Checklist for Property Issues Before Putting in Offer

5 Replies | Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Does anyone have any good resources for an initial screening list of things to check for structurally or other issues a home inspector should find?

The reason I ask is I have had 2 separate offers accepted only to fail during an inspection. These were catastrophic failures where the cost to fix it was worth more than the house. This caused me to back out of the offers. Every time I see these failures I learn more about what to look for but I still lack experience. Some type of checklist or resource with what to look for would be tremendously helpful.  

One was due to foundation issues. The other was due to a plethora of critical issues.

I would always use a home inspector but I feel like I need to be a better first filter as to not waste mine or other people's time chasing after properties that are in disrepair. 

The price range for properties I am looking at is 80,000 - 120,000. I understand a lot of these homes are 100 years old in Pittsburgh and there are going to be something wrong with them. However, I am looking to be able to identify the catastrophic issues and avoid them.  

 So does anyone know of any good resources? 

@Mike Calabrese an excellent book is Inspecting a House by Carson Dunlop and Associates. 

Any problem can be fixed. Not every property is worth fixing. However given that you have had significant issues consider renegotiating at a significantly lower price. A price that makes it worth your while to buy. 

Most houses that old are going to need repairs. As an investor I expect everything I buy to need repairs and price my offer accordingly.

@Mike Calabrese your RE IQ will increase over time and you will be able to do your own preliminary inspections and estimate a rehab in less than 30 minutes. For now reading and continuing to go through the growing pains is what will be needed. 

Fire that realtor and get a better one..... there's no way a house that has issues that bad should even get to the inspection point (unless it was at a price that made sense).

I look at properties all day, if I see something I pass it to my realtor he takes a look, if it passes that he'll go view in person. If it passes the in person test, then offer, then inspection, then re talk numbers, then I'll fly out there and talk to the tenants. 

Lot more lengthy to type out it happens pretty fluid/quickly.