General plan: The traffic pattern and layout of rooms is important. Observe the general condition with respect to maintenance and repair.
Living/dining/family room areas: Size and design should be large enough for particular requirements and conveniently located. Any fireplace should have a damper that works and a clean chimney.
Bedrooms: Number should be adequate for present and future uses, with each having an outside window, proper closet space, and entry off a hallway.
Bathrooms: An adequate number of bathrooms is very important and every floor should have a bathroom facility. Check for cracks in tiles, signs of leaks, how long it takes to get hot water, and proper ventilation.
Kitchen: Check appliances such as stove, refrigerator, disposal, dishwasher, and microwave for age, and inquire about present age, condition, and any warranties in effect. Check amount of shelf and counter space, electrical outlets, and storage areas. If a separate breakfast room is not available, there should be adequate space for a kitchen eating area.
Walls and ceilings: Look for major cracks, loose or falling plaster, and any signs of leaks or stains.
Windows and doors: Check to see that windows and doors have adequate locks and open and close properly.
Floors: Walk and jump lightly on floors to determine any movement; check for levelness or bowing.
Stairs: Check for any loose treads or handrails.
Basement: If applicable, basement area should be checked for signs of water leaking, dampness, flooding, dry rot, termites, and for adequate lighting.
Attic: If applicable, the attic should be checked for signs of leaks and any rodent or insect infestation, and if insulated, check type and quantity.
Plumbing system: Check type of water pipes and sewer lines, that can be seen, look for rusting or leaking; turn on faucets to test water pressure; look for clogged or sluggish drains or dripping faucets.
Electrical system: Check load center and observe if there are fuses or circuit breakers; check age and look for signs of wear or exposed wires.
Heating system: Check the type of heating system such as warm air, hot water, or electrical, and determine age and condition. Check for gas leaks and cracked heat exchanger.
Water heater: Check for signs of leaking or rusting. Determine capacity and recovery rate, age, and condition.
Air conditioning or cooling system: If applicable, check type of air conditioning or cooling system, age, condition, freon, and leaks.