aerial view of Chesapeake Bay in autumn

Touring Property Guide

Inspecting the Interior

When viewing a property, we suggest you view the interior in two stages.

Stage one; explore the interior floor plan to see how it fits your needs.

In the second stage, we suggest you go thru the house very thoroughly – open windows, flush toilets, open cupboards and do as much exploring as you can while being polite and respecting someone’s home. You may find it useful to bring a measuring tape along with you.

More than likely, you have previewed pictures of the property. Now, you need to confirm those pictures by verifying the following features of the property:

  • Architectural Design – Does it fit with your requirements and how does it blend in with adjacent properties?
  • Bedrooms – Make sure each “bedroom” has a closet.
  • Bathrooms – Will the fixtures need updating?
  • Flooring – Check the age and condition of flooring – hardwood, tile, vinyl, composite or carpeting.
  • Closet and storage space – Is there an attic or basement for seasonal storage?
  • Number of floors – Inspect the condition and size of stairs
  • Floorplan – Does the flow accommodate your family needs?
  • Appliances – Will they require updating? Is the stove electrical or gas (private or public)?
  • Electrical – What is the houses service? How old is the service? Could there be aluminum wiring? Does the electrical panel allow for expansion?
  • Plumbing – Public or private water (well)? Public or private sewerage (septic tank)? How old are the water lines? Are the supply lines copper, PVC, or galvanize (old)?
  • HVAC – Is heating oil, gas, propane, or electrical? Are the maintenance stickers on the air handler? One zone or two-zone heat? Approximate age of unit.
  • Windows – How old are the? Are they replacement windows? How are the views, double pane or single pane glass?
  • Basement or crawl space – What mechanical equipment is located in the basement? Any signs of water infiltration? In unfinished areas, do you see insulation? Is there a sump pump? Is there a grinder pump?
  • Decks or porches – Check the rails. Are the deck boards treated lumber, cedar, synthetic, or composite material? If you are energetic, check out the deck footers.
  • Garage – Is it finished or insulated? How many bays are there?

Don’t forget to identify those items that will require additional time and/or money. Does the kitchen or baths require updating? Will you want to remove walls to allow for more of a more open floorplan – you will probably need the aid of an expert to determine the viability and/or cost of removing interior walls.

Inspecting the Exterior

As you walk the grounds, of the property, we suggest you take note of several items such as:

  • Site – Are there any external influences that could adversely affect your enjoyment?
  • Proximity to Neighbors. Too close or too remote?
  • Neighbors – How do the neighbors maintain their house or yard – remember these people could be your neighbors.
  • Drainage – Does there appear to be proper drainage from the foundation – reverse drainage could cause water problems in the basement or damage to the foundation. Does there appear to be any low spots in the yard?
  • Windows – What is the condition? Are the window exteriors wood, vinyl or aluminum?
  • Air Conditioning Unit – Does it look old? Can you read the year made tag to approximate the age?
  • Roof – Is the roof showing signs of deterioration? What is the roofing material? Asphalt, composite, synthetic, wood shakes or metal?
  • Gutters – Check condition and drainage.
  • Siding- Is it vinyl, aluminum, wood or brick? Will maintenance be an issue?
  • Landscaping- Will the property require a lot of landscape maintenance – money?
  • Trees – Are there trees near the sewer line?
  • Pictures – Can you rely on online photos or should you take additional photos or video?
  • Noise levels inside and outside the home.

Consult with your agent while at the property. Generally, Real Estate agents are not construction experts, however, they may be able to aid you getting answers from the listing agent (seller) or other professionals.