The House Detective: by Barry Stone, Certified Home Inspector
Dear Barry: I’ve made a purchase offer on a four-unit commercial property. Do investors typically hire home inspectors for this kind of property? Don
Dear Don: The purchasers of commercial properties often overlook the importance of a professional inspection — a surprising omission for a major investment of this kind. Yet the same buyers would never purchase a home without a detailed physical evaluation. For some reason, there is a perceived difference between residential and commercial properties where defect disclosure is involved.
Commercial buildings are prone to all the same defects likely to be found in a residence: roof problems, issues with plumbing, electrical, and heating systems, faulty site drainage, foundation settlement, safety glass violations, trip hazards, and more.
The bottom line is clear: Commercial real estate is expensive. It pays to know what you’re buying before you buy it. Buying commercial property without a professional inspection a risky way to do business. A qualified inspector can provide valuable disclosure to prudent buyers of commercial real estate.