DIY is often a money saving strategy, but for many, DIY is a personal growth and challenge experience. When it comes to property maintenance and repair, there are many who enjoy the tinkering and the sense of accomplishment on a task completed. Whether to save money, or to challenge yourself to learn something new, there re times when DIY is practical and times when it is unsafe and even illegal.
Property Maintenance D.I.Y. & When to Use the Pros
This content was shared on Debt Free Wealth RADIO. Listen in as you read:
New shoppers/owners (residential or commercial) of pre-existing property, those who own investment property, and those considering the adventure of earning income from property maintenance will find this show of value.
Cashflow from real estate is more likely when you use good decisions, including the math prior to property aquisition. A huge portion of real estate cashflow has to do with the costs and the potential costs of property rehab, and maintenance.
Building Contractor, Dennis Beerman – weighs in on this property maintenance topic, and address:
- the hidden things that can create surprises, and huge costs and what to look out for
- tools of the trade, and tool options;
- where to access help and resources; and,
- when you should consider using a pro – no matter how handy and talented you are.
Dennis has been a court expert on real estate cover-up as per the Seller’s disclosure, and conducted thousands of property inspections on foreclosed properties nationally, and has seen the workmanship of thousands of vendors who are contracted to fix them up, sending them back with tips on how to fix it right the next time around.
Along with the property comes immediate and on-going repair and property maintenance expenses. Some choose to use professional property management services, and some handy entrepreneurs – or out of financial necessity – choose the D.I.Y. approach to saving some money in this area.
I (Trudy) hold my real estate broker’s license. As such, if I were to go into a property with a view to list it, naturally real estate agents will form an opinion about the condition of the property, and it is our job to encourage the seller to complete the seller’s disclosure to avoid being included in any lawsuits a buyer may attempt later. The problem is, I am very aware of my incompetence to identify property issues or coverups. I just looked at a property 3 days ago that the owner is personally renovating. It looked good to me, but that owner – who is considering selling after he restores it, shared with me that when he purchased it, while no issues were disclosed to him at the time of purchase, in doing his own inspection he discovered serious electrical issues that could easily have triggered a fire and total property devastation, as well as plumbing issues. He has spent almost a year working on the property himself, because he can only do it part time, but there were some issues he realized he just had to call in an expert on. So using this example, I want to dissect this case and ask you a couple of questions today:
With every property, eventually the wear and tear, and care leads to normal and sometimes unusual conditions that make the property less than appealing. Rather than restore the property, many choose to sell, but of course, those challenges also cause the property value and resell value to deteriorate and that might create an incentive to sellers to hide the problem
The following are the Property Maintenance questions Dennis answered on air.
Please listen to the recording to hear what he shared.
1. So, you were a court expert witness in a seller’s disclosure cover up case. Without giving any identifying details of the case, can you say what was the problem covered, how was it covered up, could the average property inspection have caught it, and what did it cost the homeowners once they discovered it?
2. Some property owners decide to venture into the diy approach to property maintenance. For some, it is a money saving decision, and for others, who truly enjoy the tinkering and taking on new challenges, they enjoy the process. Let’s speak to that for a moment:
3. In general, when is it ok to tackle a project yourself, and when is it wise to seek professional invovlement?
4. In ignorance, property owners may install or fix something that should require a permit to be pulled even if they will do the work themselves. Is there a way to know when they should pull a permit before they start?
5. I know the caveat emptor (buyer beware) law has changed a bit, especially in the state of Florida, from the emphasis on buyer beware to a stronger emphasis on the seller’s disclosure and consequences for deliberately covering up known issues, but how difficult is it to prove the seller deliberately covered up a known issue?
6. So, moving past the property acquisition issues, holding the property will automatically come with common maintenance issues. What are some of those? and what is the consequence of ignoring them?
7. If the owner is going to do as many repairs on their own, let’s talk tools. What are the most basic tools they should plan on aquiring and what about those big ticket items, are there any resources for those?
8. Many vendors who are out there on properties doing rehab or maintenance work, and some of them encounter challenges they cannot handle. I know you have been a go-to consultant for many of them. What is the value of having a consultant like yourself as a part of their resources for getting through projects? (speak about your ability to understand the question, ask more for clarity, and even their use of video chat to help you help them navigate the issue.)
9. What about Home Depot courses? Also mention Youtube.
10. Is there anything else property owners or those doing projects themselves should know?
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