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  • Writer's pictureJesus M. Fernandez

Should You Hire a Property Inspector Before Buying a Fixer-Upper Property?

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How much do you trust the home seller you’re buying a secondhand home from? Are you willing to take a leap of faith that the house won’t be riddled with termites or structurally unsound? Today, Jesus M. Fernandez,  your Miami Lakes real estate expert discusses why a home inspection is so important when you’re thinking about purchasing a fixer-upper to live, flip or lease.


Avoid Hassles Later On


Did you find a terrific bargain on a property and decide you’d like to try to flip it? If that’s the case, remember that condition is critical. A property inspector can help you in your decision-making to determine whether the property is a good investment. They can also tell you in advance if the property is structurally sound and, if so, whether any major repairs will be needed.


Hiring a Property Inspection Service


The inspection service you hire for your potential house should be able to provide you with a full report on the house’s structural health and safety. Inspectors are trained to identify any problems, such as cracks in the foundation, termites, mold, or water damage. They can also tell you whether there are any issues with the roof, the electric service, or the plumbing. Once you have this information, you can make a more educated decision about buying the property.

When purchasing property, the cost of an inspection is the best money you will ever spend! It is foolhardy to forgo a complete property inspection before buying any type of real estate. Many of my buying and selling clients have trusted Bravo Home Inspections when buying or selling real estate.


Please note that if there are serious structural issues that will cost a lot of money to repair, then it might not be worth your time or money to buy the home. But if there are only minor repairs needed, you might want to reconsider before giving up on your dream fixer-upper and walking away from a potentially good deal.


What Repairs to Tackle First


There’s a lot of decision-making involved when you’re undertaking a project like a home renovation. You have to be sure that you have the right skills and equipment, that you have the time you need, and that you have the financial resources. But the biggest decision you have to make is whether or not you want to do the work yourself.


Once you’ve made plans to make the necessary repairs, it’s time to consider what you want to tackle first. You can search for local contractors in your area and find reviews online, too. Recently, I hired Quintero General Contractor, Corp., and was satisfied with the workmanship, reasonable prices, and quick turn-around of the work performed. The following are often the most important repairs to make in a fixer-upper.


Upgrade the Foundation


If you decide to a purchase a property with foundation issues, the first repair you should tackle is upgrading your property's foundation. This is important for many reasons, including the future value of your property, and avoiding other potential structural issues with your property.


Save with a Home-Based Business


Operating a home-based business, particularly as a limited liability company (LLC), opens up a range of tax benefits, with numerous common expenses eligible for deductions. These LLC write offs can include initial business setup expenses, legal fees, insurance premiums, and the cost of equipment.


This aspect of financial management can be particularly advantageous if you're investing in renovating a fixer-upper to serve as your business premises. Such deductions can significantly lower your taxable income, allowing for considerable savings. Effectively managing these deductions requires keeping detailed records of all business-related expenses, ensuring you maximize your financial benefits while staying compliant with tax laws.


Repair the Roof


One of the most important things you should tackle when it comes to your fixer-upper is repairing the roof. If your roof just needs a quick patch, you should be able to finish the task in a day. You can also hire someone to do this for you. The cost of repairs will depend on what needs to be done for your specific roof.


Take Care of the Kitchen


Since most people send a lot of time in their kitchens, it’s important to improve this space if you see any major problems. This could include adding appliances, making repairs to cabinets and countertops, and changing up the flooring. You could also add things like wall-mounted range hoods to both help provide clean, fresh air to the kitchen while adding a little visual flair at the same time. And there are dozens of designs, so you’ll get just the look you want.


Using Natural Cleaners


Next, you’ll have to give your property a thorough cleaning. This can take a while so don’t think you have to finish it all at once. Addressing one room at a time is easier and far less daunting. You also don’t have to rely on expensive, harmful cleaning supplies. If you like, try out homemade cleaners instead for a more natural alternative.


Update the Outdoor Space


If your fixer-upper has a patio or deck that needs some TLC, ensure that this space gets updated and is structurally sound. Work with a company to install gorgeous hardwood flooring for your deck. Not only will this make the space look warm and inviting, but you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the construction will be handled by experienced professionals.


Additional Considerations


A lot of people decide to buy a fixer-upper with the intention of turning it into a vacation rental or tenant housing. If this is the plan you have in mind, it’s important to first establish your business with a unique employee identification number. An EIN actually benefits you in a variety of ways:


  1. Tax Reporting: EINs are essential for tax reporting and compliance, allowing businesses to accurately report and pay various federal and state taxes, including income, employment, and excise taxes.

  2. Hiring Employees: When a business hires employees, it is required to have an EIN to report payroll taxes and other employment-related taxes to the government.

  3. Business Credit: An EIN can help establish a separate business credit profile, which is distinct from personal credit. This can be advantageous for obtaining loans, credit lines, or other financial services for the business.

  4. Business Identity: An EIN provides a distinct identification number for the business, separating it from the personal identity of the owner. This is particularly important for legal and financial purposes, helping protect the owner's personal assets.

  5. Regulatory Compliance: Various regulatory bodies, including state and federal agencies, often require businesses to have an EIN to track and monitor compliance with employment, tax, and regulatory obligations.

  6. Privacy: Using an EIN on official documents, instead of a personal Social Security Number (SSN), can help protect the owner's personal information, reducing the risk of identity theft and fraud.


Keep these tips in mind as you consider purchasing your own fixer-upper. Make sure you get an inspection, determine what repairs to tackle first, try out natural cleaners, and if you have business goals, officially establish your new business with an EIN. By adopting a careful approach bolstered by careful planning, you’ll be amazed at what you can make of your new investment!


Jesus M. Fernandez, REALTOR®

American Dream Maker, since 1995.

Morris Williams Realty, Inc.

Direct: 786-553-7530

Office: 888-326-5090

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