House tour checklist

One of the fun parts of shopping for a home is attending open houses and visiting homes for sale. But it’s easy to get distracted as you make your tour -- by the seller’s furniture, the quirky decorating or the talkative real estate agent.

At most open houses, you will receive a handout that lists all of the basics, such as the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, whether the home has central air conditioning, the lot size, and the like. This should save you from having to write down this kind of detail. Instead, focus on the quality of what you see by checking which of the following items apply:

Bedrooms
 Are rooms sufficiently large?
 Closet space is ample
Flooring is:
 Carpet
 Hardwood
 Other: ___________

Bathrooms
 Check that faucets show no signs of leaks
 Fixtures have no stains
 No sign of mold or mildew on the tiles or caulking
 Fan and/or window in every bathroom

Kitchen
Is there:
 An eating area or breakfast nook
 Ample countertop and cupboard space
 Island counter
 Double sink
 Dishwasher
 Up-to-date appliances
 Tile flooring
 Other flooring: ________

All rooms
 Check if the walls are painted plaster or drywall, wood panelling, or wallpapered
 Are the walls reasonably soundproof
 No signs of water damage
 Baseboards, door frames and crown moldings are good quality
 Gas or wood-burning fireplace in working order
 Stairs don’t creak
 Hardwood under the carpeting

Basement
 Enough head room
 Walls and floors are finished
 Sump pump (may indicate flooding problems)

Garage and driveway
 Is there garage access from inside house?
 Does the garage door opener work?
 Garage is large enough to accommodate your vehicle
 Concrete flooring isn’t cracked
 No cracks or sunken spots in the driveway

Roof
 Is the roof covered with, shingles, shakes, or other
 Flashing, soffits and fascia are in good condition
 The roof is: _____years old

Siding
 Note the type of exterior siding, common exteriors are: brick, brick veneer, vinyl, aluminum, wood
 Other: ____________
 No visible cracks in the mortar

Doors and windows
 Open and close freely
 Doorbell works
 There is an alarm system
 All locks and latches work
 Do the windows appear well-insulated?
 Check for water stains or signs of condensation
 Caulking around windows is not cracked

Walkways, patio, deck
 Patio stones are stable
 Wood on the deck is in good repair
 Patio or deck receives full sun
 Is privacy adequate for your needs?

Eaves and downspouts
 All eaves and downspouts are in good repair
 Water is being directed away from foundation

Foundation
 Is the ground is sloped away from house?
 Concrete has no visible cracks

Garden and landscaping
 Yard is suitable for children and/or pets
 Is the lawn and garden well-maintained?
 Check the condition of fences
 Is there a swimming pool

Heating and cooling
 Check if the home is heated by: gas, oil, hot water, electricity
 Is it well insulated with safe materials
 Furnace or heating system is: ____ years old
 Air conditioning system is: ____ years old

Plumbing and water service
 Does the house use: municipal water or well water
 Does the water need to be filtered or otherwise treated
 Adequate water pressure
 Is there a septic system or public sewage
 Is the hot-water heater owned or rented?

Electrical
 Wiring is up-to-date
 Wired for: ____ amps
 Ample outlets

 

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