Whenever you view a home for the first time (or the second)…
Walk through the entire house to get a feel for the layout.
- Will you be able to live happily in the home as-is?
- Are there major changes you will want to do? Be sure to consider their cost.
- Is there adequate closet and storage space?
Check the condition of the floors.
- Will the carpet need to be changed or removed? Check for hardwood under carpet
- Will the hardwood refinished?.
- If possible, check under rugs for stains or faded flooring.
Look for evidence of water.
- take a close look at the ceilings and under windows for wet spots or water stains. Remember to check under sinks, too. In older homes with stone foundations, you are likely to find some moisture in the basement. A small amount is fine and to be expected in these homes, but a large amount of water in the basement is an issue. While you’re down there, check for mold, foundation cracks and the condition of the floor joists, if visible.
Locate the furnace, boiler, hot water heater, A/C unit, etc. You might be able to find a tag or sticker on these items with a date on it – this will give you an idea of its age. Your inspector will be able to tell you its remaining useful life.
Check out any appliances that may be staying in the home. Feel free to turn them on to make sure they work. Double check that the water line has been hooked up to the fridge, if necessary for filtered water or an ice maker.
Take a walk around the property for exterior issues. This is a good time to check for foundation issues and caulk around windows, doors, and siding.
Don’t stress yourself out about missing something – you’ll have an in-depth inspection once the property is under contract.