Buying Property? Ask This First.

Buying Property? Ask This First. Advice from architect Susan Tusick in the Pittsburgh area, Pennsylvania, USA.

Advice from Susan Tusick of Tusick & Associates Architects

Before you head out for the day, you probably do a little research on what the weather is going to be. If it’s going to be cold, you’re sure to take your warm, winter coat. And if there’s rain in the forecast, you grab your umbrella and maybe even those new rain boots.  

You check with the weatherman and listen to hear everything about the temperature, the humidity, the chance of rain or snow. You want to be prepared and avoid any surprises. So why would you purchase a property without investigating possible pitfalls?

What’s the occupancy permit on the building? 

An occupancy permit specifies the classification of a building and its usage. When a building is used for a particular function and you want to use it for a different function, you need to get an occupancy permit approved. You can’t just take a space and turn it into offices or a warehouse without getting the appropriate approval. 

One of my clients was looking at buying a building that was formerly used for elder care. He hopes to turn it into an apartment building. We need to see if the township will approve this change and what kind of renovations are needed to comply. As a professional architect, I recommended doing the research, so he can make smart decisions regarding the property. 

A Feasibility Study is designed to provide in depth research.

With a Feasibility Study, you’ll find out if the building complies with the codes. Will you need to improve the plumbing, mechanical or the electrical systems? Are the sprinklers and fire alarms ready in case of a fire? Is there ample parking for all the residents? Does the site have any hazardous materials or debri that need to be removed? 

It’s better to invest in gathering information at the start of the project than to find out later after you’ve already spent hundreds of dollars. By educating yourself, you’ll have a full understanding of the spectrum of issues that you could potentially face. 

You’ll discover the costs involved to fix the roof or replace the hot water heaters. And you’ll be able to decide if it makes sense to tear down the walls or just repair them. The best part is that you’ll have clarity in the decision making process, putting a price on each part of the  renovation.   

The same way you wouldn’t go out in the rain without knowing the weather forecast, you shouldn’t jump into buying and building without the proper information. Before you spend more money, do your due diligence and contact us at 412-781-8896 for a Feasibility Study. 

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