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A Checklist for a Buying Your New Home

Does the ground around the foundation slope away from the house?
Be sure that water does not pond in swales. To check, water the areas with a hose if possible.
Are there signs of erosion?
Is shrubbery planted at least 2 to 3 feet from the foundation?
Are basement window wells clean and graveled?
Are shingles flat and tight?
Is flashing securely in place?
Do gutters, down spouts and splash blocks drain away from the house?
Are windows and doors sealed and protected by weather stripping?
Are trim and filling tight, and without cracks?
Does paint should cover the surfaces and trim smoothly?

Are all doors and windows sealed and do they open and close easily?
Are they the same as noted in the contract?
Are any glass panes loose or cracked?
Is the painting satisfactory in all rooms, closets and stairways?
Did the painters didn't miss any spots?
Is the carpet tight and do the seams match?
Are there any ridges or seam gaps in vinyl tile or flooring?
Do the floors squeak?
If wooden floors, are they properly finished?
Do the major appliances operate properly?
Are the appliances the right color and model?
Do all faucets and plumbing fixtures, including toilets and showers, to be sure they operate properly?
Do heating, cooling and water heating units operate properly?
Do the fireplace draft and damper work?
Are there nicks, scratches, cracks or bumps on any surfaces, including cabinets and counter tops?
Did you ring the doorbell and test the intercom, garage door opener and other like items?
Have you seen indications of dampness or leaks?
Are there any obvious defects in exposed components (such as floor joists, I-beams, support columns, insulation, heating ducts, plumbing, electrical, etc.)?

Certificate of Occupancy
Has your local municipality signed off on your house?
Note: A new-house inspection is often more extensive because buyers expect the property to be in near-perfect condition. Resale-home buyers, on the other hand, usually overlook minor flaws that come with an older, previously lived-in home.

Be sure to document all items that need to be corrected before closing. If you have a professional home inspection, also make sure you do a final walk-through before closing to confirm that all items on the inspector's report have been corrected.

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