There are many different surfaces found on the exterior of a home, as a potential home buyer you should know some of the differences in the different materials and what to look for.1. Brick- is probably one of the strongest and most dependable of all the siding materials used in the residential building today.  Many homes constructed of full masonry brick are still in existence today after hundreds of years of being subject to the elements.  We recommend to always look for open mortar joints, flaking & spalling of bricks and bricks falling away from the home.2. Stucco- is a exterior masonry product made from sand, Portland cement and water. It is generally applied using three different layers of concrete with the total being ¾ inch to 1 inch thick.  A common problem with stucco as it gets older is the water may get behind it and cause the stucco to separate from the walls.  The areas most likely to cause a problem are under windows and doors.  It is very important to keep all areas around windows and doors sealed with caulk to stop water from entering.  If severe cracking and separating has occurred you will have to have the stucco removed and that area repaired. 3. Wood- siding comes in several different forms, shakes, plywood panels also known as T1-11, boards and hardboards.  Wood siding is prone to insect attack and water damaged, so it should be closely evaluated where the wood is in close or direct contact with the soil.  Areas where dense vegetation overgrowth has occurred are especially susceptible to mildew/molds.  Use a screwdriver to probe for suspected areas (caution remember this is not your home be very discreet when driving a screwdriver into the wood siding of a sellers home), for deterioration or infestation.  Inspect the wood for paint peeling or blistering of pain; warped, split or cracked siding; delaminated wood; dark stains; or mold and buckled boards.  When inspection the siding you should also inspect the eves, fascia, soffit and other wood trim areas.4. Cement Asbestos- has not been manufactured since 1973 and has not been installed since 1978, most asbestos-containing siding is older and may typically have some cracking and breakage.  We recommend checking for cracked, broken pieces, especially along the bottom of the wall.  Check to make sure nails and siding are not coming loose, this is very common for this type of material.Research your local building codes for this material.5. Aluminum and Vinyl Siding- is almost a maintance free product and it is one of the most commonly used siding today.  It requires only occasional washing down with a garden hose to keep the house looking good.  We recommend checking the following: look for loose and damaged siding they could be anywhere High winds may cause pieces of siding to come loose, lawn mowers, weed whips and kid’s toys cause common damage.  Most vinyl and metal siding is easy to have repaired.  This type of siding should have room to move back and fourth approx. 1 inch to 2 inches.View photos: