The Ever Necessary Home Inspection: Making it Less Painful
One of the biggest stressors of home investing just may be the home inspection process. Investors often fear that, within a matter of minutes, the inspector’s findings will turn their gold mine into a money pit, simply by stumbling upon unseen and costly problems.
Inspections can be trying, but they are absolutely essential for ensuring that your property is safe, secure, and free of serious problems that could cause nasty surprises down the road.
It’s helpful to know that a bad inspection outcome won’t necessarily doom an investment. There are some things you can do to protect your bottom line, make the inspection go more smoothly, and make your house more appealing to buyers.
Before you buy a home, it’s wise to factor in the unknown. Add a cushion into your budget for unforeseen repairs. If you don’t have to use it, it becomes profit. But if you do need it, it’s there. If you crunch the numbers and find that adding such a cushion would eat your entire profit or put you in the red, it may be best to move along to the next property.
Many investors cringe at the thought of disclosing major problems to potential buyers. But buyers are more resilient than investors believe. They expect problems to some degree, especially in older homes or fixer-uppers, and they’ll be much less happy with you if they run into an unpleasant surprise.
Make sure that you clear the way for the inspector. Move anything that will block access to attics, doorways, cabinets, walkways, and crawlspaces. Unlock all doors and cabinets, move debris or household items out from around appliances so that they can be easily moved.
Fix what Needs Fixin’
Deal with any small issues before the inspection. This will show that you’re committed to improving the property. It will also help the inspector decide whether a problem is a small cosmetic issue, or something more serious. For example, if a faucet is leaking, he will have to take time to figure out whether the faucet is the problem, or the plumbing. If you fix the faucet, you’ll save him time and effort. Leave notes for the inspector for anything you’re aware of an plan to fix as well.
This is your investment, and it will serve you well to know everything there is to know about it. Being present as the inspector explains his findings to you will allow you to ask questions, clarify issues, and understand what will be an easy fix and what will be a more serious problem. It also shows that you’re conscientious and committed.
You’re always better off doing what you can to help the process along – in the end it will support your investment.