User guide: How to inspect a private home before buying


To buy a capital house for permanent residence it is best in winter or early spring. The object is in “working” condition, and all the problems are clearly visible. In this period you will be able to assess keeps the house warm, good water supply and drainage, whether the management company or empties for the winter in hibernation.

How to inspect, not to be deceived? Here, what is important to pay attention to when buying a country house.

Instructions: Check the documents and footage before buying a home

Architectural Studio Petr & Pavel

Perfect holiday homes on the secondary market do not exist. But the defects can be different. Critical will require significant unplanned investments critical to eliminate small forces. Actually critical only two, but both can lead to the demolition of the house: it is the lack of documentation (the house is not registered) and the house is ready to fall apart.

Fact: non-Critical defects can be a reason for negotiations on the price reduction. Critical — about the radical price drop to values “plot with utilities and house demolition” (if the main worth location).



What to look for?

1. Indentations from the borders of neighboring plots (minimum 3 meters). This is especially important if the buildings on the cadastral map no. Walk the site with a smartphone in navigation mode, carefully studying the location of the buildings and compared with the cadastral map (about what to bring to the open house, I have been told).


2. Signs protracted. If the box is home in a few years stood without a roof — it’s just not gone the walls good. So look closely: recently completed parts will look newer than the rest of the house design. Ask probing questions of the owners (“Tell us who and how long ago begun construction”). And then, during your next visit, ask about the construction from the possible neighbors.

Cook Bros Design Build Remodeling

3. Foundation. The Foundation of a house. If something is wrong, then everything else is wrong: it is with a misaligned Foundation starts a chain of critical construction defects. Therefore, regardless of new or old home, inspect the Foundation and blind area carefully. Cracks under the layer of stucco you will not see. But checking visible of the “horizontal” and “vertical” construction level is desirable. However, compact level that we are, will not allow you to notice slight deviations — only serious. But to initially test the Foundation when buying a home, and more is required.

What you can check:

  • the verticality of the facade walls of the house, corners and piles;
  • the horizontal position of the visible part of the waist, the floor on the terrace.

A “before”picture

Centerbeam Construction

The question is, what deviation from the norm is considered a critical discussion. If more than ten years, and one side is “drowned” by a couple of inches is one thing. But if the house is relatively new and “walks” within the same 2 cm — it is an alarming sign: most likely, progress will continue.

How to identify defects Foundation

STK “Cuminic”

The Foundation from the inside also requires careful examination. Note the visible fragments (top) screw or driven piles. If they are completely covered with facing panels, and the owners say that access is no hiding, you are buying a “pig in a poke.”

If the access headroom to managed, ensure that piles are vertical (the bubble need a construction level). The deviation of the visible part or the drawdown of one or two piles for a few millimeters is critical. But if you dipped a corner or side of the house, or the whole number pile “leans” in one direction — it is bad. To buy a house just not worth it.


Important: If the house is not new, you should alert a “fresh” Windows, solid veneer siding cheap, especially svezheoshtukaturennoj (or lined) the cap and blind area. Perhaps you are dealing with a cloaking repairs. To find out for sure will help the rest of the house from the inside.

Yoha Shanti


What to look for?
As a rule, in the first place our attention is paid to the layout of the house, its decor and design. But we came to buy the house in the winter or early spring — at this time it is easier to see all of what the owners do not agree: as the house holds heat, not syreyut if the walls of the house and all communications are working.

Of course, if the house was prepared for sale and recently it was renovated — it was good. Newly renovated house is always pleasing to the eye. But the repair “patches” — the first sign that the building was hastily brought to marketability. Perhaps the house only looks strong, but in fact ready to fall apart.

READ:  Instruction: Check the documents and footage before buying a home

A-1 Builders and Adaptations Design Studio

If the repair was done in a hurry, and an old broken fungal mold wall refreshed with new paneling and Wallpaper is bad. How to check the condition of the house before buying? First of all, we go from the fresh air in the house and immediately sniff… the First sign of “unhealthy” home — heavy smell of mold and mustiness. If it is — possible problem with ventilation.

The basement. Water in basement, mold on the walls, rotting beams and subfloor — warning signs. If we are not talking about a house under demolition or reconstruction — to continue the inspection does not make sense.

Alex/ Line light

The loft (attic) and the roof. Inspect the design and sticking the insulation. If they are wet to the touch is bad, although not as critical as in the basement. In any case, you need to understand the reason. Two possible options: 1) leaking roof, 2) accumulate in the condensate.

With a cold attic is easier than with a warm attic, everything leaks at a glance. The roof was repaired and in order. With a loft, if it is insulated with errors, is more difficult. The source of moisture and insulation breakdown can be as leak and condensate.

DemNET Technologies

In both cases, note passing through the attic, utilities (air ducts and chimneys): they stains should not be.

Tip: If you like, but there is a suspicion that he has bad heat is thermal imaging inspection: check the roof and walls of the house. But it should be done in the cold season. And just in case, if you think about the deal before buying a home. Before the visit of experts with the imager ask the host to heat the house.

Holmes + Salter Interiors

The doors and Windows. Skewed Windows and doors — a sign of “lost” Foundation. Almost all experienced “smotrelki” know about it, so open and close all the doors and slamming doors. Accordingly, exposing a house with obvious defects Foundation for sale, the owners try not to give you extra reasons to see it. And the first thing is in such cases, a marketable Windows and doors. Be careful if the house is old and the doors and Windows — new!

