We see them all the time these days; Fix It Or Flip It, Love It Or List It, Fixer Upper etc. This new trend of buying homes and flipping them is certainly not a new idea but broadcasting it on reality TV has only hit the airwaves in the last few years. More and more sellers and investors are watching the shows thinking they can definitely do it but when it comes to buyers, are buyers apprehensive about purchasing a flipped property?
The challenge is finding a home that has had just a little bit of cosmetic work done versus a home that has undergone major surgery. Finding a home that has undergone major repairs or replacements is not a bad thing but you want to make sure that the work was done properly and up to code. Simply repainting a wall and repairing a patch or two is not something you’ll need permits for but rewiring the house, redoing plumbing or installing a major household appliance such as a furnace or heat pump should be monitored and approved by a qualified professional.
Other items that you may not be aware of include precautionary materials. For instance: if a vanity was replaced, the vanity might look great but if the Hardy backer board was not installed properly or is not waterproof, you could be faced with mold and mildew later on down the road. You’ll need to verify that all the materials used were up to code and properly installed. You certainly wouldn’t want the floor to buckle due to improper plumbing underneath the sink. Remodeling or renovating things on the outside might look pretty as long as the inside work was also completed properly.
Aesthetics are of course important when you’re dealing with a remodel or rehab but you also want to make sure that the work was done professionally and not just completed on the surface. Any wood rot, foundation problems, or items behind the scenes may not be visible on the outside door on the surface. These are items that could cause major problems in just a few weeks after purchasing the property.
Related: Do New Homes Need Inspections?
Having an inspection can certainly alleviate some of these concerns, however, not everything is visible or can be inspected. Verify that your home inspector will check the crawlspace and the attic in order to confirm that the bones of the home is just as sturdy and durable as the aesthetics.
All in all, buying a flipped property is a great way to get a home that is usually all put together but it is important to be aware of the concerns that flipped properties could present. Talk to your real estate agent, make sure you understand what work was completed and that it is been properly inspected and permitted.