Lessons for free
Finding a contractor you like, can work well with, who also has a flair for creativity, and makes money-saving suggestions is a real boon in the search process. If you can work with a contractor exclusively, you can narrow your search process down to several top picks, then ask him to ride along to view them, offering his opinions along the way. You’ll also be able to learn from his expertise as you go from house to house, picking them apart for what work needs to be done to them.
Avoiding the wrecks
Any good contractor can help you identify any foundation or structural issues with any given property. They can also help identify which flooring is badly sagging and in need of fixing. In addition, they can help point out any mold or mildew problems you may miss, that are not so obvious. Naturally, they’ll also search for any cracking in the walls or around windows, and will be able to teach you the difference between vertical, horizontal and sloping cracks – and what they each mean. They’ll also be able to help you cost out in rough estimates how much it will be to repair each item on the house to-do list.
Armed with this information, you’ll be able to identify which homes are best left for an investor with either deeper pockets, or who is more gullible and less savvy than you. Remember, you’ll need to keep it simple…create a renovation/repair budget and stay within it…before you even start your investment property search.
An acquired skill set
Knowing what your ballpark figure for renovation costs will be on any given property is a skill you need to acquire. It takes time, and can be learned with the help of a trusted contractor. Once learned, you’ll find that you really won’t need the contractor to identify all the major issues with any given potential investment. Then, you’ll be able to create your own ballpark estimates to narrow your search down. When you find the best property to make an offer on, you can always then call in your contractor to double check your renovation problem areas, and your cost estimates. Then, and only then, should you be considering making an actual offer on any given piece of investment property.
Working the process
This process will ensure you save yourself and your contractor countless hours of wasted energy trying to properly identify good properties to invest in. When you call your contractor in for “the one,” he knows you mean business. So, remember to use a contractor exclusively. Make sure he’s loyal, an expert at what he does, and creative to boot. Also make sure that he can show you the ropes and give you a good, solid education in identifying problem areas in any given building. And finally, he should be someone you can count on to review your final estimates before you go forward and make an offer on a property. In this way, you’ll really end up saving yourself great time and money as a beginning property investor.
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