Owning one single-family rental property can be a great way to generate income and build equity. While buying your next West Hills investment property, it’s important to be aware of the signs of a poor-quality renovation. A bad renovation could lead to costly repairs down the road, so it’s important to know what to look for before you buy. In what follows, we will discuss some of the most common signs of a poor-quality renovation. We’ll likewise provide pointers on how to avoid these poor renovations.
1. Mismatched Flooring
One of the most common signs of a poor-quality renovation is mismatched or poorly installed flooring. Suppose you see carpet that doesn’t line up with the baseboards, chipped or cracked tile, or many types of flooring in varying degrees of quality. In that case, it’s a good sign that the property was not renovated properly.
2. Fresh Soil or Paint on Foundation
Another potential sign of trouble ahead is a freshly painted foundation or fresh soil piled up against it. As foundations age, they can shift and develop cracks and leaks. Homeowners might try to hide foundation problems with paint or fresh soil, so be sure to have a professional inspection done.
3. Wavy Shingles
If the property owner argues for a new roof, check thoroughly for wavy shingles. There are times when a seller will cut corners trying to repair up the property to sell, utilizing cheap materials, or simply nailing new shingles over old ones. Layered shingles could be trying to cover up more serious structural problems and may void the warranty on the roof itself. For these reasons, if you see wavy shingles, your best move is to investigate further.
4. Water Damage
Another critical sign to look for is water damage. Several things can cause water damage, but most commonly, it results from poor drainage around the foundation or leaks in the roof. If you see water stains on the ceilings or walls, around HVAC registers, under cabinets, or evidence of mold or mildew, be sure to have the property inspected by a professional before you will attempt to make an offer.
5. Sticky Windows and Doors
Another sign of a poor-quality renovation is windows and doors that don’t open and close correctly. If the windows and doors are stuck or are hard to open or close, it’s a good indication that they were not installed properly. Doors and windows that don’t fit properly in their frames can lead to serious problems down the road, so don’t forget to ask about them before you buy.
6. No Permits
If the property you are considering has had any recent renovations, be sure to ask for proof that the proper permits were obtained. If the seller cannot provide permit paperwork, or if you can’t find permits issued by the local building authority, it’s a good indication that proper procedures were not followed when renovating the property. Unpermitted work can lead to poor quality and even safety hazards for you and your tenants.
7. Unfinished Renovations & Additions
Finally, be sure to check the quality of any new construction. If you see nails sticking out of wood or trim work, or drywall that is not evenly finished, it’s a good indication that the work was done in a hurry and not to a high standard. Large new additions, such as decks, patios, and entire rooms, should be scrutinized carefully for shoddy workmanship. This is because things like unsecured flooring, faulty wiring, or other hazards could cause serious problems for you down the road.
You probably don’t want to re-renovate a rental property shortly after you buy it. So do your due diligence to avoid investing in a money pit.
Another great way to feel confident in your investment property purchase is to enlist the help of local market experts. At Real Property Management West San Fernando Valley, we help rental property investors locate and assess quality properties. To learn more, call our office and speak to a West Hills property manager today!
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