DIY Home Inspection Checklist

Feel Confident In Your Investment

When buying a home, it is advisable to get a professional inspection to make sure your investment is worth your time and money. It is also in your best interest to do your own DIY home inspection to make sure your offer is sound and the home is really the best option for your future. While an initial walkthrough will help prepare you to ask the right questions and flag certain items for the professional inspection, it is also a great opportunity to get to know your investment.

Outside the Home

Inspecting the property thoroughly is the job of the professional, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take a good look and snap some photos to identify potential issues. On the outside of the home, make sure to ask (and answer) the following questions. 


  • Is there proper drainage around the home? Any standing water or visible leaks?
  • Is the yard, trees, walkways, and other naturally occurring vegetation in good condition?
  • Is the exterior in good condition? Damage to the fence, shed, deck, walls, garage, etc
  • Is the driveway in good condition?
  • Check the railings, stairs and other structures attached to the home.
  • Check downspouts and gutters.

Exterior Structure:

  • What is the condition of the roof? (shingles, flashings, fascia, ventilation, chimney) 
  • Do the ridge and fascia appear damaged or compromised?
  • Check windows and door frames for damage or bowing.
  • Visibly check the foundation and chimney.
  • Is the siding cracking, loose or decaying?
  • Does the home need new paint?
  • Any issues with the exterior caulking?

Inside the Home

There are many elements to look for inside the home, so keep an eye out for anything that looks like a potential concern. At Oak City Properties, we like to use a holistic approach to DIY inspections and suggest doing a “top-down” inspection. This inspection style takes into consideration looking at the home from the top all the way down to the last foundational element. 


  • Is there any decay or damage to any structural support?
  • Check for water damage or electrical burns.
  • Sufficient insulation and properly installed moisture barrier.
  • Any plumbing or electrical issues in the interior of the attic?

Interior Rooms:

  • Are there any stains (water or other) found on the floors or walls?
  • Is the flooring in good condition? Does the home need new carpeting?
  • Any cracks in the walls or ceiling? Anything appears to be unlevel or not plumb?
  • Is the paint/paneling in good condition?
  • Does the electrical system work as intended?
  • Does the water and plumbing system work as intended?
  • If a fireplace is in the room, are there any cracks, leaks, or evidence of damage?


  • Do the appliances work?
  • Is there any mold, leaks or compromised areas near or around the cabinets?
  • What is the water pressure?
  • Any damage to the doors, drawers or cabinetry?
  • Any leaks under the sink? Compromised elements in the plumping?


  • Is there a working exhaust fan?
  • What is the water pressure in both the sink and shower?
  • Do the sink, tub, and shower drain properly?
  • Check under the sinks- is there any damage or stains?
  • Does the toilet operate properly?
  • Is the caulking in good condition inside and outside of the tub and shower?
  • Are all tiles secure and in good condition?
  • Any evidence of a past leak?

Basement or Crawl Space:

  • Is there adequate ventilation?
  • Is the water supply and piping insulated correctly?
  • Is there a water/vapor barrier in the space?
  • Is there any evidence of insect damage?
  • Is there any mold present in the basement or crawl space?
  • Is there any evidence of moisture damage or a previous leak?


  • What is the age of the hot water heater or HVAC units? Are there any concerns with either? Was the ductwork recently cleaned? 
  • If there is a septic tank- are there any issues? When was it last pumped?
  • If there is a well- is the well water acceptable? Are there any additional treatment options?

 Final Thoughts

After completing your personal buyer inspection, hang on to your checklist and any potential photos you took that were alarming. Before the professional home inspection, share your list and bring any concerns to the person’s attention. 

Need Help?

At Oak City Properties, we approach each property from both a professional and personal perspective. Whether you are a first-time property owner or a seasoned investor, we understand your concerns as a property owner and manage your investment the same way we would manage our own. 

No matter your investment or buying goals, we want to help you succeed. Don’t hesitate to let Oak City Properties empower you by providing high-quality property management solutions.

If you’re interested in learning more about how our team of real estate and investment professionals can help,  Contact Us or visit our website

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