Investing in residential property? Protect yourself against illegal "flipping."
Often, people and companies that sell rehabilitated real estate buy a dilapidated property, put a lot of money and sweat equity into it to make it attractive to a buyer, and then reap the reward when the property is sold for a lot more than the original buyer paid for it. There's nothing wrong with this; on the contrary, it makes more housing available at a time when it's in demand. And as noted, it's often a good investment choice for the eventual buyer.
But before you invest in a rehabilitated property, you should obtain a professional inspection, from an inspector with your interests in mind. Too often lately, homes are "flipped" for considerably more than they were recently paid for without any substantial improvements to justify the higher price. Let alone having those improvements tested to confirm their operability. You'd be the one left holding the bag — shouldn't you have someone on your side making sure that the property you’re buying is indeed in good condition?
It's easy to protect yourself. Hire a professional inspector to ensure the property and its improvements are up to your standards. If you're buying more than one property at a time from the same buyer, it's even more important to have them inspected by a professional working for you, instead of another party to the transaction. There are cost effective ways to protect yourself when investing in many properties. With the expertise of a licensed home inspector, you should be able to buy with the confidence that everything is as represented by the seller.
It's smart to always have an inspection done before closing on a property. An inspector will tell you if everything that is present in the structure is functioning properly, what repairs may need to still be done, and whether there are any safety or soundness issues with the property. We will work as your advocate in the transaction, with your interests in mind.
As an investor, you need and deserve to know. Protect your interests with the help of a professional inspector.