reply to iLearn
Re: What to expect on a 50 year old house 60's is going to be a little early for AL wiring; but certainly not out of the question... Asbestos is likely, particularly if it's hot-water or steam heat; but to be honest, it's not that big a deal, as long as encapsulated, and left alone.
Rather then what was original, I'd be looking at what's changed - have reno's been done? Bathrooms/Kitchens, wall removals, etc - how were they done? If walls have been removed, was proper support/headers/beams/etc put in?
Has the electric service been upgraded, or is it still the 60A that was common in the 50's and 60's? Fuses or breakers? Fuses are fine, as long as the panel isn't overloaded... If the panel's been changed, is there an ESA inspection sticker on it? How's the general workmanship? Does it look good? (it's an old adage, but it holds true, if it LOOKS right, it's more likely to BE right...)
How's the house heated, what kind of condition is the heating system in?
Is there a full basement or crawl space - was it underpinned at any point, to increase the basement height (common in some areas in the city)?
Just the first things that come to mind, anyways.
EDIT - Forgot to mention a biggie - the roof - how many layers of shingles, what kind of shape are they in?