Look up. Then look down.
The roof and the foundation are the two main things to check when considering the costs of exterior renovations in an investment property.
The home may appear to look nearly perfect from the curb, but a closer look at the roof and foundation may reveal red flags that could add up quickly and be a path to additional repairs.
What to Check When Considering Costs of Exterior Renovations for Investment Properties
- Check the roof. You would be surprised what havoc can be caused by even a small leak in a roof. Water damage could be hidden in walls, under eaves or in the attic. Nearly 90% of all roof leaks occur at flashing. Without good, tight flashing around chimneys, vents, skylights, etc., water can enter a home and cause extensive interior damage.
Signs of roof damage and a potential leak:
- Loose, curled, broken or missing flashing around vents, skylights, etc.
- Several curled and broken shingles
- Mold or decay on wood shingles
- A flat roof with obvious patches, cracks and tears
- Excess and/or crumbling roofing cement
- Decay and stains on soffits and fascia
- A chimney that leans, is loose or missing flashing
- Check the foundation. Foundation problems can definitely cause issues as many buyers won’t consider a home with foundational problems, even if they have been fixed, due to the stigma attached to foundation problems.
Many buyers associate foundation issues, whether past or present, with additional problems and costs, such as plumbing repairs, window and door repairs, drywall patching, painting and more.
Signs of foundation problems:
- A cracked driveway or sidewalk. The same soil that is moving under the driveway and street is moving under the house.
- Cracks near doors, walls and windows. Look for cracks that begin at a window, door or at the foundation itself and run all the way up.
- Separation where fascia boards meet or at joints of siding. Check out the trim around the garage, an area that tends to separate when there is soil and foundation shifting.
- Signs of ponding around gutter spouts. When there is excessive water around a home, there easily could be movement and foundation problems.
If you move forward with a potential property investment, consult with a qualified inspector to accurately determine repairs, both exterior and interior. Expose all potential costs before you make an offer.