• Lifestyle

15 Things To Know Before Buying A Recently Flipped House

List RulesVote up what everyone should know before buying a flipped house.

It's always a good idea to invest in real estate, but you have to be weary. If you come across a flipped house, things can get a little bit messy so it's better to stay alert and read some useful information to prepare yourself. Here are some interesting pieces of advice. Which one do you think is the most helpful?  

  • 1

    Quality First

    From a former Redditor:

    I personally never trust flipped homes because I've seen too many bad ones. Sometimes I have to pass on well-priced flips because it'd cost me too much money to renovate their crappy "improvements".

    What I suggest is to check the finishings. They can be indicative of the quality of the important things, like electricity and plumbing. And of course, a good inspection goes a long way. Ask if the plumbing is copper or PEX (caveat that I'm prob going to get flamed for this distinction as an indicator of quality). Ask the inspector to check out the electric box outback and to examine the wiring quality and condition. There are a few giveaways of bad flippers.

    I would also look up the home addresses of the previously flipped houses. You can find them in the county records by looking up the names of their LLCs which are usually all variations in the name. I'd call those buyers and ask how their home is holding up. I find when I knock on doors people are happy to chat. Just as one checks a builder's reputation before buying a new home I'd definitely do the same for a flipped house.

    At the end of the day, some flippers have a lot of integrity. Many don't.

    Good to know?
  • 2

    The Inside Beauty

    From Redditor u/welmoed:

    I have a mantra: "Beware the Recently Remodeled Home."

    Flippers have a tendency to focus on the cosmetics but, as others have said, many times the materials aren't the best and the workmanship can be less than stellar. The big thing is to focus on the big, expensive things, especially those that can't easily be changed.

    First, check the data plates on ALL the appliances and systems (furnace, AC, water heater, etc.). If they are 15 years old or so, they are at the end of their serviceable lives and will need replacing soon. The factor that into your decision.

    How old is the roof? If they boast "new roof", make sure that a) the entire roof was replaced (yes, we've seen roofs only replaced were visible from the curb), and b) they didn't simply slap a new layer of shingles over the old one (which will cut the life of the new shingles almost in half).

    Is there a new sump pump and perimeter drain? These indicate wet basement issues, and interior drain/sump systems treat the symptom but not the cause. Try to visit the house during a downpour and be mindful of where the water is going.

    How's the electricity? An old panel may prevent you from adding any circuits and, at worst, be a potential fire hazard.

    Oh, and about those new bathrooms: make sure there are access hatches for the bath/shower pipes. Our daughter actually got burned by that when she bought her house (yes, we inspected it, but we can't see inside walls): the master bath plumbing had CPVC pipes and PEX pipes simply glued together; it was all hidden behind the drywall with no access opening.

    I've got a book on Amazon called "101 Things You Don't Want In Your Home" that has a whole bunch of stuff that you can learn to spot as your house hunting. Good luck!

    Good to know?
  • 3

    Recent History, Checked!

    From Redditor u/novahouseandhome:

    Check permit history and make sure the permits are closed out.

    Good to know?
  • 4

    Bring A Magnifying Glass

    From Redditor u/ShortWoman:

    Get a good home inspection. Be prepared to find a few things done cheap but pretty.

    Good to know?