6 Family Unit Inspection How Long

25 Replies | Chicago, Illinois

This deal.  I need an inspection of a 6 family unity each Unit being 1600 sq Ft.  How much time should that take.  My inspector is stating that they 5- 6 hours.  The seller is saying that 3 hours should be enough.  I do not see what the problem is and the seller is not even going to be there. This is a deal breaker for me because I believe that 6 hours is a reasonable amount of time for a thorough inspection for such a property.  Also, all the units were not made available to be seen during the initial look.

5-6 hours for six unit, plus all of the building systems is not a lot of time if you are looking for a thorough inspection.

We had our inspector spend up to 8-hours on a 5-6 unit building - he's very thorough.

Originally posted by @Roy N. :

5-6 hours for six unit, plus all of the building systems is not a lot of time if you are looking for a thorough inspection.

We had our inspector spend up to 8-hours on a 5-6 unit building - he's very thorough.

 Thank you.  Sharing your experience really helps.  

Three hours is not nearly enough time for 6 units. A half hour each? A good inspection on a SFH takes almost that much time (3 hours). The seller may be a little off, or maybe they are hoping there are things that will be overlooked. From my recent recollection 4 unit 5 hours, 3 unit with a lot of issues 4.5 hours, 2 unit that was really just a once over to make sure no structural or major issues about 2 hours. Older buildings take longer too. Bigger/higher buildings take longer too unless there is easy roof access. If you can, you want to be with the inspector. With a good inspector, it will be an opportunity to learn a lot about your building.

Originally posted by @Jerry N. :

Three hours is not nearly enough time for 6 units. A half hour each? A good inspection on a SFH takes almost that much time (3 hours). The seller may be a little off, or maybe they are hoping there are things that will be overlooked. From my recent recollection 4 unit 5 hours, 3 unit with a lot of issues 4.5 hours, 2 unit that was really just a once over to make sure no structural or major issues about 2 hours. Older buildings take longer too. Bigger/higher buildings take longer too unless there is easy roof access. If you can, you want to be with the inspector. With a good inspector, it will be an opportunity to learn a lot about your building.

 Thank you.  We put that down as a deal breaker.  That deal is just over.  Have to move on.

@Calvin Lipscomb I would not personally take more than 2-3 hours to inspect a property of that size, however, I think the fact that time is coming up may be a bit of a red flag. BTW if you need a good inspector PM me. 

Originally posted by @John Warren :

@Calvin Lipscomb I would not personally take more than 2-3 hours to inspect a property of that size, however, I think the fact that time is coming up may be a bit of a red flag. BTW if you need a good inspector PM me. 

 At the heart of it, the unwillingness to provide time, is the problem.  I contacted an inspector who told me that this the amount of time he would need.  From my view, if that is what he needs then why is this a problem.  Which does raise questions.  We pulled away from the deal.

@Calvin Lipscomb

By curtailing the duration of your inspection, the Vendor is essentially not permitting your diligence - which in your purchase contract should be worded as "inspection to your satisfaction".   Some Vendors may cite tenant disturbance as a reason for curtailing inspection, but you can usually structure an inspection to minimize inconvenience to any one tenant.

   

@John Warren - inspecting an modern six-unit 'H'-block in 2-3 hours may be possible, but on an older building (we have a six unit from the early 1900s), you are not going to perform an adequate inspection in that time.

@Roy N. I totally agree that older buildings can take more time. However, when you are buying a lot of the same building stock, you start to need less time. For instance, I don't need an inspector to tell me that my building in Berwyn has old galvanized plumbing that will cause problems. Every building I own has the same plumbing issues. I expect some issues with flat roofs in the Chicago area, and can tell pretty quickly how much trouble they will be. 

I also tend to buy mildly distressed buildings where a lot of these issues can be a given. If I was looking for "turn key" I would probably have a different take on an inspection. 

Originally posted by @John Warren :

@Roy N. I totally agree that older buildings can take more time. However, when you are buying a lot of the same building stock, you start to need less time. For instance, I don't need an inspector to tell me that my building in Berwyn has old galvanized plumbing that will cause problems. Every building I own has the same plumbing issues. I expect some issues with flat roofs in the Chicago area, and can tell pretty quickly how much trouble they will be. 

I also tend to buy mildly distressed buildings where a lot of these issues can be a given. If I was looking for "turn key" I would probably have a different take on an inspection. 

 That comes with experience and familiarity with your stock.  I had an inspector tell a buyer if you have an issue with termites (which was in the house) then you can not buy in this area since it is a common problem, not major, in the area.  He regularly inspected properties in that area and knew the stock very well.   This is my first foray into this business and into that area so a thorough inspection would be helpful to me too. 

Originally posted by @John Warren :

@Roy N. I totally agree that older buildings can take more time. However, when you are buying a lot of the same building stock, you start to need less time. For instance, I don't need an inspector to tell me that my building in Berwyn has old galvanized plumbing that will cause problems. Every building I own has the same plumbing issues. I expect some issues with flat roofs in the Chicago area, and can tell pretty quickly how much trouble they will be. 

I also tend to buy mildly distressed buildings where a lot of these issues can be a given. If I was looking for "turn key" I would probably have a different take on an inspection. 

John:

Ahh, but that is another matter.   We also buy very unloved buildings under the assumption that we will be gutting the building and replacing almost everything ... so typically do not bother with engaging an inspector or engineer unless we see something out of the ordinary (in a bad way) or we are having a Phase 1 done.

