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Investor’s House Hunting Toolbox

The hunt is on.  You are in front a house that you may want to buy.  Do you have everything you need? Here is my recommended list for what you should have with you. Map or GPS Unit – to find the p...

The hunt is on.  You are in front a house that you may want to buy.  Do you have everything you need?

Here is my recommended list for what you should have with you.

  • Map or GPS Unit – to find the property
  • Something to record notes.  This can be a pad of paper and pencil, a voice recorder or anything else that works for you.  I recommend a form on paper that lists common rooms and items within each room – this insures that you looked at each item for presence and condition.  I also like to have this on a clipboard
  • Camera – still or video.  Taking a picture of the front of the house and some interiors now can save you from having to revisit the property later.
  • Tape Measure – 100’ would be nice so that you can measure the outside dimensions of the house.
  • Flashlight – especially required for a REO or other vacant, powered down house
  • Marble – useful on hard surfaces to determine if the floor or countertop is level.  Sloped floors can indicate settling or foundation issues which can cost you.
  • Binoculars – useful to look at roof conditions.  Sometimes the only way to see a roof from the ground is from a distance from the house.  Also useful to look for house numbers when the house is away from the road.
  • Plug Tester – used to determine if electrical outlets are wired correctly and provide adequate ground
  • Awl or knife – useful for checking wood rot
  • Your notes about this property.  Did you already talk to the seller?  What things did they mention that are issues you should inspect?  If the property is listed, bring a copy of the listing information.
  • Calculator – used to total the estimated repair items and calculate your offer price.
  • Blank Offer form – don’t waste time.  If you like the property, write the offer!

When I walk-through potential houses, I wear casual clothes since the place may be dirty or ‘interesting’.  I do not crawl under the house or into the attic spaces, so I don’t need coveralls.  My inspections generally take under a half hour. 

Note that I always hire an inspector when my offers are accepted – even without an inspection contingency.  As a worst caseFind Article, I may need to walk away from the earnest money deposit – but that can be a WHOLE lot cheaper than buying a house with expensive issues that I missed on my initial walk-through.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Dean Dretske invites you to subscribe for more real estate tips and to learn about available properties at http://www.MoneyMakingProperties.com.  Subscribe now and get a free report that will help your investing!



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