We often get asked this question from flippers who are just starting out. The straightforward answer is yes, if you have the money and the time needed to schedule one, we will almost always recommend having the property inspected. If you are just starting out, inspections can be incredible learning tools. Inspectors act as an additional set of eyes on the property; they wander into the dark depths of the property and will report back on everything that they find. Typically, inspectors are looking at the structure of the property and their nuanced findings can be of great value when negotiating price or assembling an accurate scope of work. Finally, when you go to sell your home it is going to be inspected at the end of the day and these inspectors can find things a typical general contractor (GC) may have missed. Some of our borrowers have inspections done up front to make sure that their GC’s can update any findings to code over the course of the project, thus hopefully minimizing future surprises.
Here are some helpful tips when it comes to inspections:
- If you are just worried about one part of the house, you can have that piece inspected individually. The most common types of inspections our borrowers have done are a roof inspection, a crawl space/foundation inspection and an electrical inspection.
- When working with an older home it may make a lot of sense to order an inspection. For example, it’s often a good idea to have a foundation inspection performed for homes built in the 60’s and 70’s.
- Assuming that the property is not listed “as-is”, if an inspection looks like it may be needed make that clear up front. That is make sure that your intent to inspect the property is stated in your purchase agreement. You or your agent can make the offer contingent upon having this inspection done. This will allow you to retain your earnest money if you and the seller are unable to agree upon a price.