Flipping homes has now become famous thanks to shows like “Flip or Flop” or “Flipping Vegas,” but is buying a flipped home the best idea? Buying a flipped home saves you all the work of renovation that would have had to be done. Many times flippers give the home a cosmetic renovation that involves new appliances, updated cabinets and countertops, and fresh paint. Most of the time these houses are great to buy, but buyers should be more careful when purchasing a home that has had renovations that involve structural changes. Here are 5 things to check before you buy a flipped house.
Ask for the home’s history
This is probably the most important detail to find out before buying the home. A flipped home can look brand new, but you should know how old the home is. Find out if there have been any add-ons, like an extra bedroom, a second floor, or a breakfast nook. Also, look into the selling history of the home. If the home was purchased and then resold six months later at a higher market value, this most likely indicates a flip. Look into the seller’s previously flipped and sold homes, they should have a track record if they do this regularly. Don’t be afraid to ask for the previous buyers and contact them to find out if they are satisfied with their home.
Check out all the appliances and faucets
Most of the work that is done on a flipped home is done in the bathrooms and kitchen. New faucets and appliances are added to enhance the appearance. Simply flipping on the sink or flushing the toilet will give you an idea if there are any other problems, such as plumbing issues. Turning on the water will let you know if there are water pressure or heating issues, or if they are hooked up to a water source at all.
Ask what changes have been made
Some states have a full-disclosure policy where the seller is required to share all of the changes made to the home with the buyer. Along with all the changes made, the seller has to share all the known details about the home. If you do not live in a full-disclosure state it is best to ask the seller for a full, detailed report of all the changes made and to sign it.
Ask for Permits
In addition to a detailed report of the changes, ask for permits where they are needed. Check with the city to make sure permits were not only pulled, but were inspected and approved. If changes were done and they did not acquire permits, that should be a major red flag right there. Some improvements don’t require permits, though.
Hire an inspector
Hire an inspector that has experience and that is accredited, licensed, and insured. Since you have researched where the improvements that involved permits are, hand that over to your inspector. Experts say buyers should hire an inspector before the closing process so if there are any issues they can be resolved before. If you do find problems and they are not major, you can negotiate with the seller to either have them fixed or have them lower the price.