Property inspection before purchase

4 Replies

I will be doing my first walkthroughs of possible rental properties to purchase within the next week. I would like to know What others think are the most important items to be checking when doing the initial walkthrough? They will be single family and duplexes. Also, are there checklists available that can be used as you walk through the properties? 

Thanks in advance! I appreciate all thoughts and suggestions!


@Libby Baugher I get all my properties professionally inspected after we strike a deal.  95% of the time it is a "waste of money," but 5% of the time they catch things I missed.  And that makes it worth it.

For your initial walk through you don't want to be spending a lot of time "inspecting" the property.  That would limit the amount of properties you have the time to look at.  Some things will jump out at you.  Some things you may miss.  So if you strike a deal, get it inspected.

Probably the most important things to look for, that will not be found on an inspection, are things that make the property less desirable.  Maybe the layout is weird.  Or the bedrooms are too small.  Or that you can't open the dishwasher and a certain drawer at the same time.  These are not defects, so they won't be found on an engineers inspection.   Look out for  those things.

Offer a contractor friend dinner to do the walkthrough have him write down and Quote possible issues as he sees them have him go over the systems the basement and roof with a fine tooth comb . Most inspectors are a waste a good contractor can spot just as much and it won’t require a contingency or cost 500$

@Larry T. - well said.

I would recommend walking through once just to get an overall concept of everything, layout and room sizes, things like that. Then, if you think it's good, I usually scour a bit more into the particulars. Ceilings for cracks/leaks, foundation for obvious bowing or cracks, the systems (HVAC, H2O heater, electrical box) and go from there. Then, I leave the rest to an inspector. (Sorry, but I have to disagree with Dennis) contractors I've brought with typically don't go on a roof, attic, etc during a showing (as an agent I thank god for that!) but the inspector will. Once you get into the trenches, I think you may learn more of what to look for and avoid, but in the beginning, I think it's money very well spent! Find a good one though!