People have always bought homes that needed a little love, fixed them up, and sold them for a tidy profit. However, in recent years, the practice known as flipping has really taken off thanks to shows on Home & Garden Television and the like. If you are in the market for a home, you may encounter one or more so-called flipped homes. There is nothing inherently bad about this type of home if you are careful when evaluating it. Read on and find out more.
Nothing Needs to be Done
Most people want to buy a home that is ready to move into. While fixer homes can be less expensive, many people don't have the time to wait for things to be done or the skills to take on the tasks themselves. That is where flipped homes come in. When you see a move-in ready home advertised while looking through houses for sale, there's a good chance that the home is a flipped home.
Problems With Flipped Homes
In many cases, those trying to flip homes must make things happen quickly. Once they purchase the home, (unless they are cash buyers), they need to fix and sell the home before the mortgage payments begin to eat into their profit margin. For buyers, that can mean the home was redone far too quickly to be a quality rehab. In many television shows, the emphasis can be on cosmetic changes rather than real workmanship. However, those shiny new stainless-steel appliances may be hiding shoddy kitchen cabinetry and rotted floors. Not all flipped homes are full of problems, though. It's on the buyer to ensure that the home is fit for habitation.
Is It a Flip or Not?
There can be signs that the home was purchased for the express purpose of remodeling it and then selling it. Property records and the multiple listing service (MLS) may offer buyers clues about the history of the home. Look up the address to learn facts about the home that could provide you with more information like:
- A record of purchase prices.
- How long ago it was recently purchased.
- Photos of the home prior to the redo.
How to Approach a Possible Flip
- Do your due diligence when buying a home, regardless of whether you suspect it's a flip. That means a home inspection is necessary. In most cases, a pest inspector is also a good idea and a requirement in some states.
- Don't be distracted by cosmetic finishes or professionally staged homes.
- Inspect the quality of the wood used on doors (particularly entrance doors) and cabinets. Using sub-par products there can be an indicator of shoddy work elsewhere.
Finally, ask your real estate agent about the home's history and get professional expert advice through a real estate company such as REMAX Executive about details when you decide to put an offer on the home.