Buying a rental property is a serious transaction with significant financial responsibility.
That’s why before signing on the dotted lines, it makes sense to do all you can to get the best possible deal.
So, how do you make sure you get the most value for your money? Well, for starters, have the property inspected by a professional. With a thorough property inspection, you’ll know the house or buildings true conditions.
The last thing you’d want is to find out that your newly purchased real estate property has serious structural issues. That just means you’ll have to invest in extensive repairs.
So, once you’ve found the perfect place, have it evaluated by a qualified home inspector.
It’s also a good idea, as a buyer, to have a general understanding of what you should look out for when rental property hunting. This doesn’t require any expertise, only keen observation.
9 Problems Commonly Found During Property Inspections
1. Water Leaks
This is perhaps the most common problem encountered during many home inspections in Torrance, California. Water leakages can be caused by many things. Most common sources include:
- Loose supply line connectors. In most cases, this occurs due to a certain movement. For example, your washing machine hose can develop a leak due to the shaking during the spin cycle. When walking around, keep an eye out for watermarks around the washing machine area.
- Intruding tree roots. Most water leaks occur outside a home. Where the tree roots are able to penetrate beneath the residence and interfere with the water pipes. Signs to look out for include wet patches, sinkholes or trees growing close to the house.
- Excess water pressure. Most pipes and faucets are only built to withstand a certain degree of pressure. Any additional pressure above the threshold can cause leaks. You can get a small sense of the pressure by testing out the various faucets throughout the property.
- Clogged lines. Clogged gutters, for instance, can cause water to overflow and lead to serious water damage.
Leaks can waste water, damage your home, and encourage unwanted organic growth.
2. Faulty Electrical Wiring
The most significant danger of faulty wiring is fire. When electrical wires are cracked, frayed, loose, or overheated, they become unable to properly conduct electricity. This usually causes a fire to break out.
So, when checking your potential Torrance, CA home, be in the lookout for the following signs of electrical problems.
- Improper grounding
- GFCI outlets missing or faulty
- Bad electrical outlets
- Inadequate power
- Old or damaged electrical panel
A professional property inspector will be able to tell if there is faulty wiring inside the panel.
3. Poor Drainage and Land Grading
Without the right slope (grade) around the property, many problems can occur. You may find leaks in the basement and the ground near the foundation may feel spongy.
Over time, the home’s foundation may start experiencing issues. The excess water may cause the ground to move beneath the structure. This can consequently impact the foundation and cause cracks in its structure.
Besides potential foundation damage, poor drainage may also lead to rot and mold.
Signs of improper land grading include:
- Floors that visibly slope to one side or the other
- Interior doors that visibly swing to one side or the other, when left ajar
- Interior doors with large, uneven gaps at the top, when closed
- Windows that look off-kilter
4. Roof Damage
Fixing a damaged roof can be among the list of costlier home maintenance expenses. Roof damage can cause water leaks, decrease your home’s value and even cause a home to collapse. So, when looking for a rental property to buy, always observe the roof.
Roof issues that are commonly found in property inspections include:
- A sagging roof deck
- Staining on interior ceilings or walls
- Blistering or peeling exterior paint
- Wear and tear around roof objects and openings
- Shingles that are curled, cracked, or absent
5. Foundation Issues
While often overlooked, the foundation of a home is an important structural component. It provides strength and integrity to the rest of the building. Therefore, without a strong foundation, you’re bound to have structural issues.
When at a property viewing, be on the lookout for:
- Separation of counters and cabinets from the wall
- Floors being out of level or sagging, bowing or dipping
- Gaps around window frames or exterior doors
- Sticky doors and windows
- The slab foundation appearing to have moved upwards
- The house appearing to be sinking or having settlement issues
- Cracks on the foundation, wall and/or floors
If you notice any of these things, it’s likely the building is experiencing foundation problems. That said, not all foundation problems are a deal breaker. Some can be simple to fix.
6. Poor Overall Upkeep and Maintenance
When maintenance issues are deferred, the costs to bring the home back to its former glory can be high. Some telltale signs that the home has had poor overall upkeep and maintenance include:
- Stained decks
- Cracked paint
- Worn carpeting
- Loose caulk
7. Heating System Problems
Related to the point above, proper maintenance of a home’s heating and cooling systems is crucial. That said, not many homeowners service their systems regularly or even as required.
The lack of maintenance, unknown to them, can end up leaving serious damage to the system. And, as you probably know, fixing heating system problems can easily run the gamut.
8. Exterior Issues
Exterior issues are also common problems that property inspectors in Torrance encounter. Good examples include poor fencing jobs, cracked driveways, and damp damage.
9. Improper Ventilation
There are many benefits to having a good ventilation system. It’ll help remove dampness, and expel contaminants, germs, and nasty odors.
Most ventilation problems typically involve bathroom vent fans. In some cases, though, kitchen vent hoods can also be the culprits.
Poor installation of a bathroom fan, for instance, can lead to the accumulation of moisture in a property. Over time, this may encourage mold and mildew to grow, leading to the overall deterioration of the property’s condition.
These are the main problems home inspectors often come across. Doing your due diligence about your potential new investment property can save you huge amounts of money down the road.
Remember, though, not all home inspectors are created the same. As such, make sure you do your homework in this area as well.