How to productively inspect many properties in one day

by Chris Lang on January 2, 2009

House Inspection ChecklistWe all are busy and house-hinting makes our lives even busier. To speed up the house-buying process we have no choice but to inspect several properties in one day. Having done that more than once, I can tell you with confidence: without a schedule you will miss half of the inspections and without making notes you won’t remember anything.

After the third house you inspect, they tend to create a terrible mix in your head and you will have hard time remembering which house had the nice back yard, the one on Elm Street or the one on Oak Avenue.

So here are a few tips for a productive inspections day:

Plan it

Write down the addresses of the houses you’re planning to inspect and the times of the inspections. Look them up on the map and see what the distances between them are. Using Google maps you can easily check the driving time between two places and when you make a list of inspections to go to, take the driving time from one property to another into consideration.

Write things down

To be able to compare the houses later, you’ve got to make notes. Have a checklist or a notepad with you and make notes. Checklists are quicker and easier, because all you have is to tick the boxes as you walk through the house. They also make it harder to forget to look at something because a good checklist specifies all the possible features to look for – for example, ducted heating, evaporation cooling, gas/electrical/solar hot water system, you get the idea.

Take pictures

Bring your digital camera with you. In every house you inspect start by taking the picture of the mailbox (usually that’s where the address is). This way you’ll be able to match the pictures with the address later. Then take pictures of the house and the garden, focusing on anything you like and (more importantly!) don’t like.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Austin Texas Real Estate February 24, 2009 at 5:25 am

I’ve seen a lot of people bring digital cameras while house-hunting, but taking a “starter” picture of the mailbox is a great idea! Thanks for the tips and keep them coming!

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seduction community January 4, 2010 at 4:10 pm

Chris, I was on a house hunt 3 years back. I wanted to rent a place desperately, so I checked out around 6 houses that day and finalized one.

Unfortunately, I ended up choosing a not so great place. At the moment I thought it was better than every other house I had seen, but it eventually didn’t live up to my expectations. To cut long story short, I moved out in a year.

I can see how I could have made a more informed decision by writing down notes and taking pictures to compare all houses I had seen that day.

So, I’m going to follow your advice next time onwards.

Good advice as always.

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Chris January 5, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Hi there, I don’t know your name but I can see you’re liking my blog 🙂 thanks and you’re welcome here any time.

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