A deal isn’t a deal until the repair costs of the property are taken into account. No matter what kind of investing you do, you need to have a quality team of contractors and tradesmen on speed dial before you purchase any asset. You also need to be taking a turn around the property yourself and comparing it to the neighbors, in terms of aesthetics, amenities, and overall condition.
Before you even go inside the house to speak with the owner, take a look at the outside. How does the roof compare to the neighborhood? Is the siding in good condition? Are there any visible foundation weaknesses? Do the windows need to be replaced? Take inventory of this before you step a single step inside that door.
Once you’re inside the house, start taking stock of the interior: What is the condition of the walls? What materials are they constructed from? Is there mold or mildew, indicating a moisture problem coming from the roof? Is the wiring out of date and needs updating? This is only a small sampling of the many possible repairs and issues that can come up in any home in any area. Make sure you properly vet all the costs to repair and update the house or property to ensure you get top dollar either in rent or when you resell the property down the road.
Where can you find reputable contractors and tradesmen? Ask at your local REIA, your mentor, or other fellow investors. Those in your local market should know who does the best quality work that will bring you the best return on your investment.
Bottom line: Don’t be afraid to ask for help.