Home Condition Checklist

What to bring: Flashlight, pen, paper, gloves, old clothes/shoes, this list

Start with the exterior of the home and work in one direction, with enough distance to allow you a view the entire side. Start at the top and work your way to the bottom, before moving closer to the house.

  • Proper grading and drainage away from house
  • No evidence of standing water
  • No leaks from septic tank or leech field
  • Yard, landscaping, trees and walkways in good condition
  • No branches, vines or bushes against the house or on top of the roof
  • Fences, decks, sheds and detached garages are free of rotten or damaged wood
  • Exterior structures are the proper distance from the property line and follow all local zoning laws
  • Railings on decks and stairs are sufficient and secure
  • Driveways, patios, entrance in good shape, without cracks and pitched away from structure
  • Downspout drainage is directed away from structure
  • Minimum distance of six inches between wood siding materials and the ground, no direct contact
  • Siding: no cracking, dents, bending, bowing or loose pieces, or damage
  • Masonry surfaces: no cracks in joints, no broken, crumbling or flaking parts
  • Stucco: no large cracks (speak with a professional regarding all large stucco cracks)
  • Exterior paint: no flaking or blisters
  • No stains on exterior surfaces
Windows, Doors and Wood Trim
  • Wood trim is securely attached, without splitting or deterioration
  • Frames are in good condition and caulked without large cracks or missing pieces
  • No broken windows or damaged screens; no broken double-paned, insulated window seals
  • Storm windows or thermal glass used
  • Drip caps installed over windows
  • Materials covering the end of the rafters appear straight and level
  • Outside walls of the house are aligned, not bowed or sagging
  • Window and door frames appear straight
  • Foundation appears straight, with no noticeable damage
Porches and Decks
  • Structure securely attached to the house
  • No cracking in masonry
  • Under side is clean and free of rot
  • Decks: strong foundation free of cracks
Pools and Spas
  • Sufficient fencing, gates, or barriers are present
  • Adequate storage space is provided for equipment
  • Surfaces leading to the pool, including the deck and steps, are slip-resistant
  • Decks meet minimum safety standards
  • Separation between the deck and the pool wall
  • No standing water on the deck
  • Sufficent exits from the pool
  • No unpleasant odors or irritating fumes
  • Pool equipment is in good condition
  • Main drain grates are bolted securely to the pool's floor
  • Grates are visible from the deck and in good condition
  • Drain covers and water return inlets are installed
  • The water is clear ,without algae
  • Heater is installed on a level, fire-resistant base (Check the type of heater, efficiency and BTU rating
  • Check the safety devices on the heater
  • The valves between the heater and filter are installed correctly
  • The heater is installed after the pump and filter
  • There are sufficient clearances around the heater
  • Edging stones and tiles are not chipped, cracked or loose
  • The pool liner appears smooth, without cracks or stains
  • Wood shingles: no mold, deteriorated, damaged, curling or missing shingles
  • Asphalt shingles: no missing pieces, decay, such as warping, or broken edges, or gaps
  • Flat roofs: no obvious patches, cracks wrinkles, or sediment deposits (indicates poor drainage)
  • Peaked roofs: the peak is straight and level
  • Flashing is securely attached around roof penetrations, not loose at the chimney, roof to wall connection, etc
  • No excess roofing materials
  • Soffits and fascia: no deterioration, no stains, loose or missing pieces
  • Exterior venting for eaves: vents are clean and free of paint
  • Gutters: no decay or rust, joints sealed, attached securely to structure, no sagging, complete and clean with no sediment, downspouts extended away from the foundation
  • Chimney: level, solid construction, with appropriate flashing, cap not fractured or broken
  • No stains, damage or decay on the roofing materials or structure
  • No sagging between the rafters or the trusses
  • Sufficient and properly installed insulation
  • Adequate ventilation
  • All mechanical ventilation operational
  • No plumbing, appliance or exhaust vents ending in attic
  • No open electrical splices


For the interior rooms, start in the basement or the lowest level of the home and start at the floor of each room, move to the walls and then to the ceiling and then to any fixtures or appliances in the room. Always move in the same direction and open every door, note electrical outlets, switches and heat sources.

