Checklist for Home Buying: Evaluating the Interior of a Home

by on May 7, 2012The Team

Shopping is shopping, whether it’s for groceries, a new computer, a car or a house. Making a list of what you want and need – and the item’s ideal features and benefits – helps make the process easier.

When looking at houses, with a checklist for home buying in hand, you avoid being distracted by the new surroundings and any staging the seller has done, and you can concentrate your attention where it should be: on the features you are looking for in your new home.

What to Include on Your Home Buying Checklist

checklist for home buyingTo avoid forgetting anything important when you view a home, make a checklist of the items you want to pay close attention to. Some elements of this list will be subjective and based on your specific wants and needs. Here are some ideas to get you started on your list:

  • Which appliances are included in the sale? How old are they, and how well do they work? Don’t be afraid to take a look at the inside of any stove or refrigerator included in the sale of the house to determine its condition.
  • Is there enough storage in the bathroom? Are there enough bathrooms for your family?
  • Are the closets large enough and designed for your needs?
  • How old is the house’s electric wiring? Are there enough outlets?
  • What type of floor runs through the house? Will it need to be replaced? Does the home flooring need any special care or maintenance?
  • Will the kitchen be easy to work in? Is there sufficient storage?
  • How old is the water heater, furnace and air conditioning system?
  • Are the windows energy efficient? Is the glass warped or crazed? Are there holes in the screens?
  • Will you need to replace or update the lighting in the any of the rooms? Many buyers don’t take the time to test a home’s lighting. Check the lights in the bathrooms and kitchen to ensure they meet your needs.
  • If you work from home, make sure there is adequate space for you to work efficiently and comfortably. Check to make sure there are enough power outlets in the room that you’ll be using as an office. If you work online, find out about Internet service in the area.
  • Double-check all of the homeowner’s improvements. Ask if they were done professionally and ask to see receipts. Call the improvements to the attention of the home inspector so that he can check them as a professional.

The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) website has an in-depth home-viewing checklist that may give you more ideas on what to look for when shopping for a home. They suggest making copies of the checklist for each home that you tour to keep track of each home’s details.

Viewing a home with an eye toward living in it takes a bit of imagination. Try to visualize the home with your furniture and decorative items. Use a measuring tape if you need to ensure spaces are the right size. Most of all don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Michael January 25, 2015 at 11:17 pm

One very important subject that is unbelievable overlooked is the health, safety and operation costs for the homes air conditioning and heating system.
Many people make the mistake by hiring a home inspector who for most of the time just turns the systems fan on and presents it as operational.
This tells you nothing…………….except that the fan works

1st Ask for previous electric bills for the Home in question: Cooling season ( late May- early mid Sept)
also, electric and/or gas bills during Heating season ( Sept- Feb ).
This will give you a good indication on what your bills may look like………
” I have personal seen electric bills from $ 250 to over $ 600.00 a month”
Imagine having that added to your mortgage…..

2nd have your air conditioning and heating system inspected by a professional.
” Not your standard air conditioning and heating company, but a Home Energy Rater”
The H.E.R.S RATER Checks for Duct leakage into unconditioned space.
This will tell you how much your system is leaking in percentages.

They also checks if your system is generating the proper amount of CFMs (systems are to give you X amount of Cubic Feet of air per Minute by building design)
Example: you buy a home that is 2000 sf with a 5Ton ac system but your air conditioning system is actually only producing 3.5 Tons of air….Inadequate for your home costing you comfort and dollars………..

The H.E.R.S RATER also checks the charge of your air conditioning system
” There are way to many HVAC contractor who do not know how to use subcooling and super heat ( Proper charging methods)
Here is an analogy: You are purchasing a car and the dealer says you will get 30 mile per gallon….So you buy the car but you only get 10 mile per gallon.

H.E.RS RATERS check fan and watt draw and amp draw, cleanliness of system
and much more


For more information or to set up an appointment please give us a call at:

818-741-5856 / 661-547-4226
36200 CASTAIC CA, 91384
Calcerts certified CC2005738
NCI Certified : 12-484-04
C-20 860537


Rosemary January 4, 2014 at 8:37 pm

There was no mention regarding the age of the roof which can be a big expense if the roof needs repair/replacing. if you are looking for a home in which you plan to add to, be sure to find out what the local codes define as some areas now restrict/limit additions.


Matt September 10, 2012 at 3:53 am

You have a nice list of questions above, but sometimes (especially if this is your first house) you don’t know how to determine the age or condition of certain appliances or facets of the house.

I would suggest asking the seller directly or perhaps asking your agent as they’ve seen many houses each week and might be able to give you a solid estimate or age or condition.


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