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Buying an old home? Here's a quick checklist

By Guest Author | August 17, 2015

When looking for a house, we easily overlook some important things just because we like the location, the view, the paint or the overall looks of the house. We forget to check the details that could heavily impact our quality of life in that house in case there is an issue. Here we give you a check list of the things to inspect before you decide to buy the house you like.


Image credit: FrankWinkler via

The exterior

Roof – check the roof for any damaged or missing tiles, this could cause a leaking roof. Check if the chimney is leaning to one side or bulging. You can use binoculars for this.
Paved paths and areas – check for damage, cracks, loose bricks for example, you could hurt yourself walking on uneven or damaged pathways.

Foundation and stairs – also check for breakage or cracking.

Railings – check the gates and fences for any signs of rotting and any loose railings.

Woodpiles – they are attractive to termites, so if there are woodpiles touching the house, have a pest inspector look for signs of termite infestation.

The interior


Mold – this is a major one since the presence of mold can negatively affect your health. Check for mold in the corners and inspect all walls, also notice if there is smell in any of the rooms. Check for condensation in dual-paned windows, peek under the kitchen and bathroom sinks, around the tub and refrigerator.

Walls – check the walls for cracks, holes, water stains.

Windows – check windows for cracks, breakages, make sure they open and close well.

Floor – check for damaged and squeaky areas, uneven surfaces, check if the floor is sloped by placing a can on it, if it rolls, it is.

Doors – check if all locks operate, if the doorframes are pulled away from the door, if there are cracks in them and if they remain stationary when left open.

Plumbing in bathroom and kitchen – look for any wet areas, there might be leaks if the floor is spongy or wet, check the faucets, are they dripping? Check the stoppers in tubs and sinks, check if the pipes makes noise, if the shower has good water pressure, if the toilet bowl fills back with water.

Electrical system – look for any exposed wires, broken light fixtures and fans.

Lead – if it is an older house, from the 80s and before, check if there is lead-based paint and lead pipes, these could cause health problems due to their toxins.

Basement – check for rats, termites, mold, if there is an oil tank, make sure there is no wetness on it.

It's perfectly fine to ask to have more than one look around the house and it would be good if you could do it in different weather conditions to get a better impression. Be thorough and be picky, this is your new home and you deserve to be comfortable. Happy house hunting!


About the author: Emma Lawson is an experienced writer. She never stops seeking green solutions for better living. Experts from ePest Solutions helped her greatly when she bought her house, making it safer for a brand new family life.

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