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Checklist for house hunting

Exterior

Jot down your impressions of the exterior of the home, noting the lot size and shape, position of the home on the lot (facing north, south, east or west). Note the condition of the landscaping and whether the yard is fenced.

Lot Details

  • Lot size/shape
  • Landscaping condition: good/moderate/poor
  • Position of home on lot (compass directions)
  • Driveway: private/shared
  • General lot condition: good/moderate/poor
  • Mature trees, shrubs, etc: yes/no
  • Curb appeal: good/moderate/poor
  • Condition of walkways: good/moderate/poor
  • Front yard: sm/med/lg
  • Side yard: sm/med/lg
  • Rear yard: sm/med/lg

Structure Details

  • Number of stories
  • Type of home
  • Siding
  • Condition of siding & paint
  • Garage
  • Parking
  • Front porch: covered/enclosed
  • Fenced front yard
  • Fenced backyard
  • Eaves troughs and downspouts
  • Patio/deck
  • Swimming pool
  • General pool condition
  • Storage shed
  • Type of roof
  • General roof condition
  • Recent roof repairs
  • Repair Receipts
  • Roof Age
  • Type of foundation

Interior

Note whether the home has a separate front hallway. Check the windows to ensure they open and close easily and note the general condition of the doors.  The kitchen is an important room in any home, so pay attention to its size, the condition of the appliances, sink, cupboard space, counter tops, flooring, lighting and electrical outlets. Be sure to ask whether any or all of the appliances are included in the sale.

Doors & Windows

  • Windows
  • General window condition
  • Door locks/latches work

Kitchen

  • General size/colours
  • Eat-in area
  • Cooking food/prep island
  • Sufficient cupboard space
  • Sufficient counter space
  • Countertop type/condition
  • Floor type/condition
  • Pantry
  • Sink
  • Appliances included
  • General appliance condition

Family/Living Room

  • Fireplace: yes/no
  • Living room floor type/condition
  • Separate dining room
  • Dining room floor type/condition

Other Home Details

  • Square footage
  • Foyer closet
  • Soundproof & fireproof shared walls

Bathrooms

  • Number of Bathrooms
  • Ensuite bathroom
  • Floor type/condition

Bedrooms

  • Number of Bedrooms
  • Floor type/condition
  • Closets

Insulation:

  • Type
  • Rating
  • Asbestos or UFFI

Basement

  • Adequate headroom
  • Finished
  • Door to outside
  • Utility area (laundry)
  • Storage areas
  • Cracks in walls/floor
  • Drained or sump pump
  • Evidence of flood/moisture
  • Recent renovations
  • General condition

Electrical System

  • General condition
  • Sufficient outlets
  • Amperage
  • Switches
  • Wiring
  • Meets current codes

Plumbing

  • Copper pipes
  • Signs of leaks
  • Recent repairs
  • Age
  • Meets current codes

Sewage/Septic System

  • Type
  • Where’s septic field
  • Holding tank & system recently checked

Water Service

  • Source
  • Well Type
  • Does well ever run dry
  • Capacity
  • Age of pump
  • Size of feeder line from well to house
  • Water agreement
  • Water quality tested for potability

Heating

  • Type of heating system
  • Age of equipment
  • Output
  • Recent repairs
  • Cost for upgrading

Air Conditioning

  • Type of A/C equipment
  • Age
  • Size
  • Recent repairs
  • Cost for upgrading

Hot Water Heater

  • Contract
  • Type of hot water equipment
  • Number of gallons/litres
  • Efficiency
  • Age
  • Cost for upgrading

Community

  • Schools
  • City services (fire/police/hospital)
  • Medical (doctor, dentist)
  • Shopping (grocery, pharmacy)
  • Parks
  • Playgrounds
  • Day care
  • Recreation/community centre
  • Public swimming pool
  • Public tennis courts
  • Golf course
  • Skating arena
  • Hockey arena
  • Restaurants
  • Gas station
  • Theatres
  • Public library
  • Major roads/highways
  • Places of worship

Local Neighbourhood

  • Urban/suburban/rural
  • Older/newer
  • Type of homes
  • Age group of homeowners
  • Quiet streets
  • Adequate street lights
  • Visible power/telephone lines
  • Well-cared for homes/yards
  • Sidewalks
  • General condition:
  • Space between homes
  • Adequate street parking/overnight parking restrictions