How long will the various systems in this building last? Were the upgrades done to professional standards and to code? How well was the property maintained? Which of these issues most affect the value of the property?
The E2018 Property Standards
The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM), who develop and publish technical standards for a wide range of products and services, developed a set of standards used to assess property condition called an E2018. This is the standard used by most qualified real estate inspectors.
This set of standards is an excellent step in the right direction IF THE PERSON LOOKING AT THE SITE KNOWS WHAT TO LOOK FOR AND HOW TO PROPERLY EVALUATE THE INFORMATION.
Hire an Experienced & Qualified Inspector
The bottom line is who does the inspection and how the information is evaluated is much more important than counting how many square feet of asphalt pavement there is or reporting the age of the Heating and Air System as “only 10 years old” but failing to observe that the maintenance of the units was so poor that they will all need to be replaced. This last one is an actual occurrence.
Our advice is to use a qualified, unbiased inspector who does NOT also perform the work he is suggesting and therefore has NO vested interest in the outcome of the inspection. We prefer experienced Contractors; someone who has been around the block a few times and has judgment. Judgment is not something that can be taught. I know, I have been an inspector for over 18 years, have been in the trades for over 40 and have personally trained many inspectors. We have inspected thousands of buildings.
Use the Property Guidelines Set Out in Your Inspection
We advise using a guideline such as the ASTM E2018 for any commercial real estate inspection. If this is a HUD project, other special inspections may also be required. There is a difference and not everyone knows how or is qualified to do them. You can be assured that an inspection done by Commercial Real Estate Inspectors will be done to professional standards by an inspector who knows what he’s looking at.
You can also be confident that our RISK Assessment® report will communicate what is found in clear, easily understood language. Additionally, you can be certain that our inspectors are solution oriented and will help you and your client understand that most building issues can be easily remedied.
If you do need someone to do the repairs or upgrades suggested in our report, our web site lists an excellent group of professionals under “Trades Referral “. These are tradesmen whose work I have personally seen or who have been recommended to me from others whose opinions I trust.