looking at properties?

i found some properties, and the prices are good. now i gotta go look at them. can anybody advise me on how to do this right?
what should i look for? what details are important? how do i determine the condition? should i take a professional inspector with me the first time i go look at the property? how much do they charge for something like this?
what about a repairman? if i went to see properties all day long i don’t think anybody would wanna come along…
where can i learn about figuring out the condition of a home? any books or courses on the subject?
should i become an appraisal, or something? hehe

Vacant/abandoned properties: Check roof, spouting, gutters, siding, foundation, windows. Those are your most costly repairs aside from electrical and plumbing. Now while I’m not advocating B&E there’s likely a backdoor left open for all the homeless folk that come in for the night. Wear a hard hat, construction boots and keep an eye out for the crackheads/pipes/needles. If you’re lucky some newbie investor lost their behind fixing the major items in the house and you’re left with minor repairs (walls/outlets/toilets/cleaning). Don’t laugh, this stuff happens more often than you think especially in today’s market.

If you hire an inspector for every property you look at you’ll end up broke fairly quickly. Full home inspections in my area run about 275-400 depending on what you want inspected. Now that’s not to say if you have a friend that works in general construction to not bring him along. By all means if he/she is willing to lend a hand…and if you are planning on working rehabs and you don’t want to sub contract all the work you will definitely need to learn some basic skills. Lowe’s offers several workshops on home improvement. Check out their websites for schedules and classes.

NEVER EVER pay retail for home improvment items. Remember you are trying to make money not loose money. Check out second hand stores, habitat for hummanity, ebay, ubid, big ugly warehouse for items. I can’t emphasize this enough! Figure out what your ARV/carrying costs/exit strategy is before putting in any offer. Okay now I’m rambling, I’m sure you’ll find alot of useful info on this site. Good luck! ;D

thanks for the great tips.