Interior Rooms
  • Floors, walls and ceilings appear straight and level, no sloping or sagging
  • No stains on floors, walls or ceilings
  • Flooring materials in good condition, no cracks in tile floors
  • No significant cracks in walls or ceilings, no cracks or loose plaster, no seams or nails showing
  • Windows and exterior doors open easily, close properly with weather stripping, no deterioration, no broken glass
  • Interior doors open and close properly, no broken hardware
  • Paint, wall covering, and paneling in good condition
  • Wood trim and molding installed cleanly and in good condition
  • Lights and switches operate properly
  • Sufficient number of three-prong electrical outlets in each room
  • Electrical outlets work properly
  • Heating/cooling sources in each room
  • Evidence of sufficient insulation in walls
  • Fireplace: no cracking or damaged masonry, no evidence of back-drafting (staining on fireplace façade), damper operates properly, flue has been cleaned, flue is lined
  • There is no odor any of the rooms
  • Working exhaust fan that is vented to the exterior of the building
  • Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter ("GFCI") protection for electrical outlets within 6 feet of the sink(s)
  • Dishwasher: drains properly, no leaks, door spring operates properly, all interior hardware, like baskets, is present
  • No leaks or evidence of leaks in pipes or on floor under sink
  • Sufficient water flow in sink
  • No disproportionate rust or decay on garbage disposal unit or pipes
  • Built-in appliances operate properly
  • Cabinets and drawers are in good condition and operate properly
  • Working exhaust fan that doesn't end in the attic space
  • Adequate flow and pressure at all fixtures
  • Sinks, tub and shower drain properly, overflow drain doesn’t leak
  • Plumbing and floor under sink without rust or decay, no evidence of leaks
  • Toilet is secure, no stains around base
  • Adequate caulking inside and outside of the tub and shower area
  • Tub or shower tiles securely attached to wall surface
  • No stains or signs of leaks around base of tub or shower
  • Underside of counters are solid and free of stains or deterioration
  • Cabinets and drawers are in good condition and operate properly
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors where required by local ordinances
  • Stairway treads and risers solid
  • Stair handrails where needed and in good condition
  • Automatic garage door opener operates properly, stops for obstacles
Basement or Mechanical Room
  • No evidence of moisture
  • Exposed foundation: no stains no major cracks, look for cracks that are both horizontal and vertical, no flaking
  • No sagging, damage, deterioration or stains on visible structure, no damage from insects, sills properly joined to the foundation
  • Insulation at rim/band joists
Crawl Space
  • Adequately vented to exterior
  • Insulation on exposed pipes
  • Insulation between crawl space and heated areas, installed with vapor barrier towards heated area
  • No evidence of insect damage
  • No evidence of moisture damage
  • Visible pipes: no deterioration, evidence of leaks or stains; drain pipes slant towards waste water system, no rust
  • Water heater: no signs of rust, vented properly, sized to produce enough hot water for the size of the home
  • Water pump: does not short cycle
  • Galvanized pipes do not restrict water flow
  • Well water test is acceptable
  • The sewer line is free from cracks
  • Wiring: in good condition, no "knob-and-tube" wiring, no exposed splices, wires secured and well insulated
  • Electrical panel: sufficient capacity, all wires properly attached; fuses or breakers are not overheating
  • No aluminum cable for branch circuits
Heating/Cooling System
  • Appears to operate well in every room (solid air flow on forced hot air systems)
  • No rust at the air conditioner
  • No combustion gas odor
  • Air filter(s) clean
  • Ductwork in good condition
  • No asbestos on heating pipes, water pipes or air ducts
  • Separate flues for gas/oil/propane and wood/coal