Top Ten Tips.
- Take a quick look at the roofs of other houses as you approach the house you are viewing. A typical asphalt shingle roof needs reshingling every 15 years or so. Are the shingles curling or missing? Note especially the south and west sides.
- Is the property neat and tidy? Maintenance is key to keeping your house in good condition over the long haul.
- If you poured a bucket of water on the ground, where would it flow? Water should drain away from the house.
- Look at any painted surfaces. Are they peeling and exposed or smooth? Good paint jobs done regularly will protect wood from the elements.
- Look at any brickwork – especially around the top of the chimney and at ground level. Salt stains (efflorescence) and broken bricks (spalling) often mean moisture. While not always a problem, further investigation may be called for.
- Take a quick peek at the air conditioner – level? Clean? Air conditioners last for about 12-15 years if properly maintained. Significantly less if they aren’t.
- As you go into the basement, take a good smell. A wet, damp basement has a distinct odour – and it is usually not nice.
- Cracks in the floor are usually cosmetic as are most wall cracks. If the parts on either side of the crack don’t line up with each other there is a cause for concern. Likewise if there is a pool of water anywhere in the basement. Look for water stains around the cracks.
- Old furnaces are big. Really old furnaces are even bigger and the duct work is big. Modern furnaces are much smaller and usually have a condensate line coming out of the side of the cabinet. Note that this is separate from the A/C condensate line, which comes out the side of the duct directly above the furnace cabinet.
- A quick look at the electrical panel – don’t touch it! It should be easy to get at, the wires should be secured within the first couple of inches and there should be no water sources nearby.
Thanks to Tom Lesnick from Tom Lesnick Home Inspections for the information.