Home Buyer Due-Diligence Checklist

Buying a home is an exciting time but also one of the most stressful periods in life. You need to make a lot of considerations and take many steps before closing on your new property. ‘Course, it’s a no-brainer not to leave any stone unturned. That said, the due diligence phase is crucial to investigate the property you plan to buy and come up with an informed decision. So tick every box in this definitive due diligence checklist to ensure as little to no regrets as possible.

Do Your Research

The first thing on your list should be to stay informed. Remember, your future home will be a place that reflects who you are and speaks about the type of lifestyle you lead. Knowing this, here are a few things to consider:

  • Location: Is the place close to work or school? Is there access to public transport? If possible, drive through the streets to check out conveniences like grocery shops, restaurants, etc. Also, note down local amenities such as hospitals, parks, and shopping malls near your residence.
  • Homes for sale nearby and the competition around. Compare your house with other properties in the neighborhood. Does it seem overpriced? Is it in accordance with the median home price? However, everything still depends on the size and grandeur of the house you’re planning to buy.
  • Housing Conditions: Talk to your realtor about the building’s past records, including any construction problems, legal issues like noise complaints, or labor disputes.
  • Crime Rate: Look for crime maps online that show crimes committed in an area within a given time frame. You don’t want to compromise your family’s safety. 

Inspect The Home You Plan to Buy

This is the most critical moment in the homebuying process. You need to inspect the property, preferably with an expert in building and construction. Pay attention to every little detail when it comes down to physical damage both inside and outside the house. Some things to note of:

  • Check for exterior cracks. Cracks on the surface mostly mean there’s some sort of damage going on deeper into the foundation. 
  • Look for signs of water damage.  Watch out for black mold along the edges of walls, as this can be unhealthy to the lungs. Some sellers like to conceal moisture damage with paint so make sure you check every corner out.
  • Be skeptical about air fresheners. Obviously, sellers will want the room to be as presentable as possible. But if the scent of the air freshener is too strong, they might be trying to hide something, such as leaky sewage, animal poop, or even a body (you never know)!
  • Inspect the gutters. Well-maintained gutters mean the home is protected from water damage. But more than a working system, be wary of homes that use vinyl gutters. Although there might be a few reasons to avoid vinyl gutters, the primary cause is that owners tend to install them incorrectly on their own, causing damage in the long run.
  • Notice uneven floors.  Bring a marble when checking a house and put it on the floor. If it rolls, that means the floors are not aligned and might be costly to fix.

Your intuition plays a significant role during the inspection process. If something seems fishy or feels off, don’t be afraid of asking questions about it. It’s better to know everything beforehand than to have regrets later on.

Your intuition plays a significant role during the inspection process.

Ask for Necessary Documents

Some essential documents to request from your real estate agent include the title of ownership, tax declaration, deed of sale, a list of inspections, and any other document disclosing known issues with the property. If they can’t be provided or you’re not satisfied with the current paperwork, use this time to discuss and get everything fixed before going through with the purchase.

Make sure to request the essential documents from your realtor.

Consider Getting an Appraisal

A professional appraiser can determine the market value of a property and guide you to make an informed decision. Plus, if the home is in disrepair or needs some work done before closing on it, then your appraisal can help you negotiate a reasonable price for the compromises that comes with it.

Evaluate Energy Efficiency Ratings

It will be impossible for you to tell whether a house has been well-maintained without having a thorough inspection performed by experts. As a well-informed buyer, you’ll want to seek a home that has a good energy efficiency rating. It doesn’t have to be fancy, like with solar panels or eco-friendly light bulbs. You just want to make sure you’re not wasting utilities in the future so ask about the insulation and energy usage.


The due diligence phase can be a daunting period of your life, but you don’t have to go through the entire process alone. During such a crucial time, you should consider getting a reliable real estate agent who’s keen on achieving your best interests.

The due diligence phase can be daunting so make sure you have a game plan for how to tackle the process.

What Should I Know Before Moving to Arkansas?

Before relocating to Arkansas, check out a few facts about ‘The Natural State.’ Unlike anything you have experienced before, Arkansas is a peaceful state with plenty of rolling hills, friendly neighbors, farms, and down-home comfort. You will love your new state, especially once you learn the facts below.

Down by the River

Is where all the fun happens. Grab a cooler and a 12-pack, a few fishing poles, and the bathing suits when you want to have a little fun and beat the state’s heat and humidity.

No Professional Sporting Teams

Sports fans hate the idea of relocating to a state without a professional sporting team, but the angst isn’t so bad in Arkansas. The University of Arkansas Razorbacks enjoys support from sports fans throughout the state. You will see Razorbacks memorabilia about everywhere and likely hear a few conversations as well.

Breakfast Will Never Be the Same

How many mornings have you enjoyed Chocolate Gravy? Once you relocate to Arkansas, it becomes an everyday morning meal. Try Chocolate Gravy with bacon and biscuits for a superb start to the day.

The Blue Law

Stock up on liquor on Saturday evening. Arkansas has a strange liquor law called the ‘Blue Law’ that prevents alcohol sales on Sunday. Bars are open if you want to hang out with friends, however.

Let Nature Soothe You

According to the Great Guys Moving Arkansas guide, natural beauty is one of the top pros for moving to the state. Take every opportunity possible to get outside and enjoy the rolling hills, glorious sunshine, hunting, hiking trails, amazing lookout points, and, of course, The Ozarks. Natural beauty is a highlight of living in Arkansas.

Buy a Gun

Arkansas is filled with gun-toting men and women. Some carry guns for hunting purposes while others simply invoke their First Amendment rights to carry. If you want to fit in with the crowd, buying a handgun is probably a good idea.

That’s Crappie

Crappie is a type of fish, and in Arkansas, it is the main course for families quiet often. Don’t be alarmed if you hear conversations about ‘crappie’ from the locals or if someone asks how you like your Crappie! As strange as the name sounds, Crappie is quite delicious!

Man, it’s Hot

In a state that averages a summertime high temperature of 93 degrees, saying that it is hot is an understatement. Add in the humidity, and summers in Arkansas can be downright sweltering and uncomfortable. Prepare for both heat and moisture in your new home state.

Mosquito Alley

Arkansas has hot, humid summers. This provides mosquitoes with the perfect breeding grounds. Expect them to come out in full force during the summer, especially if your home has any standing water. Carry bug spray with you wherever you go. Call a pest professional rather than battle mosquitoes all summer long.

A Tall Glass of Cold Sweet Iced Tea

In a tall, oversized glass served with plenty of ice is sweet tea. It is the drink of choice in Arkansas for many people. Arkansans do not make your average sweet tea; you have been forewarned. Summer, spring, winter, and fall, sweet tea is the drink you’ll always find available in a big pitcher. If you do not like it sweet, don’t drink the tea or make it yourself!