What to Know When Buying a Flipped House  

July 13, 2022


“Flipping” homes has become a very popular way for people to earn income in recent years, especially during the pandemic when things were uncertain. Now that the housing market is a seller’s dream, buying up cheap homes and quickly flipping them for a profit is seen just about anywhere. Home renovation shows are only making flipping for profit more popular, and we won’t see the end of it anytime soon.   

It may look nice, but that doesn’t mean they did the best work. That’s why home inspectors like Method are there to check every nook and cranny and make sure the home is safe and built to current building standards. Here are a few things to know before buying a flipped house:   

Look at the Property’s History  

Your real estate agent will help you look at the property history. It should be available online or through your local government. The property’s history will tell you what it sold for last and how long ago it sold. This information is important because it tells you the amount of time the flippers spent on the home and what profit they are trying to flip it for. If the house was just recently on the market a month or two ago, it could mean a fast flip, and attention to detail may be lacking.   

“As Is” Listings  

This should be a red flag. If flippers are selling a newly remodeled home “as-is,” there’s probably something wrong with the house that the flippers don’t want to fix before closing. There could be structural damage or another issue with the house that they’re not required to disclose when it’s listed “as-is.”  

Is It A DIY Job?  

Not all house flips are guaranteed to be done by professional contractors. The pictures on the listing may look great, but once you view the property you may be able to notice small details that aren’t quite right. Are things level? Did they go cheap on hardware? Can you see where they did patch work? These can be simple fixes if you buy the home, but it generally shows that they may have also lacked attention to detail elsewhere.   

Most house flippers only pay attention to the cosmetic details. The renovation may look well-done on the surface, but you can’t see what’s underneath. They could be hiding poor electrical wiring or plumbing work. This is why a home inspectional is especially crucial when looking at recently flipped homes.   

Money   

House flipping focuses on turning a profit. This means that home flippers may skimp on the stuff they think unnecessary or what they know people won’t notice. If there are new windows, are they the cheapest ones available? Do they fit with the wall, or are they properly installed? They may advertise a new HVAC system or water heater, but do they work sufficiently for the space? Are the air ducts connecting the right way? These are key details your home inspector will help you figure out.   

Does the listing price accurately reflect the work they put into the home and is it justifiable? The current housing market is a doozy, and flippers take advantage of the market to make the most profit possible. The price may reflect the quality of the materials used in the renovation.   

Try to find pictures of the house before the renovation. House listing sites may be a huge help to see how the house looked beforehand. These photos can give you an idea of what work they accomplished and how much money the house flippers may have put into it.   

Benefits and Cons  

Recently flipped houses are mostly move-in ready. Some homeowners aren’t interested in renovating a home while they live there, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Have a flipped house thoroughly looked over by a home inspector like Method to ensure that you don’t have any issues with the home in a few months or even a few years.   

Many flippers go for older homes that are cheaper and need work done anyway. This is a positive because it revamps homes and keeps them up-to-date, so long as they do a proper job and touch all aspects from cosmetic to skeletal.   

One con might be that the recently flipped home is the only up-to-date one in the neighborhood. You may want to drive around the neighborhood after viewing a renovated house to see what the area is like (although you should do this anyway!). If you find other homes in the area are updated, then the rest of the neighborhood will likely follow suit.   

Hire Method Home Inspection  

Method Inspection works with you and for you. We inspect homes with a client-focused approach, which means we present you with possible issues and solutions on how to fix them. We educate our clients on the inspection with interactive, highly-detailed reports within hours of the home inspection.   

We tackle each home depending on its needs. All homes are different in size, age, and wear and tear. We do individualized testing depending on the house with optional tests like sewer, septic, mold, water, termite, and radon.   

Contact us for additional information about Method Home Inspections or schedule a home inspection! Call or text Method at (417)512-2757.