Finding the perfect Seattle home can be a long and painstaking process. And once you find the home that seems right for you, a smaller or a bigger one, a house inspection might seem like an unnecessary expense. After all, you want to save as much money as possible and use it for repairs and relocation preparations. However, an inspection can reveal if the home is actually worth your investment. For this reason, we have compiled the ultimate home inspection checklist for buyers in Seattle. It should help you grasp what a home inspection entails to assess whether the Seattle home is worth buying or not.

Home inspections are vital if you buy a pre-owned home

Many homebuyers looking for a home in Seattle are apprehensive about purchasing a pre-owned home. And sure, buying a new construction has its fair share of benefits. However, a home that goes through a home inspection is also worth considering.

Most older Seattle homes tend to have solid and durable mechanical, electrical, and structural properties. Of course, you can never be too sure – what looks good on the outside might not function so well on the inside. Hence the home inspection to determine potential problems and the extent of repairs.

As a home buyer in Seattle, you have the right to add a home inspection contingency to the purchase agreement. In other words, if the home inspection shows that the home will involve too many comprehensive repairs, you can back out of the purchase or negotiate repairs based on the home inspection findings.

Do I need a professional home inspection?

In principle, you do not need a professional home inspection if you know what you need to check. However, you will have to rely on a professional home inspector for some elements and areas in the house. These include inspections that look for dangerous, toxic substances such as asbestos or radon. In addition, mold and pest problems are also better assessed by certified personnel.

In general, it is better to rely on an expert as they are trained to spot issues in the household. You will also hold more negotiating power during the purchasing process if you have confirmation from a certified professional. With that said, let’s look at the home inspection checklist for homebuyers in Seattle.

So, just as you want a professional moving company to deal with such delicate matters as the safety of your belongings, you want to have a professional inspector determining if your future home is safe to live in. Of course, with regards to moving, you probably know what to look for in a moving company, what traits they need to have so you know they are reliable. Yet, with home inspections, you may not be quite sure what it should cover. This list is here to help you out with that.

Home inspection checklist for Seattle buyers

Roof and chimney

  • If the home has a roof, a home inspection should determine the condition of its shingles.
  • Any cracks or breakages need to be mended as they could inflict severe damage to your home over time.
  • If you have a roof deck, a home inspector will check if the wood is rotten or if the laminate shows signs of decay.
  • When it comes to the chimney, you need to check if it is leaning.
  • Also, examine the masonry cap for potential breaks and cracks.


  • The bathroom plumbing is in good condition, with no water damage.
  • Don’t forget to check below the sink.
  • The water pressure is satisfactory for both hot and cold water. Swirl the tap to check this.
  • The bathtub, shower, toilets, and sinks drain well.
  • The toilet is stable when you sit on it.
  • There should be no leaking around the base of the shower.

Kitchen area

  • The plumbing under the sink that is visible shows no sign of decay or water damage.
  • The exhaust fan vents suck the air in and release it outside.
  • The water pressure and water flow are satisfactory.
  • The appliances function well.
  • Check the garbage disposal.

The interior part of the home

  • The inside walls and floors are straight and leveled.
  • There are no stains, cracks, or water damage on the walls.
  • Check if the light fixtures operate well.
  • The doors should open and close easily and latch perfectly.
  • There are enough outlets in the rooms.
  • The smoke detectors are positioned well and work properly.

Wooden structures

  • Examine the wooden structures for signs of damage, missing or sagging sections.
  • Note the condition of the paint and the top protective layer.

Windows and doors

  • Check the insulation of the windows and doors.
  • The windows and doors should be perfectly square.
  • What is the condition of the plastic and the rubber insulation part?
  • Is the wood rotten?
  • Is there air coming into the room?

Grounds and Exterior Walls

  • The foundation and flooring are in good condition with no cracks.
  • There are no traces of leaks from the septic tank.
  • The drainage system does not keep water standing.
  • Gutters are in good condition and drain properly.
  • The side walls also do not exhibit cracks or damage.
  • Brick and mortar show no signs of decay in the joints.
  • The paint on the exterior walls is not flaking or stained.


Also, make sure you check the garage, shed, fences, and deck if the home has these components.


  • Look for signs of moisture, water, or water damage.
  • Also, check the ground floor for signs of water damage.
  • The HVAC system should also be evaluated for efficiency.


  • No evidence of stains coming from the roof structure
  • The roof structure shows no signs of leaks, damage, or decay
  • Ventilation through soffit vents works well
  • The insulation is installed correctly and in good condition.

So, there you have it – this is our ultimate home inspection checklist for buyers in Seattle!

Have you noticed that simply being by the water induces a sense of calm and well-being over you? Is this all placebo or is there actually some science going on here? People say living next to a lake, river, sea or ocean actually improves their happiness – and according to Dr. W. Christopher Winter, author of The Sleep Solution, living by water can increase creativity and help you sleep more soundly which is intriguing – but not enough evidence to pick up everything and move towards the water!

However, biologist Dr. Wallace J. Nichols actually decided to explore this phenomena even further, and wrote a book called Blue Mind discussing the effects a body of water can have on a person’s overall mental health. In his studies, Nichols states water actually “lowers stress and anxiety, increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate, and safe, better workouts. Aquatic therapists are increasingly looking to the water to help treat and manage PTSD, addiction, anxiety disorders, autism and more.” And if the research leading Nichols to this conclusion isn’t convincing enough, Hawaii is ranked the #1 happiest and healthiest state in America according to the annual Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Coincidence? I think not!

So, this calming aura, or the “water effect”, does seem to be real, but does it sound like it could help you? Well it certainly sounds like the perfect cure for the chaos of today – with people constantly driven towards technology, working more hours, working more hours from home, and forgoing that vacation you planned 6 months ago… I mean no wonder we’re feeling a bit more stressed and anxious! So maybe it’s time to change your mentality, bring the water to you, and have that new vacation-like lifestyle you’ve been day dreaming about for years!

What are some of the lifestyle changes that specifically come with living near water?

  1. Walk or bike along the lake whenever you want for safer, more beautiful trips, with better places to stop along the way – especially in Seattle which offers a plethora of walking/biking paths stretching for miles. What better way to spend an afternoon and get some exercise?
  2. Sailing, boating and other water sports are now at your fingertips. If walking and biking aren’t enough to keep us entertained well now you have the opportunity for boating, surfing, kayaking, paddle boarding and more. Even if you don’t your own boat many shops along the lake offer paddle boats or canoe rentals for a small fee! Plus, if you buy a home now, you get a $2,000 credit to Urban Surf (electric surfboard anyone?).
  3. If nothing else, you can’t beat the natural beauty. This may be dipping back into the mental health benefits, but water truly is one of the most beautiful natural features on earth bringing along with it aquatic plants, birds, fish and water dwelling mammals, which for nature lovers, is quite a picturesque scene. Can you imagine working a few hours on your rooftop deck with your laptop out and this as your backdrop? Feel more relaxed just thinking about it? Well stop thinking about it and do something!

Still have some reservations about living one the water? Let me guess… is it the price? Well that’s why living by the water is key – you get basically all the added benefits, without all the extra upkeep, and for a much better price!

Take for example our Baymont project with Isola Homes. These beauties are located just off the shores of lake Washington with great access to all the lake amenities including the giant Montlake Community Center (which is great for land activities but is also a favorite launch point for kayakers and paddle boarders). Plus are aren’t multi-million-dollar homes like all other water-front properties in Seattle! Even better – they are brand new!

Want to tour these homes or are looking for something similar? Contact us now!