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Cleaning Abandoned Houses: A Guide For Property Investors

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You have decided to invest in an abandoned house and turn it into a valuable property. Homes get deserted or foreclosed for various reasons. Some include bankruptcy, divorce, the death of the owner, environmental issues, and more. 

Usually, the realtor ensures that the home is cleaned before presenting it to potential buyers. However, not all foreclosed or abandoned property goes through a realtor. Sometimes these houses are auctioned off by the U.S. Department of the Treasury. 

Ideally, the rate of real estate is cheaper at these auctions, especially if it is an abandoned property. Hence, property investors like you may buy the house at these auctions. In that case, the properties are not in the best condition. 

In this blog, we will discuss ways to clean up the acquired abandoned property. Usually, you should hire a professional to assist with repairs and the cleaning process. 

abandoned house dark room

#1. Emptying the House 

The foreclosed or abandoned house might have furniture, bulbs, beds, cupboards, kitchen equipment, and other household appliances. You need to empty the house before you can start the restoration process.  Move anything you can store in the garage or a rented storage unit. 

Of course, you can leave any built-in things like walk-in closets, bathtubs, and mirrors. But ensure to inspect for structural damage if you want to remove these. Remember to take pictures of the house for the bank before removing anything. You can sell off these items or use them after repairing them. 

Avoid spending too much time emptying the property. Otherwise, the situation of the house can worsen, and the repairs can cost you more. 


#2. Assembling the Tools

It is time for you to organize the cleaning equipment after removing everything from the house. Make sure to buy the best-quality deep cleaning tools. Examples include brooms, bleach, toothbrushes, and more. 

Other than these, you will also need the following tools: 

  • Sponges and scrubs
  • Rubber gloves
  • Vacuum cleaner 
  • Garbage bags 
  • Disinfectant 
  • Tile cleaner 
  • Paint scraper 
  • Rags, newspaper, and cloth

Ideally, it takes about five weeks of strenuous work to get the house ready. You might need help from a construction crew, structural engineers, electricians, pressure washers, pest control, and more. They will assist with the rehabilitation of the abandoned property.  

You must wear PPE kits and disinfect surfaces before you start the cleaning. Moreover, you should get the home inspected for biohazards before anything else. 


#3. Professional Pressure Washing Does Wonders

Imagine stepping into your newly acquired property and being greeted by a family of spiders. Of course, there will be cobwebs, trash, rotten materials, broken furniture, etc. In some cases, the dirt may have sedimented on the surface, walls, and roof. 

Therefore, you may need the services of professional pressure washers. Pressure washing removes loose paint, dust, dirt, grime, and mud from wood and concrete surfaces. Other than these, pressure washing services come with benefits such as: 

  • It saves you time and money 
  • Evenly cleans the property without damaging the surface
  • The cleaning process prevents allergen buildup and gets rid of rust
  • It helps clean hard-to-reach areas 

If you hire professionals, they will aid in the cleaning process. These highly trained individuals offer high-quality deep cleaning services for all types of surfaces. According to Absolute Painting, moss treatment after pressure washing will help maintain the integrity of your property’s driveways, walkways, walls, and more.

As a rule of thumb, the professionals will pressure wash the ceiling before moving to the floors. Doing this cleans up the gunk that falls on the ground. You might need to clean the floor multiple times due to dirt buildup. 

Initially, the pressure washers will start cleaning the bathroom. After that, they will gradually move to the kitchen, bedroom, and hall. Pressure washing the first layer of dirt gives you a better picture of the house’s structure. Hence, you can spot hidden structural issues such as damp window frames. 


3 Tips for Cleaning an Abandoned House 

You should know a few tips for cleaning an abandoned house before you start the process. For example, abandoned homes are magnets for vandalism, theft, and other crimes. Hence, avoid visiting the home alone after the purchase. 

Other than that, the following tips will help you take the best route for cleaning the property: 


#1. Create a To-Do List

You must write a strategic ‘to-do’ list before cleaning the property. This way, the process will seem less daunting. Moreover, you can get things done in an orderly manner. 

For instance, you can formulate this list and share your plans with professional cleaners. This way, they will meet your needs and cleanup requirements. 


#2. Set Goals and a Reward System

It might be hard to keep yourself motivated during the cleaning process. You can feel exhausted after a few tiring and monotonous days. That is why you need to create small goals. You can reward yourself once you achieve them. 

For example, you can set a goal of emptying the house within one week. You can treat yourself to your favorite food once you achieve that. 


#3. Use All Cleaning Methods

You must sweep, pressure wash, and vacuum the entire house. Using all these methods ensures every square inch of the house is clean and presentable. Remember to clean the roof, garage, sidewalk, and patio. 

For instance, you can vacuum the interiors once the professionals have finished pressure washing it.


The Bottom Line

Buying an abandoned house is an investment. In 2019, Jesse Wig invested in an abandoned school in Pennsylvania for USD 100,000 and turned it into a 31-unit apartment building. 

However, there are various risks involved. For instance, the home might have gas leaks, structural damage, and faulty wiring. Not knowing about these factors can be dangerous. Other than that, the home insurance costs might be higher if it has been vacated for years. 

Even then, abandoned houses are usually cheaper to buy. Moreover, it has less competition because nobody wants to buy a foreclosed or abandoned property. 

As an investor, you can clean the house using the steps mentioned. However, renovation bills and maintenance costs can become expensive. Regardless, you should determine whether this is a good investment for your portfolio before anything else. 







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