Home Inspection for your Foreclosure Investment
Home Inspection for your Foreclosure Investment
Whether purchasing your first home or making a foreclosure investment, one of the most important things on your list should be an inspection. Have it professionally inspected or do it yourself. In this article I will give you the A-Z of a home inspection, what to do and what not to do.
Make these activities tax deductible. It is very important to keep a daily log. Include the date of visits, address of properties, and especially the round-trip mileage.
First thing you need for your inspection is an inspection kit. It should include an inspection check list, clipboard, flashlight, tape measure, pens and pencils, and a digital camera. Remember, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Simplify. Take lots of pictures. If you miss something during your inspection, you can finish your inspection later. A secret to simplify this is before the inspection of any property first take a picture from the road of the front view and address of the property. All pictures that follow, follow the address.
When beginning your inspection, begin with the exterior to the interior, top to bottom.
First, check the roof. Inspect it from a ladder. If the roof is not too steep, walk the roof. Wear on the roof may be readily apparent. Roofs just starting to age are harder to uncover. Look for loose or missing pieces and discolored areas. Curling of material and patching indicate the roof needs to be replaced. Roofs can usually be recovered once (two layers only).
Inspect the exterior. All aspects; siding, bricks, and stucco. Check the exterior material, windows, doors, seams, and cracks. Look over the outside foundation and all outside cement work. Remember, if there is any damage to the sidewalks or driveways, they need to be repaired. Any injuries caused by the damage not being replaced or repaired is your liability.
Look at the outside landscaping. Make sure the land around the home is properly graded for drainage. The exterior is very important. Make sure the outside of the house and landscaping is clean and green. If not, this is always easy to fix. The most important thing is “curb appeal”. A buyer has to want to get out of the car to see the inside. Inspect the exterior for structural damage. Check the siding material very carefully. Look for bulges, wrinkles, cracks, loose mortar, etc. Check for water damage. Any defective windows need to be replaced. Check for irregularities in the roof framing. This could mean there are problems with the exterior framing. Inspect all of the outside walls for stains, mildew, odor or dampness. Look for cracks and water proofing. Inspect all the structures outside. Check all fencing, decks, and all out buildings. If there is any playground equipment make sure it is attached to the ground.
When inspecting the interior, there are four things to be considered in each room.
Each room should have good lighting. Check all walls for vertical cracks. If the windows are damaged, they will need to be replaced. Resurface hardwood floors and in some cases replace the carpet with tile.
Other things to inspect on the inside are insulation and ventilation. When inspecting the insulation, check the “R” factor. It should be 10-14 inches thick. Improper ventilation can lead to accelerated deterioration. Check the rafters for good ventilation
Next, inspect all the systems; furnace, air conditioning, water heater, electrical, plumbing, and appliances. When inspecting the furnace, look for clunkers. These may need to be replaced and updated. Look for a nice even blue flame, check emergency switches, and look for clean filters.
When inspecting the air conditioner, check that it is level. Test the air conditioning system to make sure it runs smoothly. Do not test under 62o outside. The water heater should also be level. Check for no rust around the base and that there is no evidence of water stains. Also, look for a nice even blue flame.
When inspecting the electrical, look for problems in the panel. Check for burned wiring, overused breakers or fuses, improper wiring, homeowner installed wiring, and make sure there are an adequate quantity of switches and outlets.
When inspecting the plumbing make sure you check around the toilets and wiggle them to make sure they are solid. Look for evidence of leaks under the sinks. Evaluate the plaster and check ceilings and walls for signs of water damage. Be wary of galvanized pipes.
Inspect all the appliances to determine which will stay. Run the dishwasher through a complete cycle. Test every burner, oven, and the hood fan. Place a cup of water in the microwave to make sure it heats accordingly.
While you do your inspection, mark off each item on your inspection check list as you go so you do not miss anything. Take your time. Investigate any questions you have. Make sure you do a thorough inspection and then make your decision. If there are obvious problems, imagine what you cannot see!! If you have any question about the property, don’t buy it. You don’t want to buy a property that needs so much work that you cannot make a profit. Just be thorough.
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