Originally Posted By John Dessauer On July 20, 2016
Having a potential investment property professionally inspected is one of the most important things a property investor can do before making the purchase. For the best possible results, you need to hire a licensed inspector that is easy to communicate with and charges a reasonable fee. It is a good idea to be present during the property inspection so you can ask additional questions to obtain information possibly not included in the inspector’s written report. This info could help in the renovations process.
A house’s foundation is the first place to investigate. Is it solid or are there problems that will be costly to fix? The property investor should be aware that it can be relatively expensive to make plumbing changes to houses built on cement slab foundations. If the home has a basement, be sure the inspector checks for the presence of mold, as well as radon gas, both of which can be expensive to eradicate. Moisture leaks of any kind in a basement should be fully investigated to make sure there is no structural damage.
The inspector should carefully examine the furnace and HVAC system. If the power has been turned off in the house, it should be turned on again before the inspector arrives to test the efficiency of the system. The inspector should also investigate the overall condition of the ductwork of the house for the possibility of needed repair.
Inspecting the plumbing should reveal any leaks, low water pressure, or discolored water. Testing the water heater, as well as all faucets, toilets, tubs, showers, and drains will reveal any problems or needed repairs. If the water is turned off in the house, it should be turned on again so the inspector can check all the pipes for cracks or leaks. A quick look under carpets will reveal if there have been previous water leaks that may have damaged the subfloor.
If the property has a septic tank, this should be checked professionally for any problems such as clogged leach lines or overflow. In the case of a city sewage system, an inspection can reveal the presence of cracks in the sewer lines which may be expensive to repair.
In warm and humid parts of the country, a termite inspection should also be conducted reveal potential repair costs. Termites can do considerable damage to buildings that is virtually undetectable except to a professional. Unchecked termite damage can be quite extensive, compromising the structural integrity of the house.
The home inspection should include a careful examination of the condition of the roof. The inspector will look for leaks, damage done by pest invasions, and the presence of mold or dry rot in the attic. Chimneys should be inspected for any existing structural damage, deterioration of the flashing where it meets the roof, and interior clogs that can block smoke from escaping.
The electrical system should also be inspected and evaluated for any potential problems. If the wiring is faulty, dangerous, or outdated, the investor should be aware of the cost it will take to bring the wiring up to date before purchasing the property.
“Remember, wealth has nothing to do with money, success has everything to do with failure, and life is as simple as you make it!” – John Dessauer