Once the prep work of beginning the hunt and finalizing your budget is done, it’s time to step foot into a property to get a better look and feel for what you’ll be getting.
Whether you’re looking to purchase an office space in Tustin or a sprawling Colonial in Yorba Linda, we’ve provided you with some tips for what to look for during the initial property walkthrough.
What Needs Repairing?
It’s easy to note what’s good about a property, such as walk in closets, an open floor plan, or room with a view. But what needs work deserves the same amount of attention, as these are the areas that will affect the price—both your own and what you can charge for tenants down the road. What should you be on the lookout for?
Foundation issues: To detect possible foundation issues, look for warped floors, cracks in the foundation, doors that don’t close fully, or cracks in the ceiling. All of these things can indicate a foundation problem.
Plumbing problems: Run the faucets to check for discoloration in the water, which could indicate a serious plumbing problem.
Signs of mold: Is there wallpaper in the unit? Check for cracks and peeling. Stay sensitive to smells: mold and mildew are often hidden under carpets or inside drywall, but their odor seeps into rooms.
Roof concerns: If you’re looking at a house, find out how old the roof is and whether it needs to be replaced. If it’s more than 20 years old, it may need a new roof sooner than later—an expensive undertaking. Other signs that it might need replacing include missing, curling, or buckling shingles and water damage in the upstairs or attic.
What Stays in the Unit?
We recommend finding out if the price of the house is contingent on what’s left behind after the owner leaves. Will those window fixtures stay? What about the appliances and the rugs throughout the unit? Many realtors spend good money to stage a property to look more appealing to prospective buyers, so you’ll need to know what will be removed once you sign the final papers.
How Much Sunlight Does the Property Get?
The house’s sun exposure can have a substantial impact on the unit’s costs. Adequate natural lighting could cut down heating costs in the winter. On the other hand, southern exposures mean hot rooms during the summer, and the need for costly air conditioning.
What About Renovations?
Is the space suitable for you and your needs, or will you need to make renovations? If renovations are in the cards, discover which walls can be knocked down, or if the layout is fit to add extra room(s). A realtor or property management firm can help you determine which walls are load bearing and what the city allows in terms of upgrades or additions, and what permits you may need to act on them.
Before Closing on the Property
Properties that have been vacant for an extended time can develop numerous hidden problems. For example, a flood could occur if the previous owners disconnected the refrigerator attached to the house water line or moved out their washing machine. Potential plumbing dangers are always present if the system hasn’t been used in a while.
Other things to do before you sign on the dotted line:
- Test each light fixture.
- Turn on all water faucets, making sure there are no leaks under the sinks.
- Test all appliances.
- Check any garage door openers.
- Flush the toilets.
- Turn on the garbage disposal and exhaust fans.
- Test the heating and air conditioning.
- Open and close all windows. Similarly, do they lock?
- Look in attics and crawl spaces. Any signs of mold or rodents?
Hire a Property Management Team with a Renovations Department
Pan American Properties has a full-service in-house general contracting business with licensed plumbers, electricians, and HVAC professionals on staff. We will help you during the pre-sale phase by walking through a property with you and determining whether or not it is a wise investment.
We also have a talented renovations department that will assist in all renovations needs from kitchen remodels to appliance installation.
Call Pan American Properties today at (888) 754-9700 or email us at [email protected] to learn more.