How do I estimate repairs....?

Ok, I’ve sort of asked this question before but I want to get a real clear answer… I am new to this and learning as I go. When I find a house that I think has potential, do I bring in a contractor to get estimates of repairs? I don’t have experience doing whole house rehabs so how can I tell what the repairs would be otherwise and how can I estimate ARV?

Vanessa (in Wisconsin)

Try this site. Not perfect, but it might give you an idea.

If you cannot estimate the repairs yourself, then yes bring investor friendly contractor to give you a bid on the work. Keep in mind however, you will build bad reputation with the contractors if you keep asking them for bids and never give them the work. It won’t be long before you can walk through a house and guestimate the amount of repairs it needs.

If you assign the work, tell your assignee that this bid is from this contractor and see if they want to use him.

Estimating really is not that difficult when you break it down, Go through a couple of homes room to room and write down everything that needs to be done. Then get a materials list to do those repairs, then ask yourself how long it would take you to do those things, or call a contractor and ask them.

Get a materials price list. Try to guess costs yourself, then bring in a contractor to give you estimates, see how close you are to his/her numbers, this will build confidence far better than just calling someone. If you decide to use contractors call a couple, they can really drill you.

Well I guess my main concern is being able to judge whether the foundation or the roof need repairs.

I only know this second hand but I know of an investor who says he uses to get the figures he needs for his offers. Might be worth a look.