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Ask the seller for copies of all documents/contracts related to any work that was performed in previous years. This is helpful for any warranty follow up that may be needed down the road. Years ago, a certain asphalt shingle manufacturer produced a shingle that became notorious for premature deterioration and curling, and many warranty claims were made. For the people who bought a home with those shingles, submitting a claim was difficult if they did not possess the related contract documents.

Visit the local building department. Their records can sometimes give you a clearer picture of the property's history. If you know that replaced items such as an electrical panel, furnace or water heater were inspected, it can provide some assurance. Be ready to take notes in case the clerk can't readily make copies of the documents that interest you.

Take an active role in researching the home where you could potentially spend many years. The more informed you are, the more educated your decision will be.

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About the Author

Tony Nicholas, Nicholas Home Inspection & Maintenance, Inc.
14834 Keppen
Allen Park, MI 48101

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