Want to know if a home is well-built and in stellar condition?
To be absolutely sure, you really need to do a professional inspection.
However, the best predictor I know is this: the seller also built the home.
The reason that that’s the gold standard — especially for more expensive homes — is that people who are motivated to build their own homes typically go above and beyond: they use higher-quality materials, hand-pick the contractor(s) doing the work, and generally are more invested (psychically, financially, etc.) in the finished product.
And that proprietary feeling usually carries over to their tenure as owner.
By contrast, the phrase “pride of ownership” can mean that the home has great bones and is in excellent conditon.
However, just as often it’s a euphemism for a home that’s been kept up — nothing’s broken — but which hasn’t been updated in decades (it’s what Realtors call “functionally obsolete”).
P.S: The more the owner identifies with their home . . . the worse they’re likely to react to what they perceive to be a low(ball) offer.