If wood siding, check around the house to see if any part of it touches the ground. This is where, if there are termites in the area, gain access to the home. Check for peeling paint, dry rot, especially around windows, and bubbles in the paint. Check for caulk around windows and doors, also any open holes. IF the house was built before 1978, there is the concern about Lead Based Paint being used. If so read over the section in this web site dealing with the new EPA Lead Based paint Rules. There may be some remediation involved.
If aluminum or vinyl, do they need to be repainted due to fading or losing color in the aluminum. Most of these exteriors today can be repainted if necessary. Also here check for missing pieces or holes where it needs to be replaced.
How many homes have you seen where the vinyl was melted, because they cooked with their gas Grill too close to the house. Here a whole section may have to be replaced. This may be a problem with fading that may make it difficult to match up colors. Sometimes it can be replaced from vinyl in the rear of the garage, etc. Remember your notebook and pencil? Hopefully you still have them along with you.
While examining the Siding, don't forget other aspects of the Exterior.
Inspecting Vinyl Siding of a foreclosure (Free Video)
Windows- What's good/bad?
Are they original or replacement? If original and in need of paint or glazing, again if the house was built before 1978, lead based paint may have been used and the rules would apply that have been established by the EPA.
Sometimes in older homes storms are missing. We did a number of homes where we measured up all the windows and went to the local Home Depot/Menards/Lowes and custom ordered new storms finished in a color, (we always chose white) which could be installed easily with a screw gun and caulk to replace old storms and screens. This gain the appearance of NEW windows in all the windows of the homes we flipped.
Check also for broken or cracked glass and as said before missing glazing. These would most likely have to be repaired if this home was to be sold with FHA Financing.
Inspecting Windows of a Foreclosed Home (Free Video)
Exterior Doors What to look For
Check seals on all doors, top, sides and bottoms. Do they open and close easily? Are they weather worn and need to be painted? OR do they need to be replaced.
Fire code doors are made of metal. Some home owners in the past have used wood doors and even sometimes interior type on exterior openings. These would have to be replaced. There are tricks to replacing doors, so if you feel the least bit unsure, it may be best to hire a contractor to replace the ones needing replacement.