However, in the beginning before we had acquired our present level of comfort and experience, we sent an inspector into most buildings ... if for no other reason than to provide input into maintenance and renovation planning.

@Roy N. we essentially are saying the same thing. If I moved out of my area to an area with different building stock, I would probably be more nervous and want an inspector involved. I also leaned on inspectors more when I was just getting started. As a realtor, I go on probably 30 inspections per year for other people's properties, so I have picked up a lot of building knowledge that way too. 

With that said, the original intent of the post was to determine if anything shady was going on. I would say that the seller doesn't want the inspector in the building, and I am glad @Calvin Lipscomb was nervous because of this... definite red flag!

@John Warren , if you only take 2-3 hours to inspect a 6 unit property, I'd NEVER hire you! I just had a 1,400 sq ft condo inspected and it took about 1.5 hours. He checks everything though, cabinet hinges, appliances, windows, roof, basement, exterior bricks, door operation, strike plate alignment, everything. I appreciate the thorough inspection so there are no surprises.

The deal just became  a zombie Walking Dead. LOL  I love the long term potential of this property.  The skinny, my agent (buyer's agent) received an email from the sellers agent stating how she made him look bad she called me to share the information.  This raised a number of questions about who was the real problem; was the seller the problem or was the agent the problem regarding the time needed for the inspection.  In addition, I did raise the funds for an ALL CASH offer but, the agent's contract was still based on obtaining financing.  Next, did the agent present the all cash offer to the seller?

I officially requested that the agent contact the broker of the selling agent to see if all of the pertinent information was presented to the seller and conveyed in an appropriate manner. 

Of course we are prepared to adjust our offer based on any significant findings during the inspection.   

I want to thank this group for all the support, guidance, and the sharing of their experience.

Originally posted by @Calvin Lipscomb :

The deal just became  a zombie Walking Dead. LOL  I love the long term potential of this property.  The skinny, my agent (buyer's agent) received an email from the sellers agent stating how she made him look bad she called me to share the information.  This raised a number of questions about who was the real problem; was the seller the problem or was the agent the problem regarding the time needed for the inspection.  In addition, I did raise the funds for an ALL CASH offer but, the agent's contract was still based on obtaining financing.  Next, did the agent present the all cash offer to the seller?

I officially requested that the agent contact the broker of the selling agent to see if all of the pertinent information was presented to the seller and conveyed in an appropriate manner. 

Of course we are prepared to adjust our offer based on any significant findings during the inspection.   

I want to thank this group for all the support, guidance, and the sharing of their experience.

Calvin:

Is the Vendor's agent a residential real estate agent by chance?  This is an unfortunate, frequent occurrence when a residential agent, whose experience is selling pretty house to Dick and Jane, catches a {small} commercial property.   

Originally posted by @Roy N. :
Originally posted by @Calvin Lipscomb:

The deal just became  a zombie Walking Dead. LOL  I love the long term potential of this property.  The skinny, my agent (buyer's agent) received an email from the sellers agent stating how she made him look bad she called me to share the information.  This raised a number of questions about who was the real problem; was the seller the problem or was the agent the problem regarding the time needed for the inspection.  In addition, I did raise the funds for an ALL CASH offer but, the agent's contract was still based on obtaining financing.  Next, did the agent present the all cash offer to the seller?

I officially requested that the agent contact the broker of the selling agent to see if all of the pertinent information was presented to the seller and conveyed in an appropriate manner. 

Of course we are prepared to adjust our offer based on any significant findings during the inspection.   

I want to thank this group for all the support, guidance, and the sharing of their experience.

Calvin:

Is the Vendor's agent a residential real estate agent by chance?  This is an unfortunate, frequent occurrence when a residential agent, whose experience is selling pretty house to Dick and Jane, catches a {small} commercial property.   

 I really do not know.  Ultimately this caused me to the pull the deal.  I am currently in contract on 12 unit total renovation job.  Hopefully, nothing shows up during the title period.  

Originally posted by @Calvin Lipscomb :

Unreal.  I am in contract for a different 6 family unit, all cash, and I am being told the same thing.  That it can be done in 3 hours.  That is unacceptable to me.  

 Same agent or brokerage?

Originally posted by @Roy N. :
Originally posted by @Calvin Lipscomb:

Unreal.  I am in contract for a different 6 family unit, all cash, and I am being told the same thing.  That it can be done in 3 hours.  That is unacceptable to me.  

 Same agent or brokerage?

 Different agent.  What is the problem if I have an inspector who needs the time to do a thorough inspection?  

A lot of landlords do not like bothering their tenants unnecessarily, which is completely understandable.  However, if you have an accepted offer, then an inspection is typically a necessity.  If the vendor does not want an inspection, they should have declined the offer or countered.

You could have your agent muse to the vendor that if they do not wish for an inspection, then you could offer 20-30% less and remove the contingency ;-)

Originally posted by @Roy N. :

A lot of landlords do not like bothering their tenants unnecessarily, which is completely understandable.  However, if you have an accepted offer, then an inspection is typically a necessity.  If the vendor does not want an inspection, they should have declined the offer or countered.

You could have your agent muse to the vendor that if they do not wish for an inspection, then you could offer 20-30% less and remove the contingency ;-)

 Thanks.  We are just wondering, again since this the 2nd time that someone limited the time to 3 hours, if it was just the inspector we want to use and our own expectations that are in the way.