5 Ways to Spot Sloppy Work When Buying a Flipped House

Buying a newly renovated and flipped house can be one of the best things you ever do, but be sure to do your homework. If you watch HGTV, buying these houses is almost a norm, and it looks so easy; real life isn’t like this.

What most fail to realize is flippers goal is to unload their property as quickly, and inexpensive, as possible. Often times there are shortcuts involved, which can lead to problems down the road. Here are give ways to make sure your flip doesn’t end up a flop.

  1. Suss out the sellers

Flipping homes is a profession, so there are people out there who do this all day, most every day. There will be a bunch of buyers can attest to the work they’ve done. Find out their names and check on their experience. If you don’t know your seller, you can go right to the county’s assessor’s office to find out the name on the deed. A little light internet researching should finish the rest. If they do happen to have a good amount of experience, a local real estate agent or home inspector will probably know them, and then will tell you the quality of their work.

  1. Do you due diligence

Everyone knows you should have your prospective home inspected before buying it. This is exponentially true when buying a flip house. If anything appears as a potential problem, hire an inspector in that particular area, whether it be mold, termites, pests, lead, or cracked floors.

  1. Find out when it was built

Knowing how old the house is tells you the odds of structural work. If it is older than 75 years or older, it probably has had at least one foundation repair. If it has not had a foundation repair then get a structural engineer in there to inspect it right away. If the home is newer and built in the 80’s and later, it most likely has had walls removed to fit the “open” concept.  Since knocking walls down was probably happening at some point, you’ll want to make sure it was done correctly.

  1. Look behind the shiny façade

You may think you see a new bathroom, but it could just be reglazed. Reglazing isn’t always a bad thing; it just means the outer surface has been revamped, while the interior is still the original piping. Ask the sellers if the plumbing was updated, and if they have the papers to prove it. Follow suit with the electrical system.

  1. Act as if you live there

Most flipped homes are empty, so when having a walk through, act as if you live there and see how it feels. Turn on the lights, flush the toilet, turn on the sink, and take it all in. Give the windows a close look while opening them, and inspect the floors while pretending to be King of the Castle. This should be a determining moment on whether or not it’s home.

Good Luck and happy house hunting!

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