It seems as though flipping houses has become the national pastime.
The concept has been over-simplified by numerous TV shows like “Flip or Flop” from HGTV and other networks over the past few years.
Buying a “flip” may appeal to you, but it’s a good idea to look beyond the gleaming white quartz countertops, light gray cabinetry, pendant light fixtures, barn wood floors, and other current real estate trends to make sure you don’t get “flipped off” in the process.
Here are a few questions to ask before you buy a flip:
- How long was the home vacant?
- Was the home winterized if vacant during winter? (think about the sprinkler system too)
- Were the repairs completed by licensed contractors?
- Were the appropriate permits obtained?
- Did the repairs pass the building department’s inspections?
- Did all of the suppliers and subcontractors get paid? (get paid receipts and/or lien releases)
- What major components have been replaced? (HVAC, plumbing, roof, windows, appliances, etc.)
- Are the major components of the home under warranty?
- Were major components replaced with the cheapest items available?
- Were the locks re-keyed, or do all of the subcontractors (and neighbors) still have access to the home?
- Can you have the home inspected by your own home inspector?
- Will the seller make repairs for problems identified by your home inspector?
- Will you be able to get title insurance to assure you of clear title?
- Does the home meet lender financing requirements for you and future buyers? (think about FHA/VA)
- Slow down and pay attention to the details!
- Is this home a do-it-yourself, lipstick-on-a-pig renovation?
Clues can include black brushed-on paint over golden oak cabinetry, cheap materials, sloppy paint work, mismatched plumbing/lighting fixtures, mismatched door/window trim, mismatched windows, mixed brands of appliances, and numerous other indicators.
Need help figuring out a flip listing?
Give me a call at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me.
And, don’t be surprised if I tell you to NOT buy that home and keep on looking!