Buying bug infested properties - how do you get contractor bids when nobody wants to enter the property?

2 Replies

Have you ever bought a property that was heavily infested with bugs? If so, what did you do about it during the home inspection/contractor bids/etc?

Were you able to get home inspectors and/or contractors into the property to give you a report and bids? 

Did you bomb the place yourself before closing? ...is that even allowed?

I'm in the process of buying two properties - walking into them, I was instantly covered in fleas in both, and one of them had literally thousands of roaches, and what I am guessing was bed bugs crawling around. It was pretty nasty. The neighbors mentioned they were occasionally spraying the outside steps as the bugs were just spilling out.

I'm the kind of newbie investor that gets really excited about the potential for a property - I literally spent hours at a time in my first rental planning out the rehab and envisioning what I was going to do to the property to make it look great - exposing brick, reconfiguring upstairs layout, enhancing outdoor space, etc. With these properties, though, I have not set foot in them since getting them under contract. I'm buying at a good price, and it will be hard to go wrong here, but I would feel much better having contractors in before closing to get my numbers a little tighter. 

If you have ever been in a similar experience, I would love to hear how you handled it.

We bought a home at a tax lien auction after viewing it through the windows. (My wife refuses to enter most of them). We then flipped it to a fellow investor after the close, only to discover it was infested with a menagerie of the critters you mentioned & mold in the basement. They had to bomb & bomb & bomb. But they did eventually sell it for a $20k profit after living in it for 3 years.  I often wonder if they were ever affected by the 'bomb' chemical residues as they apparently never bothered to steam clean the carpets or even have the vents cleaned.

I recently saw the home again after the current owner gutted the lathe & plaster to upgrade the insulation, electrical etc. The inner wall cavities were packed with the remains of departed critters.

@Pat L. That description of the property sounds pretty bad, but it does sound like they were able to get the bugs out of there if they ended up living in it.

The chemicals are something to worry about - I'm thinking a combination of bombs and spreading a massive amount of diatomaceous earth (food grade) around the property until the rehabs are done. Most of this would get cleaned up pretty well. I'll seal off ducts and both properties will all end up with solid wood and tile floors, so limited areas for chemicals (or bugs) to linger.

Biggest issue really is just in getting the projects scoped properly over the next couple of weeks before I close - otherwise, I will be dragging the schedule longer than I had hoped.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here