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Inspecting Section 8 Senior Citizens Apts


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How would you handle this possible scenario: Let’s say you were asked to quote on inspecting hundreds of section 8 senior citizen apartments for a potential buyer. Most of them would be 1 bedrooms, followed by 2 bedrooms, and some 3 bedrooms. Common areas and systems included. They would want a one, five, and ten year capital expenditure projection also.

To expeditiously do the inspections, I feel I would need a very fast check off type of computerized reporting system there with me while inspecting. I’m thinking of offering to do a sampling rather than every apartment to keep the cost down.

I have not been asked to quote on this yet and may not be asked. Just trying to pick the brains of those of you that may have done something similar or may think of the right questions to ask if this comes to pass.

Regards, John in Chicago

[:-crazy]

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I personally hate doing big projects anymore and will often pass on them as I have found for me that banging out single family dwellings day in and day out presented the most optimum business model. To that end what I have done with larger projects like whole appartment complexes is I will talk with the client and inform them of the cost realities of doing such and try exploring with them the possibility of paring the inspection project down to a reasonable size and cost. If they insist then it is what it is.

As far as conducting the inspection the fastest way that I have found is not to input data on site into a computer! Thats the slowest way! What I do is I take lots and lots of pictures! I take a picture of the number of the apartment before I enter so I can determine where the pictures of one apartment ends and begins.

Homegenity of the units will dictate the need to enter other data. I prefer to write it down if a picture won't due rather than use a digital tape recorder but thats me. I know a lot of guys prefer the digital tape recorder. I have found it ultimately faster to just wirte it down in the momemt. For these projects I use a hardbound gridded composition book. With those you can easily hold it and write on both sides of the pages and draw any pictures or diagrams. I only use a preprinted form on my normal inspections for standard data collection but on odd projects it is faster to just write things in the book. The key however is to minimize the need to write because that slows things down. Take pictures. Pictures tell a thousand words.

You also have to minimize your tools. Some guys bring in tool boxes or packs or tool belts. Its too clumsy and if your moving fast you are going to knock something over. Besides my camera and book I will run with a three light tester, a multi-tiped screwdriver and moisture meter. These days you might also consider renting a themal camera too. If you feel you need more tools then consider a helper to follow you with them like a nurse and a surgeon. You have to move fast thru these projects or you will lose your shorts.

I later write the report at the office trying to summarize as best as possible but including lots of pictures. Pictures are the key. Most of the time the clients are really just looking for a way to justify reducing the purchase price.

Chris, Oregon

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