Before purchasing a commercial property, you will need to have it inspected, just like you would a new home.
A proper inspection of a commercial property should include a walk-through survey, document review, and interviews with owners/occupants to determine the property’s condition. You should have this done by a professional commercial property inspector located in you area, who is familiar with the type of property you are looking to purchase, as well as common challenges with similar buildings in similar locations.
The commercial property inspection report should include the inspectors findings, good and bad, and the often the probable cost for suggested repairs. The report will tell you what needs to be fixed before a sale takes place to be compliant with any local or federal regulations. The inspection will also give the owner and buyer the opportunity to discuss changes that may not be necessary, but are requested by the buyer before a sale can be completed as well as help the buyer better understand the maintenance costs associated with a particular property.
The scope of the inspection needed and the specific areas to be inspected are based on the age of the property, occupancy, and the type of construction. Inspections can range from just a visual examination of the property, to a comprehensive inspection of all the building’s technical aspects. As a buyer, you can request that the inspection include the baseline items, plus the more comprehensive components, but remember, the cost of the inspection, is probably yours. That said, we wouldn't recommend making a commercial property purchase without one! The inspection will be a investment worth making.
A commercial property inspection includes:
Site Characteristics (driveway and parking lot, landscaping, and utilities)
Structural Frame and Building Envelope
Mechanical and Electrical Systems
Heating, Air Conditioning and Ventilation Systems
Vertical Transportation (elevators, escalators)
Life Safety/Fire Protection/ CO2 detectors
Document Review (maintenance records, purchases)
--and probably costs associates with repairs, and recommendations, or notations on required maintenance
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Assessments
Fenestration Inspections (windows, doors, skylights, etc.)
Fire Safety Inspections
Lead-Based Paint Inspections
Sewage Systems Inspections
Indoor Air Quality Assessments
Depending on the type of property, and your specific needs, you may want to include many of these additional services. Buying a commercial property is an investment worth protecting, and knowing exactly what a property has to offer, AND what kinds of maintenance will need to get done (general and emergency), can make a huge effect on whether you are making a good term decision!
Kuester Properties, North and South Carolina