If you’re not careful, buying a rental property can turn into an expense rather than an investment. Repair issues can become expensive, time-consuming and can be very problematic. What may seem like a minor repair can lead to a lengthy renovation and restoration process and can put you and your property at risk. Before you invest in any property it’s imperative that you take the time to do a proper inspection and be aware of any of these warning signs you may come across.

1. Newly painted areas

A recently painted property is not necessarily always a positive sign that the seller has had the intention of improving the appearance of the property. Buyer beware, a recent paint job may indicate an area in need of repair that has been covered up by paint. During your viewing if you happen to come across an area that has been recently painted, take a closer look. It’s always best to run your hands down the walls and approach the area at different angles to get a glimpse of any signs indicating a potential problem.

2. Water damage concealed by paint

Another area of caution when dealing with paint is the potential that water damage can be unintentionally concealed by paint. If water damage has occurred under areas with paint, the moisture will become trapped in the walls, leading to mold growth. Mold not only puts your property at serious risk, it also puts your health at risk. When inspecting for the potential of water damage hidden by paint, take a close look at areas of high moisture, such as bathroom walls, or areas underneath windowsills.

3. Uneven or sinking floors

When you’re viewing a property, look out for uneven, sinking, or squeaky floors. Uneven and sinking floors can be challenging to spot, especially if the property has carpet installed or even small rugs over any problem areas. Especially in older properties if you notice any rooms that are carpeted throughout, it could mean that the wooden floor underneath could be in poor condition due to flooring deteriorating over time. Squeaks can be more easily noticed and can indicate the potential of serious damage within the property that needs to be further investigated.

Pro tip: always bring a marble with you when inspecting a property and place the marble down to test how uneven the floors are. Sometimes a property will aggressively settle, creating a hump in the middle. Uneven floors are often really hard and costly to fix, which might mean that investing in the property will come at a high cost.

4. Ceiling damage

Ceiling stains is one of the most common warning signs you will come across in properties, likely indicating a damaged roof. When you are inspecting a property, take notice for things such as cracks or any ceiling stains. The most common cause of these stains is likely due to an active leak or a build up of condensation coming from the roof. Leaking pipes in ceilings and walls can slowly release water. Pipes can also be more prone to leaks when they are older or experience extreme changes in temperature.

5. Cracked foundation

When viewing a property, it’s important to consider the condition of the foundation. Minor cracking may only be a sign of settling in the property, however larger cracks can be a sign of structural problems with the foundation.  Water will find a way to seep in if it finds damage in your foundation walls, openings between your basement footing and basement foundation, or any crack that is big or small.

Always inspect the basement of a property for potential leaks, mold or water issues. If the property doesn’t have a basement or has a finished basement that doesn’t allow you to inspect the foundation, another indicator of structural problems is by looking at the doorframes throughout the property. If the doorframes appear to be misshaped or even have difficulty closing, it is possible there could be further problems with the structure of the property.

Avoid any risks when purchasing a rental property

Have the property you are looking to purchase inspected by a professional such as Streamside Property Restoration. We can advise you on the condition of these key areas such as your walls, floors, ceilings and foundation. Also, don’t ignore the signs. If you suspect there could be serious damage, it’s important to have it looked at before you make an investment. Usually dealing with a problem earlier is going to cost you less and result in less disruption to your property.

Contact us today with any questions you may have about your building and how to keep it safe and healthy. We are always willing to help you out with any questions.