How to Evaluate a House to Buy Just by Looking at the Exterior

Evaluating A House From The Outside

When you're finally looking at a real house in the area you have chosen, there are things from the outside that you should look for. Outlined here is a helpful checklist on what to keep an eye on before signing the deal.

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Quiet streets

Keep your eyes and ears open as you head up for your potential house. Consider the streets. They can impact the value of your house. The best locations are dead-end streets that provide escape from traffic noise and congestion. Next are streets away from primary intersections that aren't through streets with speeding cars. That means less worry for parents with small children or people that have pets. Look into the area during night time. In several places, the neighborhood transforms after dark. Be sure that your sleep will not be disturbed.


Are sidewalks built, or do your kids have to walk on the street? Would you have to help pay for having sidewalks built in the future? People nowadays also need a place to walk for physical fitness.

Outside improvements

Decks unquestionably add value outside a house. When there is a patio, too, the better. Another plus would be screened-in porches.


A driveway and a garage or at the least a carport adds to the value of your home. According to a study done for the National Association of Home Builders by Michael Sumichrast and Gopal Ahluwalia, most buyers want a garage. More than half of potential buyers would like to have a two-car garage and more than 10 percent would like a three-car garage.

It needs to take water away from the house, or the water goes inside. The condition of the gutters is a factor.

The Land

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Consider the lay out of the land. Attractive lawns, shrubs, and trees help on the value. Look at the outside ground to make certain that it slopes away from the house. The most common cause of numerous water headaches is improper grading of the ground around the house. It needs to take water away from the house, or the water goes inside. The condition of the gutters is a factor.

The Exterior

A wood frame house may need repainting every 3 to 5 years. Siding can would last 20 to 30 years or more, though sooner or later, it may need painting, so check the age. A brick house saves the expense of repainting.

Up on the Roof


Check the condition of the roof. Check if the shingles are already lifting and curling. Inquire about how old the roof is. How much would it cost to replace to roof? If you have doubts, have the roof inspected prior to buying.

The Yard

A big yard appeals to young couples raising children. When your kids grow up and cease from playing around the house, the big yard's appeal can fade. You will then be left with lots of grass to mow and no one to help. And as the number of couples with families goes down, big yards are declining in popularity. A big back-to-back private rear yard is still favored by over 50 percent of buyers, according to the NAHB poll. So instead of being lured by a home's curb appeal, you can inspect a home from the outside as a curbstone critic to detect potential trouble spots. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), here are some key factors to consider:

•           Observe the overall impression. Is the house well maintained? Is the roof sagging? Are the exterior walls straight? What is the condition of the paint, particularly on the south and west sides, where sun exposure is greatest?

•           Take a good look at those window and door frames. Has the glazing putty dried and shrunk, permitting water and air seepage? Has the wood rotted? Are the window and door frames all caulked or weather-stripped?

•           Check out pavements, driveways, and horizontal brick surfaces. Are all the cracks filled? How about damage from freezing? What is the condition of the mortar between bricks? Is any pavement buckling from propagating underground tree roots?

It may very well be overwhelming for an average house buyer to check all these. It would help to hire a home inspector to try and assess the condition of your potential home.