By Jared Hope
Some of your biggest cash flow can be made on the day you decide whether to buy a property. When looking at an investment, remember that many of these house inspections items listed below can cost a lot of money, meaning a lot, if not all of your cash flow if they need to replaced, repaired or remediated right away. In addition to putting your own knowledge to work, be sure to always use an accredited and insured inspector to help determine the condition and life expectancy of these big ticket items.
Learn how to buy properties for optimal cash flow at the Authentic Canadian Real Estate program.
Your nose may be one of the best tools for doing this inspection. Use your nose to detect damp or musty odors throughout the basement. Inspect for evidence of water leaking on the floor and ceiling of the basement. Check for signs of leaking around the foundation of the house. Check for evidence of rotting wood in exposed beams in the basement and also look for cracks in interior basement walls.
The use of a thermal imaging camera can also provide assistance when inspecting basements as this will allow for a more thorough investigation of areas behind walls you cannot see.
The electrical panel should be easy to access and in good condition. It is recommended to have a panel with 100amps. Lots of the older and smaller homes will have 60 amps. Check throughout the house to note the number of electrical outlets to ensure that the house has sufficient outlets. Check outlets in the kitchen and bathroom for ground fault circuit interrupters – GFCI. These inexpensive outlets can prevent severe shocks from occurring.
Also make sure that all breakers are properly marked with the right area of the house’s services. This will make it easy to deal with issues in the future if and when you need to shut power off to a certain location of the house.
The heating and air conditioning systems of the house are extensive and important. Check the capacity and models to ensure they’re the appropriate size for the house. It is always wise to hire an expert to examine and inspect these systems to ensure they are in proper working order.
Always make sure furnace filters are replaced on a regular basis. It’s recommended to replace the filters every 2-3 months
Gutters and downspouts are what keep and drive the water away from your foundation. Water prevention is the best way to keep water for entering your basement. Ensure all gutters are clean of all debris. It may also be a good idea to increase the size of the gutters to allow more water to be captured off the roof in a heavier rainfall. Also, adding extensions to the down spots or securing the down spouts to the side fence or a post in the ground will help prevent water from entering the foundation.
You shouldn’t see evidence of water around the foundation and the ground should slope away from the foundation.
Take a look at the landscaping on the property as well. Trees, shrubbery and other plants should not appear overgrown and unkempt. If the property has larger than normal trees it may be an idea to remove these tree from the property. Big trees usually have large roots and roots can and will go through plumbing and foundation. Best solution is to remove the bigger trees and plant smaller varieties, which have roots that stay isolated.
5. Ceilings, Walls, and Floors
Examining walls and ceiling in areas such as bathrooms and kitchens is crucial. These locations are high water areas and if there are signs of water damaged drywall or water stained floors (or ceilings) than there may be a bigger issue behind the walls or under the floor.
Large cracks in the walls and ceiling are also signed of structural issues. House shifting is normal but if a larger than normal crack appears, it could be a sign of bigger problems.
6. Doors and Windows
Open and close all doors and windows to ensure they work smoothly and close properly. Check around windows, looking for evidence of mildew and moisture. Weather permitting, it is recommended to inspect windows for fog because this could indicate a broken seal. In the event the weather is more warm than cold, make sure to inspect the corners of the window frames for signs of water or moisture damage. If a window has a poor seal, the window will frost up in winter. This frosting on the inside will eventually cause water damages to the window frame or trim.
Jared Hope, Owner of Landlord Resource Center, has been putting REIN's methodology to the test for the past 14 years investing in real estate and has now transacted over 200 properties representing over $50,000,000. Catch Jared at the next Authentic Canadian Real Estate program!