Imagine this, you’re out viewing properties, you’re going to view this property, maybe you’re thinking it’ll make a nice flip or perhaps it’s even going to be serviced accommodation or holiday let, I don’t know, it doesn’t really matter.
When we’re viewing properties, this is usually what happens. We’ll go to the property, we’ll go in through the front door, we’ll have a look around, we’ll come out of the front door, and then we’ll go home.
But there’s a much better way that we should be doing it if we are property investors, and I suggest that we should do what I call an inspection.
Now, I’m not saying we do our own survey, but we should do an inspection which means that we’re looking at the property through the eyes of a property investor and not just through the eyes of a potential purchaser.
Let me explain what I mean, and I’m going to show you later how you can get the full system which I use when I inspect properties.
If I was going to be looking at this property the first thing I would do is, before I even stepped inside, I’d probably stop on the other side of the road and I’d have a good look at the property, starting at the top and looking down towards the bottom, because you are going to see things, and you may see clues as to things that may be happening on the inside.
So, for example, when we go inside we may find damp patches perhaps on the walls, perhaps on the first floor where you think this can’t be rising damp.
If we’ve had a look from the outside, we might have a much better idea as to what’s actually happening.
So, just looking at this property very, very quickly, what can we see? Well, starting at the top, the very first thing is that that chimney stack on the right-hand side looks in quite poor condition. Now, it’s got an open flue so is that in use or has it just not been capped off. If it’s not in use and it hasn’t been capped off is there going to be a damp problem in the chimney breast.
Just look at the pointing. The pointing is terrible.
A source of weakness around most rooves is the filleting between the chimney stack and the roof, so we’d have a good look at that.
Going to the roof itself, let’s see what we can see.
The ridge line looks very uneven, now it may be nothing or it may be something, but at least even before we go in we can start looking from the inside to see if there’s any clues.
What else can we see about the roof.
Well, let me just zoom in, because we can see that there’s quite a few slip slates. That’s going to indicate that perhaps there’s going to be some problems with this roof. I don’t know whether it’s lined because we haven’t seen, and we may not be able to see during our inspection, but there’s certainly slip slates which means that we’re probably going to have to give it a bit of an overhaul.
But, if you look here over on the right-hand side of the roof slope, just above the gutter, you can see that there’s a fair number of slates which have lifted. Possibly because the winds got underneath them and pushed them out of position. This roof is going to need quite a bit of work.
So, let’s keep working our way down. Well, the first thing I can see when we’re looking at the elevations themselves is that there’s a patch on the right-hand side, about the right third of the property, is a completely different colour to the left two-thirds of the property. So, why is that? Is it different brick work? Has it been rebuilt? Or is it just that somebody has done a bodge job of re-pointing it?
Now, I’m guessing this properties probably in a conservation area, which is why it has got the original sash windows, but they will probably need checking, because if they’re timber framed windows they’re probably not the best.
But, the one thing which I can see which would be a quite large concern before I go into this property is all of that vegetation growing on it. Now, I know it can look lovely, a little country cottage covered in ivy and wisteria and all that kind of stuff, but it can do real damage to the mortar joints between the brick courses and if it grows up into the roof space it can grow into the roof space and it can cause all sorts of trouble in the roof and it can be on the roof joist and all kinds of stuff.
So, there we are. Just with a very, very cursory look from the outside we’re picking up potential clues as to what the property might be like on the inside, and if we see a problem on the inside we can start thinking back to how it relates to what’s happening on the outside.
Now, you might say “This is all well and good Peter, but you’re a surveyor and I’m not”, and absolutely. I’m not expecting you to be a surveyor and I’m not expecting you or telling you to do a survey, but we can all look at the property, as I say in more detail than your average house buyer.
And that’s why I’ve put together this amazing resource for you. 63 Common Defects In Investment Property and how to spot them! And it does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s going to take you through the most common defects that you’re likely to find when you’re out inspecting your properties. It also takes you through the exact same process that I use when I’m inspecting properties so that I have every chance of spotting everything which I need to see.
And, even better, as a fantastic bonus when you buy your copy of 63 Common Defects In Investment Property and how to spot them! I’m going to give you copies of the actual inspection proforma that I use when I’m out inspecting properties which you can fill in and use as a checklist so that you don’t miss anything either.
Now, this isn’t going to make you into a surveyor, I don’t want you to be a surveyor, but what I do want you to have is more informed choices. Maybe you’ll inspect a property and think that it’s got too much work. Maybe you’ll look at a property and think it hasn’t got enough work, but at least you’ll know because you’ll have a far better idea of what’s actually happening with the property.
And, although it won’t make you into a surveyor, hopefully it will help you to weed out properties which are unsuitable for whatever you want to do with them, or at the very least it will show you, or reassure you, if you don’t need to take professional advice or if you do need to take professionally advice, you’ll have a much better understanding of what’s happening with each individual property, and the consequences of buying that property.
It’s available in hard copy, as a manual in a 4-ring binder, and there’s also a digital version which you can download instantly.
So, to order your copy please come over to my website www.thepropertyteacher.co.uk, click on Learning with Peter and I’ll put a link below this video or in the description so you can click that instead, or as well. Here’s to successful property investing.
Here’s to successful property investing.
(ex) Chartered Surveyor, author and property investor
PS. By the way, I’ve rewritten and updated my best-selling e-book, The Successful Property Investor’s Strategy Workshop, which is an account of how I put together my multi-property portfolio, starting from scratch and with no money of my own, and how you can do the same.
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