The New Home Checklist – What to Look For

Finding a new home is not easy, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed when you realize that you will have to take a huge amount of different factors into account. This could be anything from the color of the wallpaper to the type of water system that the home uses – hundreds of individual details.

However, once you start to narrow it down, the important things become a lot more obvious. Instead of messing it all up in your head, here is a checklist of things that you should check when looking for a new home: some are minor, some are major, and others are just for style.

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The Interior

Always take a look around the inside of a home. Exterior work can be done quite easily in most cases, but interior repair work can make it difficult to fully move as planned.


How warm is the house? Does it trap heat well, or are there some leaks that are allowing most of the heat to sneak out before you can fully warm-up? Be sure to look into the water tank and boiler to check for leaks or damaged components, especially in a house that has not been used for a while.

Attics and Basements

Have either the attic or the basement been compromised in any way? Basements can be unfinished, and attics might not be livable spaces yet (they often require conversion in older homes), but they can still leak heat or invite infestations into your home without your knowledge.


Make sure that you check the electrical details of the house before using any of them. A badly-grounded outlet or a broken wire can become major hazards if you have already moved in since it only takes a few sparks for some flammable furniture to go up in a blaze and endanger your entire family.


If you hear any strange noises with the plumbing or have issues with pressure levels and leaks, then something is up with the plumbing. It is important to get these issues solved as soon as possible since even a minor leak might lead to longer-term damage if you ignore it for too long.

Appliances and Furniture

What kind of furnishing does the home actually come with? This is something that is worth considering since not all homes for sale will come with the furniture that is shown in the viewing. Old appliances should be checked in case they need to be replaced or undergo maintenance, too.

The Exterior

The outside of a home is one of the most important parts to look over, and you should make sure that all damaged spots and flaws are identified ahead of time.


A good roof keeps you sheltered, but a bad roof can ruin your first few days in your new home. Look for missing shingles or spots where there might be leaks, especially if the house is older and might not have been maintained very well.


Just like the roof, the gutters of your home are important for avoiding leaks and future damage. See if they drain properly by pouring some used water down them, and look for any blockages or spots where you might have to replace parts of the drain.


Windows can always be broken, but they can also be warped by moisture or jammed in ways that make them impossible to open and close. More importantly, can you properly lock them, or do they run the risk of being a security issue when you are not at home?


The front door of your home, like your windows, should be able to close just fine. You also want it to fit properly and keep moisture and rain out of your home, preferably also while stopping heat from leaking out. Good security and protection are important.


Are the home’s foundations sunken, and are there any major cracks on walls that might have formed recently? If the building uses wood heavily, then looking for signs of rotting or termite infestations can also be important. Nearby trees might have roots that cause mild damage, too, if you are unlucky.


Does the garage door open properly, or is it a major security risk to the rest of your home? Some garages are quite easy to force your way into, and if the inner door is not secure, then you will want to get at least one of those two issues solved.


Look for fire, burglar, smoke, and carbon monoxide detectors. You want them to be functional and installed in places where they can actually help, rather than in isolated rooms or places that are not convenient for actually detecting a threat.

Other Considerations

Apart from the basics of the home itself, you will also want to know some more specific details before moving in.


How much work will really need to be done? If you can get a rough estimate, you can understand how long it might take for the house to really be useful as a living space. It might also help you prepare for any pre-furnishing work that has to be done to the interior.

Furniture Removal

If you plan to remove all of the old furniture into a rental dumpster – like one of our excellent rental options – then you should take stock of how much furniture you actually have. You can always take it apart and break it down, but old houses can contain more furniture than you might expect. 

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