Updated: Mar 3
You may be familiar with the HGTV show Flip or Flop, where the show’s stars take a run-down home and convert it into something marvelous in a few weeks or months. The show hosts show what they paid and put into the house and how much the owner sold it for (usually thousands of dollars).
“There is nothing wrong with buying a flipped home. The caution is that, like any other endeavor, there may be some people doing the work that are not qualified to do it,” stated Chris Egner, President of the National Association of Remodeling Industry (NARI).
“There’s always been an issue with the quality of fix and flips. The margins are so slim these days with these investors that they’re really cutting a lot of corners,” shared RE/MAX realtor Stephanie Fix.
So, is it a good deal or not? Check out these things you must consider when you are in the market for a house.
Four Things That Signal You’re Buying a Flipped House
Short title chain of custody. If the property is back on the market after being purchased a few months ago, odds are it’s a flip.
Changes seem rushed on the surface (i.e., poor paint job, appliances not installed correctly). This can be a flag for the things you can’t easily see, such as the roof, electrical, and plumbing.
If the realtor boasts about house renovations, check with the city or township to see if building permits were pulled. Unfortunately, many flippers skip this process because they don’t want to pay the application or have a building inspector check their work. And the work performed may not have been by a licensed professional when one was required.
If the sale price doubles in less than a year, ask to see the receipts and timeline for work completed. Even though the housing market is hot, it isn’t that steamy.
Get a Home Inspection
A qualified home inspector can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. That inspector can also determine any visible safety issues, such as removing a load-bearing wall without proper structural changes to keep the house intact.
Flippers often don’t spend money on the HVAC system, roof, or water heater, but if these units are old, you may be in for a big surprise within your first few months of owning the home. An inspector can evaluate what you have and what may need to be replaced.
Essentially what you’re buying with a house inspection is peace of mind.
We Can Help if you are Thinking of Buying a Home
Purchasing a home can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be with the right home inspector. Spending a few hundred dollars on an inspection is nothing compared to the total cost of improving a flipped house. We can alert you to significant deficiencies you may not be able to find. Schedule your inspection today!