When you buy a home you will likely hire a professional to do an inspection but as you are narrowing down your choices you can do your own informal inspection, weeding out houses that have obvious issues. Here are a few tips on what to look for:

As you near the point of making an offer on your target property, you’ll want to include the following in your personal inspection of the property:

– Check the foundation for cracks.
– Does the house show any obvious water damage?
– Examine ceilings, window areas and walls.
– Check for damaged plaster and wallpaper.
– Do you detect dampness or mold?
– Examine the attic for water leaks and structural integrity.
– Check electrical, heating and plumbing.
– Test the air conditioner and thermostat.
– Look at the major appliances included in the sale.
– Check for building quality and drafts.
– Does water drain away from the house, or toward?
– Are trees to near the foundation?
– Check additional structures, such as a garage or shed.

Covering your bases prior to making your initial offer, will help you make a solid decision as you move through the process. Further, if you make your offer contingent upon inspections, you’ll have time to hire a professional to ensure that the home you are buying is in the condition that you are willing to pay for it.