The hunt is on. You are in front a house that you may want to buy. Do you have everything you need?
Here is my recommended list for what you should have with you.
Map or GPS Unit – To find the property
Something to record notes. This can be a pad of paper and pencil, a voice recorder or anything else that works for you. I recommend a form on paper that lists common rooms and items within each room – this insures that you looked at each item for presence and condition. I also like to have this on a clipboard
Camera – Still or video. Taking a picture of the front of the house and some interiors now can save you from having to revisit the property later.
Tape Measure – 100′ would be nice so that you can measure the outside dimensions of the house.
Flashlight – Especially required for a REO or other vacant, powered down house
Marble – Useful on hard surfaces to determine if the floor or countertop is level. Sloped floors can indicate settling or foundation issues which can cost you.
Binoculars – Useful to look at roof conditions. Sometimes the only way to see a roof from the ground is from a distance from the house. Also useful to look for house numbers when the house is away from the road.
Plug Tester – Used to determine if electrical outlets are wired correctly and provide adequate ground
Awl or knife – Useful for checking wood rot
Your notes about this property. Did you already talk to the seller? What things did they mention that are issues you should inspect? If the property is listed, bring a copy of the listing information.
Calculator – Used to total the estimated repair items and calculate your offer price.
Blank Offer form – Don’t waste time. If you like the property, write the offer!
When I walk-through potential houses, I wear casual clothes since the place may be dirty or ‘interesting’. I do not crawl under the house or into the attic spaces, so I don’t need coveralls. My inspections generally take under a half hour.
Note that I always hire an inspector when my offers are accepted – even without an inspection contingency. As a worst case, I may need to walk away from the earnest money deposit – but that can be a WHOLE lot cheaper than buying a house with expensive issues that I missed on my initial walk-through.
About the Author
Dean Dretske invites you to subscribe for more real estate tips and to learn about available properties at http://www.MoneyMakingProperties.com
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from “28 Days Later” soundtrack
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