Buying a Groton rental property can be a great opportunity. But there is also the potential for significant financial losses if you aren’t careful. Before buying any rental property, it’s important to check specific aspects of the property, both inside and out. Carefully inspecting a potential investment property’s exterior is one of the best ways to spot hidden problems that could spell expensive repairs later on. By checking these eight specific things, you can be rest assured that you have the information you need to make a good investment.
Seeing problems while inspecting a roof is very simple, yet you’d be surprised how often investors skip this step. In addition to noting what type of roof the property has (composite shingle, wood, tile, or flat roof), it’s important to get a close-up look at it. Test a few shingles and see if they’re moving around. Remember the spots where shingles are missing or seem worn, curled, or otherwise damaged. All of those are huge red flags that the roof is not solid.
As you drive up to the property, be sure to note your first impressions. How is the curb appeal? Is the yard and landscaping pleasing and properly maintained? Some overgrown weeds or low-hanging tree limbs are a pretty easy fix. But if you notice whole trees or large areas of the lawn that are dead or diseased, that could require an expensive landscaping job to make the area presentable.
Deck or Patio
Along with the yard, don’t forget to inspect exterior features like a deck or patio. Wooden decks are notorious for becoming a real safety hazard if they haven’t been properly maintained. Don’t forget to test the planks and supports for signs of termites or wood rot, and check the condition of the finish. For patios, look for signs that the concrete is starting to crumble or break. Both are an indication that they need to be replaced immediately.
Siding and/or Paint
No inspection is complete without detailed notes about the property’s siding and exterior paint. Depending on what kind of siding material you’re working with, repairs could be as simple as replacing a few pieces of vinyl siding or as involved as re-painting a stucco exterior.
If the property you like to purchase has wood anywhere on the home’s exterior, it’s important to check each area carefully. Together with wooden roof shingles and decks, some homes have wood clapboard siding, wooden trim around doors and windows, wood steps and railings, etc. Anytime wood is used on an exterior surface, there is the potential for wood rot – and not just in humid climates.
Drainage and Gutters
Another important feature of a great investment property is how well it handles wet weather. If you don’t mind, inspect the condition of any gutters and downspouts, including the ground underneath them. If you notice signs of erosion or water damage to the foundation, those are both signs that the property does not have adequate drainage. You do not want a rental property that floods every time it rains.
It is vital to check the electrical system inside a potential investment property, but don’t forget to check the exterior electrical elements, too. If you see power lines running from a nearby pole to the house or attached to the home’s exterior, be sure to check them for damage. Also, ensure that electrical lines are high enough off the ground to be out of reach and that the meter box appears to be in good condition and functional.
In case the house has an air conditioning unit, it is necessary to have it checked as thoroughly as you can. Outside AC units are often prone to rust and dirt. If they’ve never been cleaned or maintained in a while, it will show. If the property doesn’t have AC and you want to add it, you need to include the cost of not only the unit but professional installation too.
After you’ve checked these eight things, you’ll get a much clearer understanding of whether the property fits your standard for a great rental home.
Have you found the rental investment of your dreams, but are wondering how to manage it? Real Property Management Hartford Metro/Greater New London is one of the most trusted and comprehensive rental property management companies in the area. Whether you already have a property or are just starting to plan your investment, feel free to reach out at 860-436-9955 or contact us online.
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