A&D (architectural design Studio)

The floors and ceilings. Under two layers of plywood can hide the cracked Board. Therefore, plank flooring is better in condition “so-so” than with new laminate flooring, baseboards and trim. Walk around your house and stomp your feet up — don’t hesitate. Still shaking, and ringing in the buffet dishes? This indicates the weak beams of the ceiling — an unpleasant and intractable defect.

Now check the height difference, it will be useful to building level. In the extreme case, look for any ball (eg tennis). If he laid on the floor, hard rolled into one and the same angle, further inspection of the house spend with passion.

Architectural Studio Petr & Pavel

Wall. Their deviation from the vertical is bad. Perhaps the house started to be filled up.

Not a very good sign — fresh Wallpaper, glued on top of the drywall. Here are two possible options: repair fragments (e.g., one room or one wall) or a full cosmetic. In the first case, all more or less clear: on the wall had stains — they hid. The second will require a thermal imaging survey to make sure that everything is in order. Without this, the decision about buying a winter home is best not to accept.

Ceilings. Suspended (plasterboard) ceilings in wooden frame house — a sure sign that the object hastily cited in presentation: the smoke without fire does not happen.

Logan Killen Interiors


What to look for?

Water. Find out where the water (a well, a water main) and where it goes (the Central sewage system, anaerobic septic tank, the “airstation” biological treatment). Inquire about the features of the winter operation of water supply and to protect it from freezing. The options are:

  • plums and canned for the winter with partial disassembly;
  • maintaining zero temperature in kitchens and bathrooms convectors, “insurance” places a thin heating cables (find out how much it costs such exploitation);
  • constantly working independently heating the whole house in the standby mode.

Zubkov”s brothers Architectural workshop

Source of water supply. If the house is supplied with water from low-depth wells (the well), ask about the quality and limits of the water does not dry up if the source is in the summer. If the village Central water supply — what with it there are problems. The two most common: freezing and crash in winter and lack of water pressure with an active water use in the summer. Questions on this subject can be set as the owner and his neighbors (when you’ll meet them).

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Type water from the tap into a clean plastic container (remember, we advised him to put her in the trunk?). If the house is liked and you decide to continue the acquaintance — surrender for chemical analysis. Pay attention to such indicators as the presence in water of dissolved iron and manganese. If they are more than double the standards for drinking water, is an occasion to reflect. Modern water treatment systems allow almost any water to bring it to potable condition. The only question is, at what price.

The local sewer. See how looks a manhole in the treatment plant. If sticking out of the ground a green plastic cover and a barely audible gurgling water, the house is equipped with a local station with aeration. That’s good.

If in a corner plot with a concrete ring manhole covers, is the anaerobic septic tank. The indication for the use of such systems is a spacious, high and dry area with low groundwater level and a good filtering capacity of soils (sand) and no closer than 50 m from surface water intake.

If the land is six to ten acres, a septic tank of concrete rings, water from a well, and around the swamp — you do not offer house with urban amenities, and are dangerous to health and wallet imitation.

North company

Electricity. Check the wiring on the first viewing, you will not succeed. The situation can partly rescue the tester electrical outlets: it will show whether they, whether the ground.

Ask them to turn on the light and enable powerful heating appliances — what are (kettle, water boiler, convectors, etc.). Slots on the flap doesn’t blow? Well. Now look at the panel with the meter, fix on your camera phone of his testimony.


Heating. If it is furnace — ask the owners to flood the oven. Failure is a reason to think.

If the heating gas is good. Check that the meter is sealed, the boiler is working and the battery warm.

A variant of the “village of gasified, gas on the border area, leaving only connect” requires in-depth study. For example, did you or your predecessor in the overall costs of gasification. But even if the gas pipe opened on land, the cost of laying a highway through the area and the gas connection can result not in one hundred thousand rubles. This should not be a surprise to you.


Take pictures of all the
Even if you are not able to distinguish gas boiler from the refrigerator and the septic tank from the Alpine slide, do not worry. Capture everything you see on camera phones. First, after viewing several objects you have a lot in my head mixed up, and you forget where and what you saw. Secondly, photos can show the experienced specialists.

Important: Professional services for the inspection of the house before purchase you will need when you find a suitable object. To independently perform legal or technical expertise of the site is likely to be problematic.

Lev Lugovskoy

It is advisable to remove:

  • the electrical shield with the meter (full) — it can be placed in the house or on a pole at the entrance to the site;
  • all engineering equipment: boilers, boilers, surface pumps, the end walls of the boreholes and wells, manholes of the sewage system;
  • the counters (all of which is: water, gas, electricity);
  • latest receipt of payment for services on the counter — know if there are any debts and estimate how much it costs the operation of the house that you are eyeing;
  • the title pages of legal documents (also what are: contracts of inheritance, sale, etc.) — they are very useful to check a house before buying (online sources). This is especially important if the home complicated story: there were encumbrances, disputes, etc. What documents to check when buying a house, we are told in the article from the link below.

Buy cottage: How to understand, what documents are in order

Yuri Grishko

Important: Be polite and friendly. Don’t try to bargain on the spot and hard to pick flaws of the object in the hope to bring down the price. In this case, your chances to negotiate with the seller are falling rapidly: you go to look for new object, and he was another buyer.

Tell us what problems you faced when purchasing private homes. In your opinion, what do you need to know the buyer?


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