Be Thorough When Buying a Home from a Flipper

  • House flipping is a common practice in which someone purchases a home, renovates or updates it, and then resells it for a profit. Although there is nothing wrong with buying a home from a flipper, it is important for buyers to investigate these homes thoroughly before making the purchase.

     

    Many home flippers are reputable sellers. But they aren’t as familiar with a property as someone who has lived in it for several years. They might be less likely to know about latent defects with the property. Because of this, buyers should keep several things in mind when buying a newly renovated home. 

     

    Considerations When Buying from a House Flipper

     

    Buying a home from a house flipper requires certain considerations on the part of the buyer, including:

     

    • Lack of information - House flippers don't typically own any single home for an extended period of time, as their goal is to resell the home as quickly as possible. In some cases, the flipper may not even live in the home while he or she owns it. As a result, a house flipper won't know as much about the home he or she is selling as a person or family who has lived in a home for many years.
    • Possibility of poor craftsmanship - Because a house flipper isn't planning to live in the home he or she is renovating, the flipper may be less likely to hire licensed contractors and/or inspect the quality of the work along the way. Some house flippers simply focus on making the home aesthetically appealing without worrying about the integrity of the work completed.
    • Lack of necessary permits - In some cases, house flippers may have work completed on a home without obtaining the necessary permits, which can lead to a variety of troubles.
    • Low-quality building materials - House flippers may be more prone to use low-quality building materials because they aren't planning to live in the home they are renovating, they cost less, and the flipper will receive a larger profit.
    • Hazardous conditions - House flippers may ignore or be unaware of dangerous conditions in the home, such as the presence of lead, pests, asbestos or mold.

     

    Tips for Buyers

     

    After considering the potential drawbacks, some buyers may shy away from homes put on the market by house flippers. However, buying from a house flipper can be a positive experience, as long as the buyer takes the appropriate precautions. To ensure that the home you are considering is worth the asking price, follow the tips below.

     

    1. Pull permit records.

    Before buying a home, pull permit records to make sure that the seller followed the proper procedure when completing renovations on the home.

     

    2. Hire an inspector.

    Hire an inspector to investigate every aspect of the property's construction before you agree to purchase it. The inspector should look at the integrity of the structure, and the inspector should search for the presence of anything that could be hazardous to occupants or visitors. Review the inspector's report carefully and address any issues found.

     

    3. Ask about contractors and materials.

    In some cases, the home's seller may be willing to provide records related to the contractors he or she hired and the materials purchased for the renovations. Reviewing these records can help you determine whether the seller invested in quality materials and workmanship.

     

    4. Consult an attorney.

    Before agreeing to the purchase of any flipped home, consider consulting an attorney who understands these transactions and can help you make sure you have covered all of your bases. Be sure to ask your attorney to review all of the records related to the home, including the permit history, any records provided by the seller, the inspector's report and the sales contract.