Most insurance companies will request that you have a 4 point inspection done on a home you are purchasing especially if it’s over 25 years old.
Here are some major things that you should be on the lookout for.
Circuit Breakers – I see this on many of the homes I have listed and sometimes the owner truly never knew it was a issue. If the property has a Federal Pacific Electric Panel with Stab-Lok circuit breakers, that is considered a safety hazard. Your insurance company will not insure the property. It must be replaced.
Polybutylene Pipes – Polybutylene pipes can actually be very faulty and cause water damage. It was very popular and used in the early 1980’s. If the home your looking to purchase has this type of piping you would have to make an additional investment to replace the piping or negotiate with the owner of the property. Most insurance companies will not insure the home unless it’s replaced or if they do you may be paying a higher rate. Make sure you check with your insurance company and with your lender as they may have a financing issues.
Mold/Discoloration – Check the walls and ceilings for leaks. If you look up and see a stain on the ceiling question it. Most likely there was or is water damage especially if it’s on the ceiling. Ask when the roof was replaced. Check in the closets and see if the walls have mold markings. If the leak is active and you are purchasing through FHA or Conventional financing they may not want to do the financing.
Always have a home inspected before you purchase. It’s money well spent and it will give you peace of mind.