It almost goes without saying that, when viewing a property of any age or condition, a home inspection is an excellent idea.
This will help to uncover latent defects — the type of defects that may not be obvious based on a cursory glance, especially to an untrained eye.
The cost of having a home inspection done — often between $300 and $500 — pales in comparison to the cost of repairing a cracked, sinking foundation, or gutting the house to replace old knob and tube wiring.
For the purposes of this post, however, I want to address what are referred to as patent defects. In other words, defects anyone could see with an untrained eye, but might not.