We’ve talked a little bit about what you might want to look for when you purchase a house, flip it, and then rent it out. Distressed properties can be a fantastic investment, but that doesn’t mean you have to do it that way. If you’re looking at a non-distressed property for sale to add to your rental properties, there are a few things you’ll still need to look for.
Now, it’s obvious you’ll likely have some cosmetic changes to make to any property you find. However, everyone wants to avoid the “Surprise! Expensive repair needed for occupancy!” and you can do just that. This saves you money and gets your tenants in as quickly as possible, so you’re making money sooner, rather than later. A great property for sale can be awesome, but if it requires a lot to get it ready to rent: it might not be worth your time.
Start on the outside of the property for sale
Open every window in the place. You need to be checking for problems that may lead to window replacement. Now, it’s one thing if you want to replace them for energy efficiency, but having to replace them because they won’t open or are broken is another thing entirely. While that may sound completely obvious, many people take the fact that the windows that look nice, really are. Often, they’re not.
Check your plumbing issues
First, go through and turn on all of the faucets in the place. Sure, you can go ahead and change them out, but if you can avoid it, avoid it by checking them first. As you do this, taste the water that comes out of them. City water is often fine, but if the pipes in the house are old or otherwise messed up: you’ll know it when you taste it. This will help you to know whether or not pipes need replacing or maybe just a filter will do.
Flushing each toilet is also pretty important. As you’re doing that, you can also look for rust or hard water stains that may indicate a potential problem there, as well.
Checking the drains requires a little effort, but it’s worth it. If there is a collapsed pipe, simply going around flushing toilets and turning on sinks won’t reveal it. You can hire someone to inspect this for you, or you can fill up all of the tubs and sinks, then drain them to watch for problems.
What lies beneath
So, you walk into this great property, the carpet is absolutely stunning- brand new. You’re thinking, “This is a fantastic find!” until the summer months roll around, and it gets hot. Or the spring months start pumping moisture into the air. Either way, suddenly, there’s a stench and your tenants are complaining to the tune of Lynard Skynard’s That Smell. Why does this happen? Because under that bright, beautiful new carpet is a subfloor that has been dealt a rough lot and still holds the scent inducers from it. Pulling the carpet back in an inconspicuous place can help you to see if there are issues with mold, pet, or other stinky potential problems.
These are just a handful of the lesser thought of things you can look for when you’re checking out a new, potential property. We’ve heard some horror stories through the years, and ask any realtor, they’ll tell you: you learn new ones all the time. Check out the little things a home inspector may miss and you’ll be well on your way to being a happier landlord.