How to get get estimate of repairs?

8 Replies

I wanna work on my estimate of repair numbers as accurate as I can before I see the property. I know once I get my inspections done I’ll have a more accurate number to work with but is there some formula to use that gives me a more competitive edge to visually evaluate a property based on pictures and videos? Thanks

You won't be able to get an accurate estimate through pictures and video. You'll want to walk through the house, look at and evaluate each of the major components of a typical rehab, create a detailed list of repairs that are needed, and then assign pricing for each task on the list.

There are plenty of threads here that discuss the process, and BiggerPockets has an entire book on estimating rehab costs.


What you can do, with enough practice and experience, is identify through the photos and videos what items do need to be upgraded or replaced. You should be able to see if windows, kitchen, baths, landscaping, etc are in need of upgrades or not. You can get a base idea of repairs from that but as J stated, until you walk the home and perhaps get professional inspection as well, you will not know the balance needed like all the hidden items /plumbing, electrical, foundation, HVAC, roof, etc.

Originally posted by @Siale Havili :

@J Scott

Thanks J. I figured that at least having a contractor do the walk though and giving me Estimates is the best way.

Keep in mind that contractors aren’t going to walk all of your potential leads and give you estimates for free. Also keep in mind you will probably walk through 20-30 or more houses before you get close to making a deal. If you paid even $100 for a contractor to give an estimate (most good ones would probably charge more for their time) you are looking at thousands of dollars for estimates.

To be successful you will need to know how to do this yourself. Research, determine what things cost, what trades people charge to fix/replace systems etc. Doing this and being good at it isn’t easy for someone with no background, but if you want to succeed you will need to learn as much as possible and most likely learn trial by error. 

I have to recommend the book on estimating rehab costs which is on the BP store. It takes hundreds of walkthroughs and practice to be able to estimate repairs. Unfortunately you do not have those at your disposal right now. I would just take your inspection report and as soon as you get it, begin your due diligence. Without this, you will not have much to go off of. Take the issues noted in the report and call contractors with the exact description of what you have in the report. Good luck with all of it!

@Siale Havili

You also may want to call a contractor and get some hourly rates as well as see if he can provide you with average time it takes to do certain tasks. That way say it takes an average of 2 hours to change out a window. You can find the window cost online and use his hourly rate to calculate labor costs. Or if the window is in a hard to get location or its bigger you can add time as you see fit.

Originally posted by @Brian Pulaski :
Originally posted by @Siale Havili:

@J Scott

Thanks J. I figured that at least having a contractor do the walk though and giving me Estimates is the best way.

Keep in mind that contractors aren’t going to walk all of your potential leads and give you estimates for free. Also keep in mind you will probably walk through 20-30 or more houses before you get close to making a deal. If you paid even $100 for a contractor to give an estimate (most good ones would probably charge more for their time) you are looking at thousands of dollars for estimates.

To be successful you will need to know how to do this yourself. Research, determine what things cost, what trades people charge to fix/replace systems etc. Doing this and being good at it isn’t easy for someone with no background, but if you want to succeed you will need to learn as much as possible and most likely learn trial by error. 

 Brian took the words out of my mouth, well said.