Old Home Inspection Checklist
A Homeowners Guide for What to Look for When Buying Old Homes
You’ve never owned an older home before but are obsessively attracted to them. Those deep moldings, wide floorboards and wrap around porches are filled with the kind of character that pulls on your heartstrings. But beware. Older homes are rarely, if ever, in perfect condition. Whether you are looking to buy a well cared for classic home or the proverbial ‘fixer-upper’, be prepared for a journey into the unknown.
This old home inspection checklist is for the homeowner to use as a guide when looking at an older home to buy. This will give you an idea of what needs to be updated or repaired, who you’ll need to consult for a more in-depth analysis and will alert you to dangerous areas of concern. Some of what you uncover could be considered deal breakers, but if you are willing to do the work, they might just be another thing to add to your fix-it-up list.
Know your limits.
Can you afford the time that you’ll need to oversee this project and/or do work on it? Try to remember that this is a business investment and be as objective and realistic as possible.
What’s it going to take?
When assessing each point on the checklist, make notes on how much work and time it will take and put in an approximation of the costs involved if possible.
Give yourself an all-in budget.
That means the price of the house, including closing costs, and all updates, repairs and decorating. Do not forget the exterior landscaping and outbuildings. Add a healthy 25% over budget for contingency costs for unforeseen issues. It might seem like a lot, but you’ll be happy to have it factored in.
Invest in a Pro.
After you do your checklist and you’ve decided to take next steps, hire a certified Home Inspector. They are trained to go over the house with a fine tooth comb and a professional report is necessary for bank financing. However, they are not in the restoration business. If you want to zero in on costs and work needed, go the extra mile and get estimates from the pro’s, such as a HVAC professional, electrician, plumber, roofer, contractor, finish carpentry company, painter, window specialists, any remediation specialist and so on.
Use this checklist and our other resources to help you assess costs to use as a leveraging tool when negotiating the price of the house.