It bears repeating (because most people find it remarkable) — most of our clients buy turnkey rentals from us sight unseen. How can they do it? They get a profession complete a home inspection for Turnkey Rentals.
This gives many homeowners and real estate investors heart palpitations — especially those that like to crawl into crawl spaces and scrape every eave with a screwdriver in search of rot before they even think of making an offer.
For those who have better things to do than crawl into crawl spaces and scrape eaves, however, that means a lot is riding on the home inspection report.
That sheaf of paper, prepared by a professional home inspector based on a multi-hour visit to the property, is your best glimpse into the bones of the house … and your best indication of whether or not, from a physical and structural standpoint, you’re buying a tank or a lemon.
Here are three tips for the inspection stage of your turnkey rental purchase, so you can feel confident about your investment.
1. SCREEN THE INSPECTOR
If you live far away from the prospective rental property, you probably don’t know any local home inspectors.
We can recommend some to you, but it’s important to remember — the home inspector is your guy, not ours. The buyer hires the home inspector, because the buyer is the one with more to lose if the home turns out to be riddled with defects.
So take the time to call the inspector and do some due diligence. Make sure (s)he is licensed and has positive reviews online. You don’t have to use our recommendations. If you find someone you like better and the schedules line up, by all means go with the inspector with whom you feel most comfortable.
2. DON’T BE ALARMED BY A LONG LIST OF DEFECTS
Home inspectors are thorough. Inspection reports, especially those for older homes like the ones we acquire and renovate, tend to identify dozens of defects. You are paying someone to go through your property with a fine tooth comb.
If you have ever bought a home or investment property in the past, you have probably encountered this. That long list can be scary.
Take heart. It’s nearly impossible to make an older home “perfect.” Even brand-new homes have defects. Most of them have little or nothing to do with the economic function of the property, or even yours or the tenant’s ability to enjoy the property. They are just bases the inspector is required to cover. See something really concerning? A phone call with the inspector can clarify the findings.
3. COMPARE THE SCOPE OF WORK WITH THE REPORT
We rehab every property that we acquire and bring to market as a turnkey rental. That rehab leaves behind a paper trail — specifically the scope of work, an official agreement with contractors and subcontractors as to what work must be done.
We provide a summary of the scope of work for every turnkey rental. When you get your inspection report back, compare it to the SOW. If something seems to be askew, ask about it.
In other words, the inspection becomes an opportunity to keep things honest — to verify that we actually did the work we told you we did. Isn’t that a good feeling?