I have an opportunity to purchase a rental property for 39k that has been condemned because of code violations. I received an email report of the violations this morning.
My contractor suggests I "have an engineer evaluate everything in that report that mentions structure and have him write instructions. Then after work gets done, he will inspect. Then code inspector would inspect..."
Is this good advice and if so, where do I find an engineer??
Sounds like a huge headache and money pit
I agree with your contractor's description of the process.
The engineer will probably charge several hundred dollars for a report, and when you get it, it might be that the rehab costs are too high to make the property a good deal. If the seller is willing to negotiate, you might be able to use the report to get the price down; if not, you just spent $400+ on your own education. :)
If you have worked with a home inspector or real estate agent in that area before, they can probably refer you to a structural engineer. (A home inspector can verify what's wrong, but most of them aren't qualified to write up a report with recommendations on how to fix the problems. An engineer can write that report.) Keep in mind that the engineer may pay referrals to people that recommend him or her.
If you don't know anyone in the area, you might check at the local landlords' association or real estate investors' association. They will either have members who are structural engineers, or members who have hired one before and can give you a recommendation.
@Matt R. Thank you! I do have an agent I’ve been working with. I’ll ask her.