What To Ask Before You Buy A Home

Everyone wants a nice house, and one of the best ways to get that is buying a flipped house. It's an exciting time, because the home is either brand new or gently used. There are risks involved with buying a flipped home though. The repairs and renovations need to be done correctly. So before you buy be sure to ask these questions.

  1. Who's selling it?

Is the seller a person or an LLC? Everyone needs to ask this question. It's happen that a renovator makes himself an LLC and right after the sale, he immediately liquidates the LLC. This is in hopes to get themselves off the hook in case any defects come up shortly after the sale. If the seller is an LLC, take some time to probe into how long the business has been around, and their reputation. 

  1. Whats the scope of the renovation?

This question will get the owner or agent talking. You'll find out if there were any walls removed, major plumbing or electrical work done. How long ago, etc. the smaller renovation jobs are usually bathroom jobs, new paint and floors, mostly cosmetic work. The bigger jobs are much bigger, and the new buyer needs to know what was done. 

  1. Did they get permits?

If there was any major electrical, plumbing, or structural work they need to have permits. Ask for a copy of them. You can also check the city records to see if permits were filed. If there aren't any permits this may mean the work could have been less than professional. 

  1. Who was the last owner?

There's always records of home ownership. If any issues are popping up, it's completely appropriate to ask the previous owner about them. Questions worth asking: when did you put on a new roof? Have there ever been any leaks anywhere? Has there always been this part of the home?

It's important to know every change that was made in the house because flippers get in a hurry sometimes and don't finish certain jobs.

  1. How long has the house sat empty?

If the home sits empty for a period of time, there's a chance it's been disrupted by either leaks, freezing pipes, vandals, and even rodents. If a house sits for a year or more after the renovation, it's entirely possible it's had water trouble in the basement. The seller may disguise this only when people start coming around. 

  1. Can we go outside?

Always check the outside areas for problems, because if you find one large enough it can save you huge dollars. Are there trees near the foundation? Has the pool ever had any problems? And how sturdy is the fence? 

Take your time and get yourself a licensed home inspector to check the place out. While all you see is a new home, the inspector can see the problem areas you don't. If you do find problems, it isn't time to walk away just yet. Just be ready to either ask for comps, repairs, or submit a lower offer. 

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