Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > DIY Repair > General DIY Discussions

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-01-2007, 10:58 AM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


My husband and I are thinking of buying a house. We've only seen the outside, but we fell in love with the lot. Our realtor says the inside is "terrific," but the jury is still out until we see it obviously.

The house was built around 1960. We're going to look at it Friday. Can you guys tell me some specific things I should be on the lookout for when we're looking at the inside? We plan to get a home inspection, but I'd still like to know what to look for.

Another thing, it's bricked all the way down to the ground, but I noticed it has vents around the bottom of the house and there's steps up to the front door. Does that mean it's not on a slab foundation? If so, what are the pros and cons of not having a house on a foundation?

Thanks for any advice you can offer! This will be the first home we've owned so I want to make sure we're making a good investment.

sweetsue777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 12:11 PM   #2
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsue777 View Post
My husband and I are thinking of buying a house. We've only seen the outside, but we fell in love with the lot. Our realtor says the inside is "terrific," but the jury is still out until we see it obviously.

The house was built around 1960. We're going to look at it Friday. Can you guys tell me some specific things I should be on the lookout for when we're looking at the inside? We plan to get a home inspection, but I'd still like to know what to look for. .
Well, Where to begin? Maybe you should go to a book store and find something like a "Home Inspection for Dummies". (No sarcasm intended)
There are ALOT of things to look for. For starters:

Roof: How many layers, condition? (only way to tell is to get up on the roof and look) ridge-vent installed? Soffit venting or any kind of venting? etc...

Attic: Inspection can reveal the proper level of insulation, wall insulation, moisture of roof leaks, proper construction design, etc.
Electrical: kind of wiring, proper breaker box configuration, 200 amp? etc...

Heating system: Age of furnace, regular maintenance done?, efficiency rating? Cleaned?

Hot water tank: Age? condition?

Basement condition: Dry, moist, damp or even WET?!! (Run if wet).
Also examine the main carrying beam, joists, general structural design, any pest damage?

Plumbing: Condition? leaks? proper Capacity for home?

Sewage: Septic and leachfield age/condition? Concrete=best.

Paint/exterior: Condition? Maintained?

Chimneys: conditon? maintenance? Cleaned? Flashing condition?

Property drainage: Water run-off? Direction? Pooling? etc...

Gutters: Condition? No gutters? should have had gutters?

Bathrooms: Condition and age of: Toilet and floor around it. Bathtub and floor/walls around it. Condition of all plumbing fixtures?

Window and Doors: Condition/age? Energy efficient? Insulated? etc..

Foundation: Cracks, tilting, leaning??....Block wall, stains?, displacement? moisture on surface? etc...

Do you plan on expanding the home? addition, bathroom, etc....Does the property allow for it, will there be an issue with the town, neighbor, property lines? Do the home's current utilities allow for future expansion (Septic< etc...)

There is SO, So Much to consider and looke for. These are just the tip of the iceberg....
Your Home inspector should give you a full written report that should be very lengthy, possibly 50 pages +, discussing all of the above and much more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsue777 View Post
Another thing, it's bricked all the way down to the ground, but I noticed it has vents around the bottom of the house and there's steps up to the front door. Does that mean it's not on a slab foundation? If so, what are the pros and cons of not having a house on a foundation?
.
Sounds like it could be a crawl space foundation?
Pros and cons are dependant on the area of the country and climate you live in.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsue777 View Post
Thanks for any advice you can offer! This will be the first home we've owned so I want to make sure we're making a good investment.

Hope this helps a little and Good luck on your quest....and your home inspection.


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 01-01-2007 at 12:15 PM.
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 12:30 PM   #3
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Levittown, Pa.
Posts: 534
Rewards Points: 528
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


I can list a few.
In the interior, check the walls; do they feel too cold or too warm. This could indicate no insulation. If the heat is not on, go back and check again when it is. Check the seals around the windows for drafts. What kind of windows? Are they single, double or triple pane? What materials are they made of? Are they wood with metal or vinyl clading on the outside? Are they name brand windows such as "Pella" "Marvin" or "Anderson to name just a few? If the windows are covered with shades or blinds, open them up all the way. You want to see how the room looks with all the available daylight.
What rooms are important to you, where you want the morning or afternoon sun to brighten it up. Note the location of the windows that are facing east or west. My preferance is a kitchen window facing east.
There should be sufficient electrical recepticals on each wall.
Look for ground fault circuit interupters (recepticals) in the bathroom and outside walls; unless the electrical service panel has them installed inside the panel.
Check the basement for dryness and any odors. Check the age of the heating and airconditioning systems. If these were maintained well, a house heater should last at least 30 years before needing replacement and the air conditioning compressor should give you at least 20 years. Ask to see utility bills for winter and summer. Look at the front and rear doors and check for proper sealing and closing properly.
Check the attic floor for insulation and insulation between the rafters.
These are just some of what to look for. You might find a few books in the library that will help.
Consult with a real estate attorney and ask him to represent you at settlement. The real estate salesman is the sellers friend only. The attorney will guide you in what papers you need to sign before the settlement and he may also may want to view them before signing.
This is to prevent you from paying any charges that you do not have to. Also check this website out: http://content.realestateabc.com/homebuying/
Good Luck.
rjordan392 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 06:23 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


Should I worry that I noticed a few spots on the outside where the brick had cracked and then been repaired?
sweetsue777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 06:55 PM   #5
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 14
Rewards Points: 10
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


