Do basement walls have large cracks that indicate a shifting foundation? Mildew stains that indicate dampness/flooding? Is an unheated basement’s ceiling insulated?
Are exposed beams and joists in good condition?
Is the attic well-insulated? Is there any evidence of water damage from a leaky roof?
Are floors springy or are they even and sturdy?
Are walls (particularly at door frames and windows) free from large cracks?
Do all doors and windows work smoothly?
Are bathroom fixtures in good condition? Does the faucet’s water flow remain steady when toilets are flushed?
Does water drain well?
Are there enough well-placed electrical outlets in the rooms? Does the service to the house match its current electrical needs?
Is the capacity and recovery time of the water heater adequate for your family? Does the water heater show signs of rust?
Do kitchen appliances seem to be in good condition? Do any come with the sale? Will your appliances fit in the present spaces if need be?
Do furnace and/or air conditioning unit(s) appear well-serviced? Is the blower quiet?
Even after a careful review, when everything “feels right” you should take the extra step to make certain everything “works right”. When you’re seriously considering buying a particular house, keep these factors in mind:
Hire a professional building inspector to make sure the house is in sound condition. Use his or her report to make informed decisions.
Ask your Agent about Home Protection Plans available in your area. This warranty protects you in case of major mechanical system and problems with some appliances.
Decide which flaws you can live with and which you’d prefer to have repaired. You may also be able to refinance some repairs in your mortgage.