What You Need to Look for When Buying a Flipped Home
A flipped house is a home that someone purchased did some renovation work and then put the home on the market again less than a year later, according to Zillow. This house may have some new features, but here are some things to look for to help spot any potential problems before you buy.
Look at the Details
It can be easy to get caught up in the amenities of a home. But, as nice as crown molding or new appliances may be, it’s important to look at the home’s details to see the quality of the renovation, says Zillow. Consider checking light switch plates to make sure they’re snug to the wall, look at all of the crown molding to confirm it lines up at the corners and even test doors and cabinets to see if they close properly, adds Zillow.
Seeing some sloppiness in the minor details of a home may mean there might be some potential problems you cannot see, says Zillow. Make sure to inspect areas like the electrical panel, the water heater and plumbing.
When inspecting the water heater, check the sticker indicating when the heater was made. Any date in the past decade should be OK, anything older than that may lead to costly repairs or replacement, according to U.S. News and World Report.
When inspecting the plumbing around the water heater, look for sections of the pipes that are made of different materials. This may mean that those parts have been fixed. Any pipes that are rusted may need attention, says U.S. News and World Report.
Have an Inspection
Some homebuyers may think a recently renovated home is in “new” condition, and that a home inspector may not be needed. That is not the case, says Zillow. An inspector can check the contractor’s work, and see if any shortcuts were made. If a home inspector finds any major problems, it can give you the opportunity to pass on buying the home or renegotiate the purchase price to address the needed repairs, according to U.S. News and World Report.
Do Your Research
Make sure to review the real estate disclosure statements closely, says Zillow. A real estate disclosure statement is a legal requirement for a seller to list information that might negatively affect a home’s value, adds Zillow. This may include things such as a pest infestation in the home, neighborhood problems or environmental hazards like lead paint, according to Forbes.
Most of the time, disclosure documents are provided once the seller accepts the buyer’s offer, but sometimes they are provided before the offer, says Zillow. Remember, never close on a house until it is confirmed that all building permits and disclosures were cleared. If they weren’t, you could be legally liable for the work done as the new homeowner, according to Zillow.
Learn About the Seller
Ask your real estate agent for some background information about the seller who flipped the house, says Zillow. Successful flippers generally want happy homeowners with few to no complaints, Zillow notes. Don’t forget new appliances and fixtures typically come with manuals and manufacturer warranties. A reputable flipper should provide you with these documents during the homebuying process, says the Better Business Bureau.
Buying a flipped home requires due diligence. With a little research, you may feel more confident in your home purchase.
Originally published on August 28, 2014.