As you learn how to begin investing in real estate, you’ll realize that there are often concerns that go overlooked . . . until they become glaringly obvious.
For those who pursue real estate investing rentals and fix-and-flip properties, problems like hidden water damage, faulty electrical wiring, and structural issues may not immediately be apparent at the time of the purchase. However, once you start demolition for renovations, underlying pest problems can rise to the surface.
Take pest infestations, for example. If you purchase a property during the off-season or haven’t spent much time in its physical location, pest problems are easy to miss without a home inspection. However, before you rent or sell your investment property, you’ll need to ensure no pests are present and that you have a plan of action if they make themselves known.
Here’s what property investors need to know about working with a pest control company as a critical member of their real estate investing team!
When Pests Infest, It’s Harder to Invest
When you’re evaluating the options, real estate investing flipping houses might seem like the way to go. However, rehabbing these properties can come with numerous risks. If you aren’t proactive, underlying issues can quickly translate into major problems losses.
This is certainly true when it comes to insects, rodents, and other invasive species. When getting familiar with real estate investment properties, you’ll quickly learn that no property is immune to pest activity. However, fix-and-flip properties can be particularly vulnerable to these kinds of infestations.
In many cases, fix-and-flip homes have remained vacant and in a state of disrepair until an investor purchases them. While this might yield an incredible real estate deal, there are several concerns you’ll need to address upfront.
Even if a home has remained occupied until your purchase, that won’t guarantee that bugs and mice will stay out. Older homes often have more infestation issues than newer builds, but more modern (and generally cheaper) building materials may not provide as much protection against pests. In addition, if the previous tenants or owners failed to care for the property, pest activity could render the structure virtually inhabitable.
Safety Can’t Be Ignored
Not only are pests frustrating to deal with, but they can create unsafe conditions for occupants and contractors working in a home during the rehab process. Certain pests can carry diseases, while others (like termites and rodents) can damage the property itself. Pest can even increase the risk of house fires if they damage the property’s wiring.
Although it’s entirely possible to purchase an investment property sight unseen, it’s not always wise for this very reason. Visiting a property in person with your inspector can allow you to assess the potential for pest control issues before you commit.
However, even if you know the telltale signs of a pest infestation, you might be caught by surprise once the seasons change. Having a reliable pest control company can be a saving grace when renovating properties for rent or sale.
How To Recognize the Signs of a Pest Problem
Whether a property has remained vacant for a while or its previous owners failed to care for it, there’ll be a greater risk of a pest problem. Even if the house itself is in decent condition, overgrown landscaping can make it more likely for pests to move in. In addition, unkempt gardens and unpruned trees can create hiding spots and direct “highways” into a home.
Of course, the interior of the property might also show signs of an infestation. You’ll want to look for them as you tour available fix-and-flip properties or rental properties between tenants. The most obvious indications of a pest problem include:
- Strange sounds and smells
- Sagging floors or holes
- Grease marks on walls
- Shredded paper or “nests” behind large appliances
- Dead or live insects
- Damaged plants
- Partially-used pest control products on-site
If you notice any of these signs as you tour the property, you may want to rethink your investment. At the very least, you’ll want to contact a professional pest control company to tour the property with you to give insights into the damage and the costs (or feasibility) to resolve the issue.
Sometimes the Signs Aren’t There
Even if you don’t see signs of rodents or pests, don’t assume that you’re in the clear if these signs aren’t apparent. Depending on the time of year, pest activity might be lower when you tour the property. Later on, you might discover that an infestation went overlooked. Plus, just because there aren’t pests yet doesn’t mean there never will be.
As a real estate investor, you’ll want to be proactive about protecting your property. To prevent a future infestation, talk to a pest professional and make necessary repairs to keep bugs and rodents out.
Got Pests? Don’t DIY
The harsh reality is that DIY pest remedies can only take you so far. If you’re getting into real estate investing rentals, you might think you need to fix every problem yourself. However, with pest control, you’ll want to trust the experts.
When investing in multiple real estate markets, do your research to find a reputable pest control company you can rely on for your investment properties in those areas.
Hire a Pest Control Company Instead
- A pest control expert can accompany you to a prospective investment property to evaluate any obvious issues before committing.
- Immediately after closing on a foreclosed or abandoned property, your pest control company can address pest infestation issues before renovations start.
- When you use a pest control company for your rental properties, you can obtain on-demand services to keep tenants safe and happy.
- You’ll be able to quickly identify and address any structural issues caused by pest activity.
- Hiring a professional pest control company can save money you’d otherwise waste on ineffective DIY methods.
- For buy-and-hold property investing, you can turn to your pest control company to prevent known issues and seal up vulnerabilities.
- You’ll be able to sell fix-and-flips more quickly when pests are nowhere to be found.
In some severe cases of pest or rodent damage in a rental property, DIY methods simply won’t work or pass muster when it’s time to inspect the home again before selling or renting it out. Therefore, it’s worth the time and effort you’ll spend on finding the right pest control partner. With their help, you’ll be able to address pest problems quickly and protect your investment (while cutting costs and maximizing profitability) in the long term.
Partner With a Pest Control Team for Better Real Estate Investing Success
If you’re using a platform like Privy to find great real estate investments, you already know how important it is to make a wise investment. However, before you close on a new property, evaluate the property for potential pest infestations and bring in your trusted pest control expert to give you an accurate report.
Ready to learn more about how Privy can help you find more properties on a consistent basis? With our platform, real estate investors enjoy properties and insights delivered routinely to their inboxes with actionable information on their next deal. Reach out soon to speak with one of our experts!
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