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Insightful Inspections: What to Watch For and Questions to Ask

Insightful Inspections: What to Watch For and Questions to Ask

Real estate makes for a good investment, whether you plan to make it your home or rent it out. But as with any investment, it’s important to be keeping an eye on things to ensure it maintains their value.

A home inspection gives you insight into how your property is fairing and allows you to catch issues before they become big problems. Some inspections you can do yourself with a solid checklist, while others require people with special expertise.

Let’s take a look at how to do an inspection and what to be on the lookout for.

Buying a Home

When you make an offer on a house, most of the time, your bid is contingent on having the home inspected by a professional. This is a more intense level of inspection than you might do at other times because you want to know just what you’re buying.

Before you hire an inspector, make sure they are comfortable with you following them around and asking questions while they work. The big questions you should be asking at that time are for further information on what they point out and whether it is a major or minor problem.

While inspections can uncover some scary things that might cause you to rethink your purchase, many of the issues that come up will be simple things. If you talk to the inspector after the fact, ask what they think you should be most concerned about and what should be taken care of first.

Rental Properties

It would be nice to have a tenant who takes care of your property as their own, but it’s unlikely to happen. As a result, rental properties call for inspections during the lease as well as a move in and move out.

In Florida, landlords have the right to enter the property to do repairs and inspections with 12 hours’ notice. It’s a good idea to time these inspections with routine tasks like replacing HVAC filters or cleaning gutters.

As for what to look for during inspections, you want to ensure that the property is being maintained per the lease and that there are no lease violations. Inspections at the beginning and end of the lease allow you and the tenant to document the condition of the property.

Vacation Rentals

Short-term rentals require more frequent inspection due to the churn of tenants. These inspections need to cover a wider range of items than the others since you are checking furnishings as well as the property after each tenant leaves. You’ll also want to do a more in-depth inspection seasonally to check for normal wear and tear issues that should be addressed.

Your between-rental inspections should look at how clean the property is, whether anything needs to be fixed or replaced and if there are any safety issues. While you’re checking that supplies are restocked, you can also keep an eye on general issues to avoid surprises during your seasonal check.

Don’t Neglect Your Home Inspection

When you’re buying a home or renting it out, a home inspection plan is a key part of protecting your investment. Plan for inspections before you buy, during a lease, and seasonally to ensure you’re staying on top of issues and needed repairs. Vacation home inspections happen the most frequently and can be made easier with a checklist to ensure consistency.

If you need help with a vacation home inspection, contact us to discuss our management packages. We can serve as your boots on the ground to keep your vacation home in top shape and your renters happy.