Don’t be seduced by new and shiny appearances

Buying a flipped property could lead to problems - Buy informed, buy smart.

Spring is the first home buying season of the new year and buyers need to be careful checking out their next potential home. There are lemons among those peaches.

If you are looking for a new home for your family, be aware of the ones that are flips. Most flips are For Sale By Owner. These homes can especially be a problem because they are done to look good, but aren’t necessarily built or renovated properly. Some flippers take advantage of homebuyers’ lack of knowledge when it comes to picking out cheap materials and shoddy workmanship.

Looks can be deceiving, homes that are being flipped banks on it. All flips are done with one purpose, to make a profit. In most cases the quality isn’t there in materials and craftsmanship. Once the property is sold, any problems become the responsibility of the new homeowner.

How do you know, how can you tell it’s a flip?

There are some warning signs, but again, it comes down to doing your homework. There are questions like: How long have they owned it? How much did they pay for it? Did they occupy the home at all? If a home looks like it has been renovated, if any changes made to the plumbing, electrical or structure ask to see permits.

Cheap materials, such as poorly hung doors, MDF for cabinets, laminate flooring, bad trim, and paint jobs are all red flags for cheap renos. If the seller fumbled on the finishes and joinery they probably cut corners on the stuff you can’t see – the stuff behind the walls and below the flooring.

Get a home history report from your realtor or go to City Hall. A home history report can tell you on a home’s sales history, dates, permit, structure or any previously insurance or claims related to the property. You or your realtor should also check for history of water or fire damage. City hall can also help to determine if the property has been used as a grow-op, meth lab or other illicit purposes.

BUYER BEWARE – the more information you have on a property the better. It puts you in a better position to buy the right home for your family. Buy informed, buy smart.

Let my 24 years of real estate success and construction experience work for you.

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