Looking for a Home – What About Those “Flips?”

Posted by on Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 5:08pm.

Have you heard about “flips?” Those are homes – usually in run-down condition - purchased by investors who do the fix-up and clean-up both inside and out and then put them back on the market at a higher price.

The idea is that the investor will make a profit for his or her labor and expense -  and the home buyer will have a move-in ready house. Many believe that flippers are doing a valuable service because they’re revitalizing neighborhoods and raising the value of surrounding homes.

So why are you hearing some negative press about flippers? Because some of them aren’t honest. Some of them use cosmetic improvements to cover up structural defects – such as rotted window frames, fire damage, or insect infestation.

But that doesn’t mean that all flippers are dishonest. Many of them are hard-working, talented individuals who actually do repair any structural damage before they add the cosmetic improvements that give a home appeal.

Besides that,  the majority of the homes they flip don’t have structural problems – they simply need a good scrubbing and re-painting, along with new flooring, fixtures, and cabinetry. Broken things probably include windows or doors broken in a fit of anger – not support beams!

One drawback is that the flipper has never lived in the home – so can’t provide you with a property condition report. However, an honest flipper will tell you everything that he or she has learned during the rehab process – including what was repaired.

On the plus side, you will have an owner who can show you how to operate the various systems in the house. In addition, the owner is a “real person” who can negotiate with you in “real time.” He or she is actually interested in selling, so there’s no waiting for a disinterested bank employee to get back to you at some undetermined date in the future.

So should you consider a “flipped” house? Sure, if you’re looking for a move-in ready home. Many flips have new paint, new carpeting, new cabinets, and perhaps even new fixtures and appliances. Most are well-worth your consideration.

When we talk, I’ll be glad to share my insight on how to buy from the honest flippers – and to put you in touch with home inspectors who can tell you more.

P.S. Next time I write, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of dealing with a homeowner who is not a flipper – and not in a distress situation.

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