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Vallarta Real Estate Inspired Living: Scooters

Scooters in Puerto Vallarta The municipality of Zapopan, a suburb of Guadalajara, has recently approved the introduction of electric scooter rentals, a pilot project that will start on December 2, 2019, when 250 scooters will appear for rent o...

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Vallarta Real Estate Inspired Living: Buen Fin

Buen Fin and Mexican Economy If you were out and about in Puerto Vallarta the past couple of weeks, you couldn’t have missed the advertising of Buen Fin. Buen Fin is Black Friday in Mexico and Puerto Vallarta gets in on the act in all of the...

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Vallarta Real Estate Inspired Living: Coffee

Coffee for a Cold Winter Night One of our favorite things about the winter holidays in Puerto Vallarta is the availability of the yummy drink café de olla. This delicious coffee beverage can be found year round if you know where to look but a...

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Vallarta Real Estate Inspired Living: New Years

New Year’s Eve in Puerto Vallarta Our first visit to Puerto Vallarta was during the holidays. This time of year brings back the best memories. We’d never heard of some of the traditions observed here and now love to celebrate year after ye...

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Vallarta Real Estate Inspired Living: Geckos

Love Our Geckos! Our first experience with geckos in Puerto Vallarta began as an annoying clicking that we thought was someone monkeying around with our window latch. We got up and stumbled around in the dark, saw nothing disturbing and went b...

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Vallarta Real Estate Inspired Living: Day of the Dead

Day of the Dead in Puerto Vallarta Our first Day of the Dead experience in Puerto Vallarta was long before 2008, when UNESCO recognized the holiday on its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, those traditions that are passed down ...

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Puerto Vallarta: Be Productive in 2018

Happy New Year As we hang on one another’s shoulders this year in Puerto Vallarta, bang our champagne mugs together, and sing Auld Lang Syne, let’s get ready for a fresh and friendly year. Sadly this past year has had a lot of people ...

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Roma: A Movie That Cant Be Missed In Vallarta

Roma: We don’t often write movie reviews for this blog but are so inspired by the recent Mexican film Roma, for many reasons. We were far into the film, a scene at the ocean in Veracruz, before we astonishingly realized this movie was shot i...

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Welcome to WordPress. This is your first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing!

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2019 Vallarta Real Estate Fair

The 2019 Vallarta Real Estate Fair is the perfect opportunity to get the important information Buyers, Sellers, and Homeowners need to make the most of their real estate investments.  The 2019 Fair will include information regarding home o...

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7 Essential Elements of Your Home Inspection (Beware of #7!)

Home Inspection Elements

A quality home valuation is essential in guaranteeing that your next acquisition is a solid investment. The valuation process begin with the numbers on paper, but in order to justify the numbers, a thorough property inspection (walk through) must be done. If you can correctly evaluate these 7 areas of any structure you will be able to nail your rehab cost, but I know you will miss the final one.

The 7 Elements Essential to Your Inspection

When conducting a walk through, cosmetics should not be the focal point or the deciding factor on how much you will pay for a property. Each house has 7 essential elements that must be meticulously inspected to ensure you minimize overages on the renovation budget. When conducting a walk through these areas should help justify your position:

  • Foundation
  • Roof
  • Plumbing
  • Heating/Cooling
  • Electrical
  • Windows
  • Infestation
  • These elements are what keep the house functioning as designed. I normally refer to a home as having 3 levels: Mind (electrical), Body (foundation/roof), Soul (plumbing/heating/windows), by focusing on these areas will normally save you thousands.

    Related: The Value of Presale Home Inspections for Real Estate Investors

    3 “Levels” of a Home

    Mind– prior to entering the property, check the electrical panel box. Look to see if there is a circuit breaker box or a fuse box, this is very important because fuse boxes normally will not pass inspection in most cities, and insurance companies will not insure the property. Also if the exit strategy for the property is to find a retail buyer a fuse box is not acceptable according to FHA standards, thus limiting the buyer pool. Knob-and-tube wiring in houses that pre-date 1950 will be another source of concern. This form of electrical wiring is dangerous and very expensive to replace. If this type of electrical wiring is throughout the property it will need to be replaced. Many insurance companies will not insure a property with this wiring either. Knob-and-tube wiring is hazardous for 2 reasons: the wiring pre-dates 1950, and the wiring becomes brittle and breaks down which can result in electrical currents not being channeled correctly. In traditional electrical wiring the ground wire will channel that energy but because of the absence of the ground wiring in knob-and-tube wiring the current may cause a fire. Check the electrical circuitry thoroughly during the inspection period. If there are any doubts consult a licensed electrician.

    Body– Structural issues with a property can result in blown timelines. Many times I have witnessed investors not carefully checking the roof or the foundation. As you approach the property, the roof line should be what is being evaluated. Look for turned up or missing shingles, if this is evident be aware that there may be rotted wood or mold within the property. Dealing with a roof that is at the end of its life is very noticeable and if it is addressed immediately can save the budget and the timeline on a project. Foundation problems, on the other hand, can quickly scare any buyer; this is the most feared word when dealing with a rehab. If the resources to fix a damaged foundation are available, then getting deeply discounted properties with this issue will not be a problem. Signs to look for in damaged/faulty foundations: stress cracks in the garage slab, cracks in the walls and around doors and windows,. and doors that do not close properly can be found in properties with foundation problems. Often owners will say “the house is 30 years old the house is just settling,” this may be true but deep cracks mean something more major than settling.

    Soul– the soul is the heart of the home and this is the HVAC and windows. Windows are easily identifiable if replacing is needed. Windows add value to the property in 2 aspects; windows add to the appeal of the property or the lack there of, and the energy efficiency of the property. There is an ancient proverb that says “eyes are the window of the soul.” I like to say windows are the eyes of the house. If the windows are in good condition you can expect to have an efficient property. This is especially important for landlords, and mid-grade to luxury flips. Windows can save landlords money, and make a flipper lots of money.

    The HVAC systems are the lungs of the property, but I encompass this system with the soul. HVAC is important because it coincides with the energy rating and efficiency of the property. Always be aware of the the functionality of the furnace. First, try and find the manufacture date to see how old the unit(s) is. Secondly, see if it was maintained correctly, normally you can find this information by dates of inspection labeled on the units. If this is not visible, pull out the furnace filter, this will give an indication of how the unit were maintained. Following similar steps with the water heater (except checking the filter) is normally a good practice to follow.

    Related: 5 Tips for Installing an HVAC System

    Infestations– Many investors overlook this step because it is not as easily identifiable as the others. This is an issue with properties that are in wooded areas, but it occurs in many residential neighborhoods as well. Infestations can be dormant at the time of inspection, but once demo is underway it can pose serious problems. Infestations can be: mice, rats, raccoon, squirrels, scorpions, bees, roaches, mites, termites, and many others. These hidden critters can be a pain to get rid of but most of all the damage done by these varmints can affect the other main systems of the property. Things to look for when doing the inspection for infestations are: dirt tubes around the base of the property for termites, shredded pieces of paper or droppings in cabinets for mice and rats. Nut shells or borrows in the attic for squirrels and raccoon. With scorpions a different approach is needed; if you are in …read more

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    10 Unique Wash Basins for Your Dream Bathroom

    The bathroom is one of the most crucial areas of the house. It is where you can refresh yourself before or after work.  10 designers made use of their brilliant ideas to come up with simple but eye catching Wash Basin designs. This is definite...

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