My most recent client was an Australian Investor who Buys a Phoenix Fourplex with Hoarder Tenant in it. This reminded me how important inspections really are.
Home inspection is probably one of the most important aspects in real estate, especially when you are on the investment process or making your first home purchase. There are two ways that you can do this namely—hire a professional home inspector or check out the property on your own. Hiring a professional is strongly advised to first time homebuyers and inexperienced investors, since there are things that can be overlooked easily.
Although DIY home inspection can be done, hiring a professional inspector can offer you more detailed reports in addition to your own judgment and results of inspection. Still, seasoned investors are capable of inspecting their own properties and identifying those items that may need professional inspection.
This is a video of the Hoarder Tenant's unit in the Fourplex Bought by an Australian Investor
So, what are the things that you look for when inspecting a property?
1. Surroundings of the property. There are properties that are very clean and appealing on the inside but show some clutter and mess on the outside. Any signs of wear and cracks should warn you of any danger it might pose while you are on the property. Checking the drainage, whether it is still intact and in place should be done as well. Inspect the railings, stairs, pillars and porches for any structural problems, which can be indicated by rotting.
2. Roof. Roof damage is one of the things that are missed easily by DIY inspection. Look for missing shingles and although this doesn’t indicate any immediate danger low-angle roof and pooling of water are.
3. Fungus or Pests on wood. Growth of fungus on wood and other wood-inhibiting creatures can pose a danger when they cause structural damage to the home. It indicates that the wood has high-moisture content, and this could invite termite habitation. Termite tubes and other indicators can be seen by the naked eye as well.
4. Interior Walls and Ceilings. Are there any cracks or bulges on the ceiling and wall? These are the first signs that the interior of the home has problems the owner has to pay attention to.
5. Water system, test drains, taps and toilets. While the professional inspector is doing his job, you should pay attention to the pipes especially those that are under the sink. Check for rust or molds that disappear into walls.
6. HVAC and electrical systems. Inspect the HVAC systems. Check out the electrical wires whether there are loose wires, fixtures and rusty circuit breakers.
7. Doors and windows. These all need checked for functionality, security, and damage.
8. Kitchen. Check the condition of the countertops and the kitchen and bathroom. You should check for missing drawers, chipping wood and stuck doors.
9. Tenants. This is one of the major things that you should check out. Are the units occupied, what quality are the tenants, do I need to know anything about them, like IS ONE OF THEM HOARDING OR HIDING ANYTHING? Notice the signs of hoarding. Is the tenant packing to move or is ther obviously too much stuff and they are staying right where they are?
These things are easy to do for experienced DIY individuals but it would be for your own best benefits if you hire a professional inspector so that you know you have everything covered. Thorough inspections allow you to save more on your initial investment and to make sure that it is well worth the money you spend on it. My Australian Investor who Buys a Phoenix Fourplex with Hoarder Tenant knew before we started there was a hoarder, so we were prepared.
Shane M. Cook
Entreprenuer, Realtor, Investor
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