House Inspection: What To Look For In A Second-Hand Home

Buying a pre-owned or second-hand home can be promising, and at the same time, daunting. You know you are purchasing a home at a lower price compared to newly built houses. However, it might also come with maintenance works that could cost you more than what you prepared for. If you don’t conduct a proper inspection, you might find yourself stressing over significant renovations.

It doesn’t have to end that way. With a handy checklist, you’ll know what to look out for right at the bat to prevent getting the short end of the stick. Below we listed down what you need to inspect to get the most out of your purchase thoroughly.

keys and mortgage contract

House Inspection: What To Look For In A Second-Hand Home


Watch out for wall cracks that are concealed by paint, especially structural ones. While minor cracks can be simple cosmetic issues, structural cracks can be a sign of a more severe problem. Such dangerous cracks are greater than 1mm in width. Also, check for dampness as it could signal water damage that can cause molds growing on your walls. Second-hand homes are prone to dampness, especially if they are older.


According to real estate listing Trulia, roof problems make up 39% of homeowner insurance claims in the US. This is true, especially in an older home. Inspect the roof for holes, missing shingles, cracks or gaps in the vents, and other common problems that might cause roof leaks. Also, check how long the roof has been used as it will need to be replaced if it reaches its average lifespan.

This is a repair that could be costly. Many times there is more damage than meets the eye.

white house with a red roof


The older the house is, the more important to check for uneven or bouncy floors. Uneven or bouncy floors can be tell-tale signs of structural problems. And serious floor issues may need deflection, which can be a costly repair. It will require ripping out the existing floor, fixing the support column, and replacing with a matching floor. It usually isn’t worth your time, effort, and money in an older home.


Like in walls and flooring, damage in the foundation can make or break a deal. Look out for cracks, especially on an older house’s foundation. And check whether the foundation is settling or sinking. Doors that stick or don’t open or close properly can also be a sign of a damaged foundation.

If counters and cabinets are separating from the wall, or there are gaps around window frames or exterior doors, reconsider if the purchase will be worth it.

brick wall with crack in it

HVAC system

One advantage of buying a second-hand home is that aside from the house, you also get to acquire what’s inside it. But this means you’ll be left with pre-used furniture and appliances like the HVAC system.

While a home inspector like will confirm that the HVAC is in working condition at the time of inspection, they should be able to tell you how long it will last. Check if the air conditioning, ventilation, and water heater installation will need to be repaired also.

Electricity system

Knob and tube wiring, aka K&T, are common in older homes from 1880 to the 1930s. This electricity system can cause electric shocks. This is because this old system is usually ungrounded. If this is the case, you need to replace it with a newer electricity system.

Are you considering purchasing an older home? There are certain things you should check on before making that investment. Read on to learn more.

Before making a purchase, be sure to thoroughly check every part of the house to uncover potential problems. Uncovering issues early in the inspection process will save you from unexpected repair costs and future hassle. This is particularly crucial when buying a second-hand house, so don’t skip it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.