1968 home w/ 1/2 daylight basement. Issues?

I’m interested in this house for purchase…


I will hire an inspector if we make an accepted offer, and I would like to make sure the checklist includes the important items for a home of this age. We have two small children so health is of prime concern to me. We will likely be doing lots of renovation work.

For example, I want to be sure there is no asbestos or other health related issues. It’s built on a slope with a daylight basement in the back. What issues might I check for in the basement towards the front of the house? musty smells, signs of moisture, etc?

I’ve noticed that the attic has an acrid strong odor. Insulation is blown (what there is of it, does not cover the rafters) and appears to be a mix of brown cellulose and fiberglass. Any likely chance of problems up here? Home has been vacant for appx 2.5 years so perhaps the lack of conditioned air is to blame for odor?

Finally, how to check for lead-based paint or other toxins as well as lead in the tap water?

Thanks in advance!

You need to hire a NACHI inspector asap. It is impossible to give you much help without actually seeing the home and walking through it.
Best of luck
Tom Phillips

Let me add to Thomas’ remarks; other then hiring a NACHI inspector which is truly important, since you indicated that you will be doing some remodeling work with this potential home (or others) I would suggest you hire an inspector who is also licensed as a general contractor or has extensive knowledge with what you are intending to do.

Older homes do present challenges when remodeling…however if the home is structurally sound from the foundation up then it’s just a matter of how much you want to spend to turn a particular home into your personal dream home.

If a roof is well ventilated and insulated then any smell emanating from the attic shouldn’t have anything to do with the HVAC being off… the smell could simply be a small critter that got into the attic and died…one can not tell without inspecting it.

Speaking of insulation, many older homes were not well insulated…it would be good to hire an inspector that does thermography inspections as well. It will open your eyes and help you make a truly informed decision.

And finally, finding an professional inspector with the knowledge to answer all your questions is worth a professional price… if you simply go for the cheapest person you can find then you will get what you paid for.

hope you and your family find the dream home your looking for…
warm regards


i can’t help but wonder if the plumbing vent terminates inside the attic. I would echo the words I read above that HVAC shouldn’t have anything to do with the air in the attic as attic air is never conditioned (well shouldn’t be)