Buying your first investment property is a mix of excitement and fear. Excitement because of the new possibilities and fear of making mistakes. No matter how many books you’ve read, listened to every podcast on the internet or had lunch with the savviest investors you can find, the actual signing on your first investment comes with a bit of fear of the unknown.

You might be asking yourself if you’ve made the right decision or if you had overlooked something and many others. But no matter how much investment you brought out, there are some things that you can do to protect yourself on the front end of the deal. Specifically, it is very important to physically inspect the property and check for the following:

Foundation

This is a very important aspect of an investment property to look for. If you didn’t pay much attention to this one, it’s highly likely that you’ll need to dish out additional money in the near future. When examining the foundation, look for large cracks, shifting soil and other things that seem out of place. If it’s in a worse condition, you may ask the current owner to do repairs before you purchase the property.

Pests

This one’s going to be a tough nut to crack, especially termite damage – as they could never show up unless there’s a significant infestation going on. Look for any small signs and make sure to carefully inspect window sills, pantries, cabinets and other notorious places where common pests are known to hide. You can also ask a neighbor if they knew any pest problems the property have had.

Plumbing

Plumbing can cost you thousands of dollars in repairs and damage if overlooked. Look for evidence of leaks, inspect pipes, turn faucets on and off and examine drains. If it has a crawl space, look for signs of flooding or damage from underneath the property.

Trees

If there are trees within two meters of the house, there’s a chance of the roots growing further and cause major cracking and destabilization.

Electrical

Look for anything suspicious from the main breaker or fuse box. Then, walk around the house and test electric outlets. Look for ground fault circuit interrupters, they are important as they can protect against fires and they are also very important in kitchens and bathrooms to avoid accidents and injuries.

Floorboards

In older houses, floorboards often become weak. Lift carpets up and check for worn floorboards. Step on the floorboards to feel their stability.

HVAC

Heating and air conditioning is extremely important. Make sure to check them all and see if they are working properly. Check the model and capacity and ensure that they are of high quality.

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