Tips For Shopping For An Investment Property During The Coronavirus

Dated: June 9 2020

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The novel coronavirus has turned the world upside down in a number of ways, causing thousands of businesses to move to e-commerce and millions of employees to work from home.

One thing it has not changed, though, is the need to invest for your future. As real estate has consistently ridden market highs and lows to bring substantial returns to investors, a residential property is a great way to build wealth over time.

If coronavirus has you unable to get out and explore as many investment properties as you would like this summer, there are still ways you can navigate online listings and communicate with realtors to find those gems of the real estate market.

Determine the Foundation and Framing

In real estate jargon, the term “good bones” refers to those essential attributes of a home that are difficult, inefficient, or downright impossible to renovate or repair. At the top of the list for a home’s bones are the foundation and framing.

Simply put, if a realtor tells you that a home has had issues with the foundation or framing, quickly move on in your search for an investment property because you will likely be looking at subsequent issues that will lead to high costs. Among the issues presented by poor foundation and framing include:

  • Poor barriers for air and moisture that lead to elevated utility costs

  • Structural shifts that cause cracks in the walls and ceilings

  • The inability to safely undertake future remodeling projects 

When looking at pictures of online listings, zoom in on walls and corners. Cracks and dust stains are common indicators of buildings with poor foundation and framing. Ask about the monthly utility bill, as high electric costs could be due to a poorly insulated house that sees air entering and leaving through the walls.

When speaking to the realtor, ascertain the materials used for framing. Insulated panels are popular, but they carry mold and rotting concerns in the face of moisture and have a very poor thermal mass. Homes built using insulated concrete forms are much more durable, weather resistant, and maintain comfortable interior temperatures.

Spend Some Time in the Kitchen

Kitchens are a major selling point for homes, especially for those families that have a lot of hungry mouths to feed and will see people coming and going at all hours of the day to get a bite to eat. 

While having a nice kitchen can be the deciding factor of whether or not a home sells, kitchen remodels can be quite expensive, which will put a major dent into the profits you receive at the time of sale. Therefore, if you are looking into an investment property that features a recently remodeled kitchen, the overall amount of work and financial resources you will have to put into it will be greatly reduced.

If the kitchen needs some work, the best way to quickly and efficiently spruce it up is by adding new surfaces. Look into quartz countertop cost, as for a manageable expense, you will be able to give the kitchen a classy facelift while also being able to sell the durable construction and nonporous nature of the surfaces, key features that will reduce the cost of maintenance in the future.

Check in on the Roof

Even though the roof is the first line of defense against the elements, it is technically considered part of the home’s bones, as roof damage can lead to leaks and weather damage that will cause costly future repairs.

Many homes use asphalt roofing materials, but how long do asphalt shingles last? Truthfully, most begin to deteriorate in under 20 years. Therefore, if the investment property you are looking into buying is over 15 years old and has not received a new roof, you can count that among the expenses you will incur prior to resale.

Matt Lee is the owner of the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. He is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.

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Jamie Taylor

My name is Jamie Taylor and I am the Owner and Principal Broker of Bluebird Realty here in Central Arkansas, serving all communities from Conway to Hot Springs! I started in the real estate field righ....

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