40 question checklist you need to ask before you buy a house

I always love to look at real estate (even though we are not buying right now).

Here is a checklist of questions to ask your realtor before making an offer to buy a house:

  1. Why is the seller is selling?
  2. What goes on the street a various times (check in the morning, afternoon weekends)?
  3. Where is the disclosure statement?
  4. Does the foundation looks solid and without repair?
  5. Is the house looking straight and solid?
  6. Is the exterior in good shape?
  7. Are there any additions?
  8. Smell the basement and or crawl space.
  9. Age and condition of roof?
  10. Age and condition of weeping tiles/storm drains?
  11. What is the insulation type?
  12. What is the wiring method?
  13. What is the electrical panel size?
  14. Have there ever been any leaks in foundation?
  15. Are the walls insulated?
  16. Is there asbestos in the floor tiles or ceiling tiles or plaster?
  17. What is the furnace age?
  18. Do you have the furnace type and service history?
  19. What is hot water heater type and age?
  20. If renovations were done, who did renos and with permits?
  21. What is window type and age?
  22. Have there ever been rats or an ant history?
  23. What is the plumbing pipe type?
  24. What is size of main service to road?
  25. How old are the perimeter drains and what condition are they in?
  26. Are there any Buried Oil Tanks?
  27. When the home was built?
  28. How long they have owned the house?
  29. What changes or upgrades they have made since they owned the home?
  30. If the basement is unfinished. Why is it unfinished?
  31. Is the roof mossy?
  32. Is the roof sagging in areas?
  33. Is there wood siding in contact with the earth?
  34. Has the home just been repainted to cover water or fire damage
  35. Do the floors need to be refinished?
  36. Are the loose rugs covering problems with the floors?
  37. Were permits obtained when renovations were done?
  38. How much is the annual heating bill?
  39. How much are taxes each year?
  40. What are the comparables in the neighbourhood?

Have I missed any?

5 thoughts on “40 question checklist you need to ask before you buy a house”

  1. Nice list Steve.
    It’s amazing how many people avoid some of these because they get caught up in the buying more or the need for instant gratification. One thing I can add though, is that some of these are good questions – for example – if the basement is unfinished, you’ll be paying less. The only time an unfinished basement presents an issues is if it’s ceiling is too low – such in the 1950s homes.

  2. Oh man I sure wish we had asked those questions when we bought our place, it was by far our worse financial mistake.


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