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Mistakes to Avoid with Building Inspections

Obtaining a detailed building inspection in purchasing an investment Property is an important step as you move through the due diligence process. The objective should be to get a thorough assessment of the property ‘top to bottom’ and gain a good understanding of its major physical elements.

Some of the BIGGER MISTAKES we see include:

Selecting the WRONG INSPECTOR/FIRM – in order to obtain a full physical review, you want an inspector who is competent, thorough, and trustworthy. Look beyond their website/resume – meaning you want to check with past clients and references, ask for credentials/professional affiliations, and their network of trade specialists (ie. Roofers/ HVAC Techs) which they can call on if needed. They should also carry sufficient insurance which they can provide proof of.

Going with the LOWEST PRICE – the least expensive is often the least experienced and often times provides the poorest service. Not an area where you want to be focused on saving a couple hundred dollars – remember you get what you pay for!

Not doing a WALK – THRU with the Inspector – in our experience the time spent at the property with the inspector (be it 1-2-3 hours), is invaluable and a key step of the inspection process. You get to experience the assessment of the property, through the eyes and words of the inspector. It also provides an excellent opportunity for Q & A, as you re-visit the property with more of a critical view of its condition. As well, It often times makes the review of the written report much easier

Not following up on INSPECTOR’S RECOMMENDATIONS – as deficiencies are identified, a set of recommendations (fixes) should also be outlined. This may involve bringing in other specialists (ie. HVAC techs), in order to determine repair estimates as identified. Once these costs are determined, you are then in a position to either accept them, or look to the seller to correct or compensate for them . Best practice is to resolve matters relating to ‘identified deficiencies’ within the due diligence period – not waiting until after closing.

Expecting the INSPECTOR TO PREDICT THE FUTURE- even the best are no better at predicting the future, then economists or sports handicappers. Matters relating to the life expectancy of HVAC units and roofs, are educated guesses at best, and should be viewed as such. Your expectations should be focused on the ‘here and now’ and plan on getting the best assessment of the condition of the property today.

Just a final comment on’ hiring an inspector’ – remember their work is not at all dependent on the deal going forward and the transaction closing. You pay the fee regardless of the outcome of the deal and their interests as a result, are truly in line with yours and they work on your behalf!

Tell us about any inspection experiences within your market – the good , the bad, and the ugly… And as always , just reach out to us if you’re interested in investment properties in Windsor-Essex.

Mark Lalovich
[email protected]
Office: (519) 966-0444
Cell: (519) 259-5434
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This post first appeared on Commercial Real Estate 101, please read the originial post: here

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Mistakes to Avoid with Building Inspections


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