If your home is between 5 and 7 years old you will want to pay attention. Initial problems from construction have usually been worked out but  there should not be any problems from the major components of the house especially if they have been maintained.
Here are some typical problems to look for:

-Sinking of the ground around the foundation might require that you fill these spots with topsoil.

-Look for reverse sloping patios as the fill under the walks and patios will also have settled.

-The roof should not show any deterioration at this time.

-Paint and caulking might require your attention as these usually last no more than 4-5 years.

-Check around the chimney, skylight and plumbling boots for drying out of the mastic which could be the start of formation of leaks.

-Less expensive trims especially around bay windows, rake and fascia boards with no drip edge protection and doors and window casing with no drip edge could also show signs of beginning stages of rot.

-Beside the normal and minimal compression,shrinkage and cracking related to the framing, footing and foundation wall would by now show any defect especially if the house was built on poor ground. Continued cracking should be watch as it could be a sign of undersized framing, or misaligned or unsupported bearing points.

-There should be no concern with electrical system unless some “do it yourself” project has been performed.

-Plumbing should show no significant problem other than loose toilet or worn out washers.

-The heating and cooling systems should be at their prime as long as they have been maintained with yearly check up. Because they are new doesn’t mean that they are maintenance free. A heat pump would most likely need freon after only 4 years. Filters, humidifiers, electric air cleaners and the fan unit should be checked regularly.

-The only problem in the attic should be man imposed while adding an antenna or creating storage or mistakenly covering up vents thinking that they are conserving energy.

-Don’t underestimate a new interior paint job. After this time you would have noticed any cracks in the drywall, doors that don’t close due to the settling and windows that stick.

– Keep an eye on decks, porches or other additions that could become problems.


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