To answer this question it’s best to look at why the deal is being done in the first place.
A home purchase deals to a large degree on emotion. Things like, “I love the house”, “What a beautiful kitchen”, “Great backyard” and on and on. People usually buy homes because they really love something about the home or the location.
Commercial Real Estate purchases deal in money. The basic question is “How much?” “How much can I make on this investment?” This is what the commercial real estate buyer is looking at: the bottom line. How much will it cost to install the new heating and AC system it needs, the new roof, how much can I make on the new rents? And on and on.
What We Look For During a Commercial Real Estate Inspection
With commercial real estate inspections, we are usually looking at what is going to have to be done in the next five years. Does the roof look like it will last at least five more years with normal maintenance? Can the Heating system get by? Does the electrical need to be upgraded due to the change in use of the building? Those sorts of questions are the usual focus. This is always tempered with consulting the buyer to find out what it is they are looking for and what their particular concerns are.
We are constantly looking at a home from a performance standpoint. Does the water get hot in the bathroom in a reasonable amount of time? Will you get scalded when the toilet is flushed if you are in the shower? Do the windows open properly, do you have enough plugs, and on and on with a home.
With a commercial real estate inspection we are looking at life spans of the five major systems: electrical, plumbing, heating and AC, roofing and structure. The focus of a commercial inspection is usually much more on the major systems than the interior cosmetic issues. If the carpet is a bit worn in a commercial inspection we will note it but the buyer usually doesn’t really care. He wants to know “What do I have to spend money on now or in the near future in this place?”
With commercial inspections, we stress the industry standards for life expectancies. These can vary greatly depending on the system and the quality of the original construction but generally speaking the industry standards for electrical systems is if it is approximately 50 years old or older it is time to upgrade it, plumbing is approx. 40-60 years depending on many variables, commercial roofing is usually a flat roof and these for the most part are approximately 10-15 years. Heating and AC systems that are roof mounted are approximately 15-17 years of expected life. The structure is the biggest variable. These can last from 70-100+ years depending on many things.
We will most likely give you a report for a commercial inspection within 24 hours. Most of them currently are being emailed. We can print out the report on the site but this is not nearly as common as it is with home inspections due to looking up some of the issues and the time it takes to put a commercial inspection together. The client often has better things to do and chooses to leave the site after a quick verbal debrief of the major issues that were found. We will give you pictures of those issues that need it.
How Long Do These Inspections Take
Most home inspections take approximately 2-3 hours again depending on many things. A commercial inspection can take from 1-6 hours at the site and then from 1-3 hours at the office putting everything together.
You will be dealing with qualified professionals that have many years in the construction trades as general contractors and thousands of inspections under their belt.
We are professionals and want to make sure that every buyer has a good grasp of what they are buying and what they can expect to spend in the next five years based on industry standards of the expected life of those particular systems present.
We are always available for consultation after the inspection.