Slight update... Realtor said termite inspector said house was very well constructed... 3 subfloors. Is that good or bad?
sweetsue777 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 07:33 PM   #6
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsue777 View Post
Should I worry that I noticed a few spots on the outside where the brick had cracked and then been repaired?
Not necessarily...
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 07:33 PM   #7
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetsue777 View Post
Slight update... Realtor said termite inspector said house was very well constructed... 3 subfloors. Is that good or bad?
Unusual, but not a bad a bad thing.
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 07:42 PM   #8
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Levittown, Pa.
Posts: 534
Rewards Points: 528
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


Don't make any commitments until you have your building inspector check out the house. Tell him you want a yes or no on the condition of the house and no best guess's on it and then ask if he carrys liability insurance. If he balks, get another inspector. There are too many out there posing as building inspectors. Check their credantials.
The real estate person has no business conveying to you the termite inspectors opinion of the construction of the house. You just want to know when the last termite inspection was performed and if a treatment was performed. This is the building inspectors job as you will be paying him much more then a termite inspectors assessment of any termite damage.
A good building inspector will assess the cracks in your brick. I would be concerned, especially when there are a few of them.
Beware of any real estate sales people who do not answer your direct questions. Remember one thing; real estate companys will hire their own individual inspectors. So they only work for them. Get your own building inspector for the best evaluation of the condition of the house.
rjordan392 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2007, 08:48 PM   #9
Tired, Cold, and Damp
 
slickshift's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Cape Cod
Posts: 3,089
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


A good inspector will be one of your best investments
Don't cheap out, or use someone recommended by the realtor

Barry Stone has some good advice about the "DYI Pre-Inspection Inspection" :

Quote:
Originally Posted by Barry Stone
The purpose of a home inspection is to determine the general and specific conditions of a property, including the roofing, plumbing, and electrical wiring. Instead, you're hoping to obtain equivalent information prior to the inspection itself. Shortcuts of this nature can be misleading, owing to countless and unpredictable variables; especially with older homes. In attempting a pre-inspection evaluation, who, besides a professional inspector, can you ask? If you review the property yourself, misinterpretations are likely to occur: Major problems could be deemed insignificant or could be overlooked entirely, while routine defects might appear worse than they truly are.

With electrical wiring in an older home, conditions can be substandard to varying degrees and in ways that would not be readily observable. Circuits could be functional but obsolete. The wiring might be partially or completely upgraded, and alterations could appear adequate and safe to the untrained eye, when quite the opposite might be true. Where upgrades have been performed, the workmanship could be substandard or in violation of code, and such defects might not be readily apparent. Prejudgments of the system could be contrary to the findings of the eventual home inspection.

As to the roof, there is no set answer to the question, "When does roofing need to be replaced?" Findings can vary according to the type of roof, the quality and age of the material, how well it was originally installed, prevailing weather conditions in the area, and so on. The only way to predict the remaining life of a roof is to have an on-site evaluation by a qualified professional.

At this stage of the purchase process, you're hoping to avoid the inspection fee on a property you might decide not to buy. Unfortunately, this approach is not practical. If you're serious about purchasing the home, the cost of comprehensive fact finding is a thoroughly justifiable expense. If the property appears to be generally acceptable and you feel reasonably sure about buying it, the time for a professional home inspection has arrived.
I understand your question and concerns and I don't think you are trying to avoid the inspection before actual purchase, but I think Mr. Stone's line "If the property appears to be generally acceptable and you feel reasonably sure about buying it, the time for a professional home inspection has arrived." is the best advice
slickshift is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2007, 05:11 AM   #10
Lic. Builder/GC/Remodeler
 
AtlanticWBConst.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: New England
Posts: 7,556
Rewards Points: 2,000
Default

Buying house... Need advice!


Quote:
Originally Posted by rjordan392 View Post
Don't make any commitments until you have your building inspector check out the house. Tell him you want a yes or no on the condition of the house and no best guess's on it and then ask if he carrys liability insurance. If he balks, get another inspector. There are too many out there posing as building inspectors. Check their credantials.
The real estate person has no business conveying to you the termite inspectors opinion of the construction of the house. You just want to know when the last termite inspection was performed and if a treatment was performed. This is the building inspectors job as you will be paying him much more then a termite inspectors assessment of any termite damage.
A good building inspector will assess the cracks in your brick. I would be concerned, especially when there are a few of them.
Beware of any real estate sales people who do not answer your direct questions. Remember one thing; real estate companys will hire their own individual inspectors. So they only work for them. Get your own building inspector for the best evaluation of the condition of the house.
I think you must mean: HOME Inspector.

Not sure if you are from the U.S., but 'building' inspectors work for the local town or state and are considered municipal employees.

'Home Inspectors' work independantly or for a franchise and are not affiliated with the local or state governments.....


Last edited by AtlanticWBConst.; 01-02-2007 at 05:53 PM.
AtlanticWBConst. is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Urgent advice needed on sagging roof for home I'm buying jwoair23 Roofing/Siding 6 02-20-2007 12:17 PM
Buying this house... Leikela General DIY Discussions 9 01-01-2007 11:23 PM
Need advice and assurance on house issues! Leikela General DIY Discussions 3 12-04-2006 11:10 PM
Need advice...rotten floor joists on house I'm buying strngelitlgrrl General DIY Discussions 5 08-01-2005 10:14 PM
Buying a house? johnnyr600 General DIY Discussions 7 05-01-2005 09:25 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.