When we are looking at a house and we know this could be the one I like to take a look at it and go through a little bit more of the issues that may come up during an inspection so I have fewer surprises after a professional goes through it.
I would first take a look at the outside looking at the gutters and roof to see if it is an older shingle or looks like more wear and also the gutters to make sure they are doing their thing keeping water away from your foundation and perimeter of the house. Under a deck is a good place to see if it's leaking and the supports are in good shape. It is better to do this from below than to find out when you are falling through it. (Pro tip)
Inside the house, I always look up at the ceilings. This will tell you if there may have or be a leak especially look around any hole in your roof. (fireplace chimney, skylight) I find that especially around a chimney the flashing on the roof will fail at some point and you want to make sure it's in good shape. You may see some drywall cracking in the corners or in the ceiling and most is a cosmetic issue but still is something we can have a better look at. If the downstairs has an unfinished ceiling or a crawlspace, I’m all over it. We can see everything from the plumbing to electrical, and see how the house is holding up. I’ve seen cut trees to hold flooring joists up or stacked up rocks, there are some better options out there for this now.
I also look at the windows to see if they are vinyl or metal and the metal ones especially the single panes will sweat more because of the hot inside and cold outside. The place to look at is the corners in the sill to see if it has rotted the wood out.
Bathrooms are the next place I get a good look in and look underneath the sink to see if any water leaks and turn the taps on as well for the same. I feel a single-piece tub surround is the easiest product out there as no water can get out but there are tubs with tile above or a tiled shower that should be closely looked at to make sure it's done properly and sealed so that water doesn’t go through the grout. You may see some darkening in the grout or if there is a section that is higher or lower than the rest get someone to take a better look at it. The professionals have the tools to verify that all is well or not.
We are just taking a look so we are prepared and can do some research on how to fix it if it does come up.
The cosmetic things are normally fairly easy to spot, flooring repairs or chipped countertops so I don’t spend as much time pointing those things out but the other items are things that I feel is better to know could be an issue so that we don’t have such a huge list of things on the inspection day that catch us off guard.
If we can catch half of what the inspector finds it is a much less stressful day when they go through the house.
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