Before you sign the contract to buy your new home, take a pause. Does it have any cracks in the foundation? Is there leaking in the attic?

Without a home inspection, you could buy a house with tons of problems.

It’s important to be aware of the condition of the home before you buy it. In some cases, the homeowners will fix the problem or decrease the price.

You should hire a professional home inspector to assess the house for you. Here are some of the items on their home inspection checklist.

1. The Roof and Attic

Most roofs need replacing every 20-30 years. Depending on the material, some can last even longer. Your home inspection checklist needs to include an assessment of the roof.

You may find there are loose or missing shingles. There could be water damage in the attic and worn-out insulation.

When the roof and attic aren’t in good condition, they can leak hot or cool air. Make sure you get a full inspection of the roof and attic before buying.

2. The Landscaping

Speaking of the roof, are there trees in the yard hovering over the roof? This could lead to fallen branches and debris that could cause roof damage down the road.

Check the water drainage system in the yard.

Is there any puddling of water around the house? This could signify the improper leveling of the land. You want rainwater to flow away from the house so it doesn’t pool and cause damage.

3. The Electrical System

Redoing an entire house’s electrical system isn’t cheap. It isn’t safe to do yourself and leaving it alone could be dangerous.

During the home inspection, ensure the electrical system gets inspected. The electrical panels, outlets, and wiring all need to get assessed.

Light bulbs are easy to change. The entire re-routing of the electrical system is not.

4. The Plumbing

The plumbing inspection includes everything water-related in the house. Well water tests, pipe assessments, and a water heater inspection are all included.

It’s important that none of the pipes have leaks or stains. They should all be slightly inclined towards the drainage point. Ensure the water pump doesn’t short cycle.

5. The HVAC Systems

One of the first things your inspector will look for in the HVAC system is asbestos. This dangerous substance is common in older homes and needs removal immediately. It’s smart for every homeowner to know how to identify asbestos with these tips.

You should also check for clean air filters, sealed flues, and decent airflow throughout the systems. It’s critical you check for combustion gas odor as that could be a sign of impending danger.

What Else is on the Home Inspection Checklist?

When you find the perfect house to buy, getting an inspection done is crucial. Your dream home could turn into a money pit if it needs every aspect replaced.

That’s why a home inspection checklist is so vital. Your professional home inspector uses one and you can use one as you tour houses for sale.

Learn more about these home inspection points and more in the Home Improvement section.