I won a 15 year old house at a courthouse auction in NC. Closing will be in the next few days. These properties are sold as is and the substitute trustee will not allow any inspection.
I can see that the home has gas heat and the electric meter is still in place. The furnace/AC is a 2 year old Trane unit. I believe the home has only been vacant for a few months.
Since this is my first flip, I was considering having the utilities switched to my name after closing and having a home inspection before I turn anything on. My goal would be to have the inspector ID any issues with plumbing/electric while also providing a helpful list of other items that need to be fixed in the home. Does this sound reasonable? is there a better way to go about it?
I do not see the downside to getting an inspection after you purchase the home. If you are a newer investor and are not well versed in detecting issues that need to be addressed in the home then it is a good move for sure.
In my opinion, the best reason to get a home inspection is so that you can create a scope of work, generate a budget, get estimates from contractors and ultimately do a full analysis of the project to determine if you want to move forward and at what price.
While you will certainly still need to do a full inspection of every aspect of the house after closing and before starting the rehab, I see little reason to use a home inspector at this point. Contractors are going to be much more thorough, knowledgeable and will also be able to provide the estimates that go along with the inspection. I would recommend just getting your contractors in there to inspect and put together your scope of work as opposed to getting home inspection after closing.
Hopefully you won't find anything unexpected and the numbers will still work.
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