Home Inspection Checklist: What to Look for Before You Buy

Purchasing your first home is an exciting and momentous step in life, but it comes with a range of responsibilities and considerations. One of the most crucial aspects of buying a house is conducting a thorough home inspection. This inspection ensures that you are making a sound investment and helps you avoid potential pitfalls down the road. In this blog, we’ll walk you through a home inspection checklist tailored to the South African context, highlighting what to look for before you buy your dream home.

1. Roof and Gutters

The first item on your checklist should be the roof. Check for missing or damaged tiles, signs of water damage, and ensure that the gutters are clear and functional. South Africa’s diverse climate can put significant stress on a roof, making it essential to ensure it’s in good condition.

2. Foundation and Structure

Inspect the home’s foundation for any visible cracks or signs of shifting. Look for uneven floors and walls, which could indicate structural problems. These issues can be costly to repair, so it’s crucial to address them early on.

3. Plumbing

Check for leaks, rust, or corroded pipes. Ensure that faucets, showers, and toilets are in working order. In South Africa, water is a precious resource, and efficient plumbing is essential.

4. Electrical System

Inspect the electrical system for any exposed wires, outdated wiring, or faulty outlets. Make sure the distribution board is up to code and can handle your electrical needs.

5. Pest Infestations

South Africa is home to a variety of pests that can damage your property. Look for signs of termite, rodent, or insect infestations, as these can be both costly and hazardous to your health.

6. Damp and Mould

Check for damp or mould in and around the property, as this can lead to health issues and structural damage. Pay close attention to bathrooms, kitchens, and basements, as these areas are more susceptible to damp problems.

7. Windows and Doors

Inspect the condition of all windows and doors. Make sure they open and close properly, check for drafts, and assess the quality of the locks and security features, considering South Africa’s security concerns.

8. Appliances and Fixtures

Ensure that all appliances included with the property are in working order. Test lights, switches, and fixtures to make sure they function correctly.

9. Property Boundary

Confirm that the property boundaries are clearly defined and accurately marked. This can help you avoid disputes with neighbours in the future.

10. Local Amenities and Services

Consider the proximity to local amenities, such as schools, hospitals, shops, and public transportation. These factors can significantly impact your daily life and property value.

11. Compliance with Building Regulations

Ensure that the property complies with local building regulations and municipal bylaws. Non-compliance can lead to costly renovations or legal issues.

12. Historical Zoning and Land Use

Check the zoning and land use history of the property to ensure it aligns with your intended use and future plans.


A thorough home inspection is a crucial step when purchasing your first home in South Africa. By following this checklist, you can make a well-informed decision and avoid potential problems in the future. Remember that a successful home inspection can help you turn your new house into a South African dream home.

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