What to look for when inspecting a potential property to buy

If you go to inspect a property, what are you looking for?  Below is a checklist of a few items to consider when looking at a possible investment property:

  1. Area
    • What’s your impression of the surrounding properties?
    • What’s the status of the adjoining properties?
    • How do you like the overall area?
  2. Property
    • How many bedrooms/baths/parking spots?
    • What’s the square footage?
    • When was the property built?
    • When was the roof replaced?
    • When were the furnace and air conditioning last serviced?
    • What do the downspouts look like?
    • What type of windows?  Are they double or single-paned?
    • What’s the condition of the stove?
    • What’s the flooring look like? 
    • Do the bathrooms look OK?
    • Is there a sprinkler system?
    • What does the yard look like?
  3. Current rents
    • What are the current rents?
    • Will the area support highter rents?
  4. Structure
    • Are there any obvious structural problems, cracks inside outside the property?
    • Are there any cracks in the foundation?
    • Is there any visible water damage?

These are just a few things to check.  Depending on what you’re looking for some or all of these won’t matter.  Until you get some experience have the property inspected by a professional. It will save you from making a terrible mistake in the end.

I know some investors, e.g., Ron LeGrand, that go into a house and want to smell cat urine.  Why?  Because they know that most people won’t touch a property like that making it much easier to get a great deal.  Again, this is great if you want to do a fix and flip.

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