The investment property inspection process…
Any reputable property inspector you hire to scope out all the problems (and potential problems) with your anticipated investment property purchase will utilize a set investment property checklist when he goes through the property. Most house inspectors like to start on the outside around the foundation, and then check out the building’s exterior walls up to the roof, the roof and chimney condition, then the walkways, steps and any surrounding retaining walls. As they go around the outside, and then later the inside of the property, they are taking notes on a standard property inspection checklist, as well as taking copious photos of every item on the checklist, regardless of the condition. They will utilize these notes and photos later, by incorporating them into a complete property inspection written report that will be sent to you, the potential buyer who has hired them. You will be the sole owner of this report, and only you can allow it to be disseminated to any other party.
What to look for in an investment property
The property inspector will next go over with you what is or is not problematic in the building, noting all defects in the property. They usually offer advice on what can be done to repair them these defects, along with cost estimates to correct them. Once inside the building, key items on their investment property checklist will include all the mechanical systems: plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling. And they will test and evaluate the status and operational ability of each system, offering their views on the current usefulness of each system. They will also note the approximate age of each system, and the potential useful life left for that system.
Buying a house checklist
Most property inspectors prefer you accompany them as they wend their way through their house inspection checklist. The good ones enjoy instructing you about the workings of all the mechanical systems as they go from one to the other. In the process you get to learn first-hand about the operational abilities of the guts of your building-to-be. Some engineers prefer to walk through a house taking their notes without interruption. Their written reports will detail every problem with the house. It’s best to go over the written report with them to figure out just how important each defect can be, as well as the potential cost to repair each item.
Are you really listening to your inspector?
Here’s another key issue to consider. Make sure you really listen to your property inspector. If they point out a potential problem, don’t blow it up into something extraordinary (and extremely expensive to repair in the future). Communicate any fears you may have with your inspector. If not, you may do something really stupid: you may imagine a worst-case scenario when a large problem simply doesn’t exist. I have seen property inspectors point out a potential problem, only to have the buyer take the concept and run with it – to planet Zargon. And the buyer will convince himself the whole property will definitely be a money pit, and he’ll walk away from the deal, passing up a perfectly fine property with excellent cash flow.
So try not to be so reactionary when your property inspection is being done. Make sure you talk freely with your property inspector, and are sure you are being heard, as well as ensure you are hearing everything he is saying. If you don’t, any negative thoughts and emotions could adversely color your decision to move forward with your project. And it could mean passing up on a great money-maker of a property in the process.
photos courtesy of homeinspectors.com, bestlongislandhomeinspectors.com, insurancequotes.com