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Investment Property: The Physical Structure Itself

What are a few of the key things to investigate before buying real estate? To start here some things to check: from the roof to internal wiring to mold to lead to bugs and insects that could over run a house or condo. These are just a few things you have to look out for as a real estate investor and landlord when buying an investment property.

However, don’t let simple repairs, a paint job, landscaping, or the overall outside look of a building turn you away, rather, that’s a sign for an opportunity.  If the property is not well taken care of the owner is most likely more willing to sell.  They don't have the money to take care of their property and probably don't have the money to pay their mortgage.

As far as electrical wiring, copper is the standard, in the past cheaper aluminum wiring may have been used. This will have to be removed and the seller of the property will have to adjust his if that’s the case.  Look for outdated materials and adjust the price according the the time and work required to update a property.

If a roof is flat, this roof will need to be replaced at some point. Flat roofs just don’t hold up as well as a roof that’s sloped and water can run off more easily--you don’t end up with pools of water sitting for long periods of time if there’s a heavy rain storm.  So there's less wear and tear on the roof itself.

Contact the tax assessor’s office to find out the age of a property.  A newer building as a certain price whereas an older building will need a number of upgrades.

If there’s a basement, ensure that the area has not been flooded in the past and caused damage to the foundation. Look for cracks or water lines on the walls—doing your due diligence now will save you money on the purchase price and in the long run.

Flooding or dampness can also signal a mold problem – outwardly there might no signs but look behind and in the walls. This is a serious issue and will have to be addressed. Sometimes this can be solved by opening up the space with more ventilation or windows—but get in touch with an expert if you’re concerned. Overall, have the property inspected for any and all concerns before you buy it.

Insulation is often a money saver and any improvements are tax deductible. Adding insulation can save you heating and cooling costs--and an incentive for a renter to live in your property if that aren't pay high energy costs.

As of 1978, regulations have stopped the use of lead paint in homes but something to be aware of. The problem can be solved by covering the paint with a sealing but something tenants should be notified about.  Get in touch with an expert.

When buying a property that’s near an industrial area. Investigate what the area was used for and if the area has been contaminated. Seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised what some areas of land were used for in the past when they're seemingly fine now, and there's no outwards signs of previous industrial use.

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