I have my first house under contract that will also serve as my first investment property seeing as how it has a guest house that I'll be able to live in while renting out the main house (aka house hacking)
I just had the property inspection done today and there are certainly some electrical issues that need to be resolved. First, the propriety only has a 100 amp breaker, which is definitely not enough, especially with the addition. Second, not all of the outlets are grounded and finally, the main line coming from the power company is nearly touching the roof. The inspector recommended I have a few electricians come out to give bids for the necessary repairs. Seeing as this is my first property, I don't have any electricians so I figured I'd turn to BP to get recommendations for electricians in the Phoenix area who have worked with investors before. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks in advance.
Hey @Kevin Glover , congrats on your first investment property. I have a lot of experience with electrical upgrades at my rentals in Tempe.
I'm not a licensed electrician, so the following is just advice from my own experience!
1) The panel upgrade is kind of a PITA, but definitely worth it. You'll need to pull permit with City of Tempe, and then schedule the disconnect with APS or SRP. If you're going to do a new panel, that is the perfect time to also install a new mast/riser to raise the power line above the roof. I've seen some pretty tall ones depending on your needs. Cost will depend on what amp panel you get, but expect at least $2000 for the new panel, plus the city permit costs. The whole process takes an entire day, from disconnect in the early morning, thru panel replacement, then city inspection, then utility reconnect in the afternoon/evening.
2) It's very common to find the un-grounded two wire electrical in the 50's era homes. Is it a block home? If so, that makes it very difficult (if not impossible) to upgrade every outlet to grounded romex. You can replace any three hole outlets with two hole outlets so no one will falsely assume they are grounded. You can have an electrician install a grounded outlet on an interior framed wall of each room so you at least have one.
@Ryan Swan Thanks for the reply! I talked to an electrician yesterday and he quoted me $2,500 for the panel upgrade, which included the permit costs so that seems right in line with what you said. I understand that you're not an electrician but he also said that the whole house would need to be rewired to upgrade every outlet to grounded. Does that sound fairly accurate? Also, do you think I'd run into any issues with financing if the property doesn't have grounded outlets?
@Kevin Glover yes you would need to re-wire the entire house to make every outlet and light fixture grounded. It would be quite expensive, and might have extra costs such as drywall repair, painting, etc.
My personal opinion is it's usually not worth the cost to re-wire an entire 1950s house, unless you're doing renovation work that takes it "down to the studs", in which case the rewire becomes much easier and less expensive.
The best money you can spend on these old homes is to blow more insulation into the attic. It's very inexpensive relative to other energy upgrades and thus has the best ROI.