and give a final assessment as to the value that the property can carry.
If the buyer has chosen to buy an apartment, they usually avail the services of a property valuer and an engineer who help to work out the actual value of the property. Given below are 9 important points that a home inspection checklist should include.
#1: Leaks and Seepage of Water:
Kerala has copious amounts of rain and so does parts of Karnataka and it is important that the interiors and exteriors be checked for any leakage or water seepage. Water seepage in the walls causing damp spots can lead to serious issues later in time. It could be that the external wall is lashed by the rains or the water seeps from the bathroom above the floor that leads to damp walls. These worsen with passing time. Ugly patches develop on the wall that spread slowly to cover it.
#2: HVAC System Check:
Though HVAC systems were not common till a few years ago, most high-end homes in both Kerala and Karnataka come with pre-installed HVAC systems. Therefore, it is a good idea that HVAC system is a part of the new home inspection checklist.
The efficiency and working of both the heating and cooling systems should be checked. This will serve to keep the buyers’ energy needs met and bills economical as well. It should be made clear at this time as to who will service these systems in the future and whether the HVAC systems would have to be maintained by the owners or whether it would be a service provided by the builders.
#3: Cracks in Walls and Ceilings:
The new home inspection checklist should prompt the buyer to thoroughly inspect both the exterior and interior for cracks in the walls and ceiling. Some of them may not be visible, but it is important that the inspection is done thoroughly to spot them. Any repairs that are required to be done on these should be completed to avoid any heart-aches in the future. If they remain undetected, they may lead on to very serious problems in the future.
#4: Room sizes:
Room sizes in terms of length, breadth, and height should be measured out and ascertained during the home inspection. This will give the buyer a fair idea as to how to place the furniture snugly into a room and further to use the space properly.
#5: Windows and sidings:
The buyer may find windows and sidings damaged only when purchasing older properties. This has to be checked out thoroughly and notified to the seller/builder before finalising the deal. All the tower bolts and hooks of the windows have to be checked. The windows should open and close fully. There should be no rot or decay of the wood nor should any cracks be present. The windows should latch properly.
#6: Plumbing check:
The plumbing system check should be a comprehensive one. Check out the material used for the piping in the house used for drinking, waste, and draining purposes. Also make a check of the plumbing fixtures including taps, water inlet and outlet valves, bathroom flushers, showers, sinks, traps, etc. make a thorough check of the plumbing joints for leaks.
#7: Electrical systems check:
The main panel, circuit breakers, phase switches, electrical earthing, fans, lights, exhaust fans, and light fixtures, and wiring, among others, have to be checked. Ensure that the main panel and breakers are not outdated. The lights and switches should be in good working condition. All the electrical outlet points should be tested properly. There should be an adequate number of three-pin electrical outlets in every room.
As far as interiors are concerned the flooring should be in top condition and there should be no stains on the walls, floors, or ceiling. There should not be any cracks in the walls, ceiling or floors. Check the railings in the balconies, staircases, and steps for firmness.
The cabinets and draws should be in good working condition. The water tap in the sink should have adequate water flow. There should be no stains on the kitchen floor. The exhaust fan should be in working condition.
In case of apartments, other areas that need to be checked are the common areas, lifts, and the amenities such as the swimming pool, gym, club house, etc. These should be in a usable condition. Sometimes, these facilities may be provided at a later point in time. Lifts should be in a working condition especially if the apartment is on the higher floors.
Wrapping it up, a home inspection checklist should be prepared well in advance and the requisite points should be listed down elaborately. This will help the buyer to avoid misses that may prove too costly at a later point in time after having purchased the home.
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