- Stand a good distance away from the home and look at it to see whether there is any evidence of slanted, bowed or buckled walls, a damaged roof or corners that don't appear square. Look to see whether any brick is separated, if necessary, which might indicate foundation problems. Hop in the center of floors inside to see whether they give in the middle. This might indicate poor support. Bring a golf ball or marble to set on the floor to check whether the floors have any slopes.
- Look for stains on the ceiling from a leaky roof. Look around the baseboards of walls or in the basement to see whether there is evidence of water seeping inside. Inspect the slope of ground around the home to see whether water would flow away from it after a rain. Check that the downspouts and gutters are positioned correctly and in good condition.
- Check out all plumbing in the home before making any offer. Serious plumbing problems can result in expensive repairs that cannot be overlooked. Take time to flush all toilets, turn on all faucets and test any other parts of the plumbing system possible. Make sure there is adequate water pressure, hot water and that there are no backed up drains in the home or other undisclosed plumbing issues.
- Electrical wiring in the home is something that will affect you the moment you move in. Check the circuit breaker box and ensure it has been maintained. It should have at least 100 amps marked on the main switch. Count the number of outlets and bring a small electrical device to test that they all work.
- Turn on all appliances that will be included in the purchase. Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves or any other appliances should be in working order if they are to be considered part of the deal.
- Finally, check the home for general cleanliness. People trying to sell a home will want it to look the best it possibly can when it is on the market. But, if you notice the sellers of a home haven't bothered to clean up the place during an open house, be warned that they might not have treated the guts and bones of residence well while living in it.