The drop in real estate prices has been a boon for first time homebuyers and real estate investors. Low interest rates have made financing much more affordable, and special programs are available to help people purchase FHA foreclosures in need of serious improvements. In many of these cases electrical repairs are required before a certificate of occupancy can be issued. If you are considering this type of investment, Elcon Electric of Fort Lauderdale FL, a licensed and bonded Fort Lauderdale electrician, offers the following advice.
Look Before You Leap
If you are purchasing a property at a foreclosure auction you have to bid sight unseen. After the house is put on the general market buyers are allowed to view the property and conduct any inspections they may desire. Once you find a likely house, it is a wise investment to hire an electrician from Fort Lauderdale FL to do a complete electrical safety inspection. When you close on the property, the FHA will expect it to pass inspection before you are allowed to move in, and that includes the electrical wiring. A safety inspection can arm you with an accurate estimate of what electrical repairs and upgrades are required and the cost; valuable information before placing an offer on the property.
Key Electrical Issues to Check
- Is wiring exposed?
- Are there any frayed or exposed wiring in the electrical panel?
- Does the home electrical system have enough amperage for the number of appliances that can be expected for that size of a property? According to the FHA, 60 amp is acceptable on some properties as long as it meets the requirements for the size of property. In other words, if the home you are purchasing in Ft. Lauderdale FL is larger than average, you may need more than 60 amp electrical power in order to pass an FHA inspection.
If the property is going to be used under one of the FHA programs designed to assist low-income families with affordable housing, either as owner-occupied or as a rental, the electrical inspection has additional requirements. It’s best to use a Ft. Lauderdale electrician who is familiar with the requirements of these properties for your initial inspection in order to keep your options as an investor open. Here are some of the additional FHA electrical requirements.
- Kitchens and bathrooms must all have one permanently mounted, working light fixture.
- Kitchens must have an electrical outlet designed for regular amperage as well as an outlet designed for a major appliance.
- Living rooms and bedrooms must have a minimum of two working electrical outlets per room.
- All outlets and light switches must have covers and these must be in good condition (no cracks).
- Two-pronged outlets cannot have been switched for three-pronged outlets without the proper wiring upgrades. Two-pronged outlets were standard in pre-1975 homes, but most appliances today require a three-prong outlet. Some homeowners simply replace the outlets, not realizing that wiring changes are required to prevent fire hazards. This is something that should be assessed by an electrician. Fort Lauderdale FL has a large inventory of older homes at great prices for real estate investors, but it is critical that the property you purchase is electrically safe.
- Like other FHA programs, these require that any electrical hazard be repaired or replaced, including broken, frayed or non-insulated wiring, exposed fuse box connections, wiring exposed to water and light fixtures that are hanging from wires and not securely mounted.
- FHA requires inspections to be conducted by a certified inspector or a licensed professional, such as a Fort Lauderdale FL electrician.
Electrical inspections are one of the many services offered by Elcon Electric, a Fort Lauderdale electrician. They are willing to work with businesses, homeowners and real estate investors on any type of project from a minor electrical repair to a complete remodel. Call them today and see how they may help you with your