One important step when inspecting real estate properties is to assess the exterior areas. They should be treated just as seriously as the interior as they also have a large effect on the property’s value. Pay close attention to these eight exterior areas to accurately evaluate a property:
1. Lot Grade
Lot grading refers to the reshaping or sloping of land so surface drainage from rain runoff is aimed away from the home in a way that minimizes its impact on surrounding properties. If you’re thinking of building a deck or a pool in your yard, your lot grade is especially important because these projects may not be possible if the grade of the land is too steep.
There’s also a chance you may have to install a retaining wall if the slant is coming from a hill toward the house. To check the grading of a property on your own, reference the information within this article.
When evaluating the value of a possible investment property, remember that a driveway is more marketable than most people expect. That’s because driveways are the focal point of your property and are the first area buyers/renters see when they first visit your property. By having a nice driveway, you’re on track to make a good first impression.
And remember, having a spacious driveway improves the properties marketability to tenants with multiple cars. When they see a driveway that’s easily accessible and capable of holding several vehicles, they have an easier time envisioning themselves living there. Check with the city or town regarding the rules for parking overnight if the property doesn’t have a driveway.
3. Roof and Gutters
Are the roof shingles in good condition or are some missing, curling or broken? Is the roof sagging between the trusses? Are there any signs of distress within the gutters or downspouts that indicate drainage may be an issue during rain?
These are just a few questions you should ask yourself when inspecting a property’s roofing. You should always assess this area before moving forward with purchasing a property because roof repairs can cost tens of thousands of dollars.
What type of foundation does the property sit on? If the property sits on a block foundation, then it may be more susceptible to leaks than a concrete foundation. On the other hand, you’ll have to inspect concrete foundations for cracks that can allow water seepage or uneven settling. Water seepage and uneven settling are both important because they can drastically affect the structure of the house. When inspecting a property, remember to walk along the entire perimeter of the house and to check within hidden areas for any possible foundational issues.
Windowsills should be inspected from both the inside and the outside. This entails checking for any signs of rot or other deterioration. One fact to keep in mind is that rotting wood feels soft and spongy while healthy wood is dense and resistant. A rotting windowsill can lead to water seeping into the wall, causing mold, water damage and even electrical problems by damaging the wires behind the wall. If the windows seem old, do your due diligence.
Trees are picturesque, provide shade and help facilitate a comfortable atmosphere. That said, not all trees are beneficial and having a dead tree on your property can attract termites/pests and even put your house at risk of having a falling branch do damage. To figure out if a tree is dead or not, be mindful of the signs below:
• Fungi, such as mushrooms, is found growing at the base of the trunk.
• Branches are abnormally bare during a time when they shouldn’t be (Spring or Summer).
• There are dead or hanging branches within the upper crown.
• You find chipped or peeling bark and cracks in the trunk.
If you have a tree on your property that ends up being a problem, reach out to a professional tree removal specialist in your area.
Having a pool on your property can increase its value by up to 5-8%, so installing one may be a good way to increase your ROI when you put the property up for rent or sale. A pool will also increase the marketability of your property and help you stand out as you’re writing your property description. If you’re thinking of installing a pool in your yard, research the specifications a property needs in order to have a pool.
A bad paint job can ruin the look of the entire property and can also make a bad first impression when people pull up to the driveway. Also, having to repaint a property is a lengthy process that will cost thousands of dollars to complete. So, inspect the exterior area for cracking, blisters, mildew and other signs of paint that’s failing.
Investing in a new real estate property can be a lucrative venture if precautions are taken to ensure the property is in good condition. The eight exterior areas above should give you an idea of what to analyze as you inspect properties for purchase. By ensuring the exterior areas are of high quality, you’ll better your chances of leaving a great first impression.
And remember, Hubzu markets properties with self-showing lockboxes and virtual viewing options, allowing investors to continue buying properties while adhering to social distancing protocols. To get started with Hubzu, click here to view property auctions going on in your area.