Before You Buy: Checklist for Assessing a House

Congratulations on your decision to buy a house!

But, before you buy that house you’ve been eyeing, make sure to check it thoroughly first. Don’t buy it immediately based on its curb appeal or the ‘emotional pull’ you’re feeling.

Instead, consider using this home checklist as you assess a house during your initial walk-through.

Before You Buy: Checklist for Assessing a House

Before You Buy: Checklist for Assessing a House

This is not a comprehensive home checklist, and you must not rely on it solely when you’re assessing a property. You’ll need a much more thorough inspection. Consider hiring a professional inspector – their training, experience, and expertise will prove vital to your home purchase.

  • Check accessibility to offices, schools, malls, hospitals, etc.
  • Check the safety of the neighborhood.
House Foundation
  • Inside: Check the walls, ceilings, and floors for any cracks or damage.
  • Outside: Check for any large trees or shrubbery close to the house; their roots may cause future issues.
  • Ask what the floors and underflooring are made of – and check their condition.
  • Survey inside and outside all the way around the house.
  • Ask about the age of the roof.
  • Ask about the roof material.
  • Ask when it was last inspected.
  • Check for curled edges or missing shingles.
  • Check the condition of the roof gutters, downspouts, flashing, and facia.
Doors and Windows
  • Check to see if you can easily open and close the windows.
  • Check to see if all the door locks are in working order.
  • Check if the doors and windows seal out the weather.
  • Check to see if the windows are the old-fashioned kind with the sash cord, counter-weight, and pulley. If they are, check if all the parts are in working order.
  • Check the age of the windows; old windows can be expensive to repair.
  • Check if automatic doors (if any) are working.
  • Check if the window shades and blinds (if any) are easy to open.
Plumbing and Appliances
  • Run faucets in the bathrooms and kitchens. Watch out for slow drains, discolored water, or weird noises as this could indicate issues.
  • Check the water pressure.
  • Check if the faucets are dripping.
  • Check if the drains are clogged.
  • Check if the toilet flushes properly.
  • Check how long it takes to get hot water to the shower.
  • Ask about the age of the appliances (if it comes with the house).
  • Check the floor near the refrigerator and dishwasher for leaks or stains, as this could indicate plumbing issues.
  • Check if the driveway is smooth and evenly paved.
  • Check to see if the transition between the driveway and surrounding areas (i.e. the yard) is smooth and even – free of rocks and other debris that could cause tripping.
  • Check if the slope of the driveway is low enough that it doesn’t cause any problems.

The Bottom Line

Every situation is different. These are only a few of the items that you should look at when assessing the quality of a house. This is not a comprehensive home checklist. You should make your purchase and other home buying decisions based on an inspection conducted by a licensed, professional inspector.

Note: Not all of these features are present in all homes.

Will Bell Mortgage Broker is a mortgage and finance broker based in Melbourne specializing in residential home loans.  Will is all about the average Australian understanding just enough of the broader economy to take action on your own personal economy.  He is the host of the My Personal Economy Podcast which you can check out here.

Additionally, you can follow him on Facebook

Share on facebook
Share on pinterest
Share on twitter


Will Bell Mortgage Broker
Based on 57 reviews
powered by Google
00:45 19 Nov 21
Will did an amazing job in restructuring multiple investment loans for me. It greatly reduced repayments and released some equity as well.Thanks for all your hard work!
Harsha Jayaratne
Harsha Jayaratne
10:19 21 Sep 21
It is pleasure to work with always keep you informed and prompt service.
Jen Furlong
Jen Furlong
00:51 21 Sep 21
Will was an absolute pleasure to deal with and made the process of obtaining a mortgage very easy.
00:54 03 Sep 21
Thanks Will for helping me! Great service!
Imogen Armstrong
Imogen Armstrong
03:11 13 Aug 21
Will is a legend!!!! So helpful, explains everything well, couldn’t speak more highly of him!! Definitely recommend!
Brooke Ware
Brooke Ware
06:10 10 May 21
Will was recommended to me by our real estate and he has been amazing to deal with. He is very responsive with messages and calls and also gives you his honest opinion of what deal is best suited.Definitely looks out for the best interest of his clients....would highly recommend going through Will.Doesn't matter how many questions I had he always talked me through anything I needed.
Sarah H
Sarah H
03:36 06 May 21
Will was recommended to me by my co worker and I was a little sceptical that I would find a broker that could help me in my situation. I’m a single mum of 2 teenagers and have been told previously that I could only borrow a small amount...not enough to purchase a home, even though my salary is quite good and I’m able to service a loan.Will went above and beyond my expectations, he was prompt with initial contact, made me feel like nothing was ever a problem, reassured me that he could help me purchase a brand new home. The whole experience was simple, stress free and fast. Will has a very calming presence and is always smiling, which was very reassuring for me in a stressful time of my life. Thanks so much Will, I will definitely recommend you to everyone I know!
See All Reviews