We see a lot of home flipping on home improvement shows: A run-down older home is turned into a newly updated, beautiful modern one. Home flipping isn’t new; people have always taken these homes and improved them to sell them at a higher price.
Before you buy a flipped home, do these four things first so you know what you’re buying:
Research the home
As with all homes, research the home’s history. Look at the owner’s history, its price over the years, and whether it’s been foreclosed. For example, if the home’s price has jumped significantly from its last sale, it could indicate that the house has been flipped. The same applies if an LLC or corporation owns the home, but that may not always be the case.
Verify the contractor
Next, verify that the contractor used to flip the home is licensed and had the correct permits to make the improvements to the house, like a finished basement. If not, you could run into expensive fixes. This is especially true if the seller made the updates on their own.
Hire a good inspector
Always look behind the curtains!
When inspecting a flipped home, hire a good, reputable inspector to do a deep-dive into the house. An inspector will check the electric, plumbing, roofing, and more and make sure everything is up to code and working. If something isn’t up to code and it’s not spotted until after purchase, you will be responsible for fixing it—especially if an issue has been covered up with cosmetic fixes.
Get an environmental inspection to catch problems like mold, radon, and asbestos.
Remember to do your walkthrough and note how the home smells, if all drawers, doors, and windows open correctly, and turn on faucets and flush toilets.
Hire a professional real estate agent
No matter what type of home you’re buying, have a professional real estate agent at your side. An agent will know the area, advocate for you, and have valuable connections to find the right third-party services you need.