When purchasing a home it is important to perform a thorough assessment of the home’s structure, equipment, and surroundings. Real estate purchase contracts provide appropriate language to protect buyers from purchasing a structurally unsound home, while at the same time protecting sellers from liability. An inspection can be made by an inspection service company, or a buyer may choose to inspect the home him or herself.
The following are some suggested areas to examine:
- What is the condition of the structure and foundation? Are floor joists rotting? Is there evidence of water seepage or moisture problems? Is the crawl space dry and vented?
- What is the condition of floors and walls, whether drywall or plaster? Check for water marks.
- Does the roof leak? Is the attic sufficiently insulated and vented?
- Is the wood burner, fireplace or pellet stove up to code? When was it last cleaned?
- What type of heat is used, and is minor periodic maintenance required?
- Is there the standard house electrical current? Are circuits, outlets and fuses or circuit breakers sufficient for everyday needs? What is the condition of the wiring?
- Are appliances and fixtures all in working order?
- Are doors and windows easy to open and close? Single pane, double, thermal?
- Is the home connected to city water and sewer? Has the well been tested for bacteria? Is there adequate water pressure? When was the septic tank pumped last?
- What type of hot water system is present? What’s the gallon capacity? How long has it been in service?
- Are exterior walls and siding suitable to weather conditions? Do they need oiled or painted?
- What is the state of the exterior and grounds? Is grading level or properly contoured? Are fences, walls, patio and driveways in good condition?
Whether the home is new or not so new, it pays to know what to look for in the home’s structure, equipment, and surroundings.