One of the worst things you can do is buy a property sight unseen. It cannot be said how crucial doing a complete walk through inspection. You should do this yourself or pay a professional to do it for you. Before you make an offer on the property, you need to create a list of all repairs, separate the list into major and minor repairs. This way you have a much better idea of what you might be getting yourself into.
It’s far too easy to get hooked into the whole real estate auction scene. The prices are often impossible to resist. But very few auctions offer buyers the option to go inside the property, let alone inspect it before playing a bill. There is always the chance you could buy the ultimate “golden” property in excellent condition, but the odds are far more likely you that you end up with one that needs more in repairs than its worth. Here are three pre-inspection red flags you that should send you running for cover.
1. Cracks in the Foundation
A good deal starts out with a solid foundation. If you notice any cracks in the foundation walls, they could be an indication of a much bigger problem. Cracks in the foundation can be an indication of the ground shifting under the house, excessive water buildup and penetration and several other issues. The repairs can cost thousands, be sure to have the foundation thoroughly inspected by a professional. Even then you might find you will be better off staying away from properties with cracked foundations entirely and avoid any risks.
2. Major Wiring and Plumbing Problems
Both plumbers and electricians live in their own little very expensive worlds. Not only do they cost a lot but finding a quality service that is reliable can be very challenging. On top of paying for the repairs, you have to go through the hassle of getting permits from the city (they cost money too), use licensed tradesman (top dollar), and pay to have the work inspected when it has been completed. By the time you are done, you could easily be into the job for thousands of dollars. It is not unusual for a house to need a little help with the wiring or plumbing, but one that requires a complete re-plumb, full rewiring, or replacing the power panel is one that should have you walking quickly in the other direction.
3. Serious Roofing Issues
Putting a new roof on the house can be expensive, and if there is damage beyond the shingles and underlayment, the repairs could quickly run into the thousands or more. If the roof is shot, the deal should be off; you have to factor in the cost of the roof along with all other repairs. By this time the cost of repairs should be more than enough to send you packing.
Keep in mind you should always look at the total picture. There are deals that are simply too good to pass up. Maybe the house needs a new roof, but the foundation is good, the wiring and plumbing are in working order, and the rest of the property is in good shape, in this case,you might find it to be worth investing in. But at the same time, it would also give you a great bargaining chip to negotiate for a lower price.