Home flippers purchase homes which are in need of repair, repair them, and then re-sell them as fast as possible. The objective of course is to generate a profit. Flipped homes often appear shiny and new on the surface, but it's what lies under the surface that many home buyers should fear. Few home buyers have faith in flippers due to horror stories of sub-par repairs and the cover-up of serious problems with the home. Home inspection is a must, because there could be underlying problems an unsuspecting home buyer may be able to spot right away.
Potential problem areas include:
- Heating & AC
If the residence has an outdated furnace it's highly likely that it is reaching the end of it’s life span. Old furnaces can send deadly carbon monoxide gas through the home. Be on the lookout for seasonal replacements. For example, the AC unit may be replaced for summer listings, leaving the heating in poor condition. Electrical problems with heating and air units, or in general are not common because flippers know better than to take these types of chances with their investment.
Plumbing is an area where there are likely to be problems. Running water and flushing toilets is only going to tell you so much. A full home inspection can help you catch some of these problems in advance. The same goes for the roof. While you may not be likely to climb up, the right home inspector will. Flippers typically do nothing to the roof unless there is a leak. Even then, the fix may be just a patch.
Insulation could be a sore spot due to the fact that this in one investment that home flippers are generally not rewarded for. Even though you will not be able to see into the walls, a quick peak into the attic should tell the tale. If the insulation in the attic has not been replaced there, it is not likely to be new elsewhere either. Changes to windows are also easy to detect, but don't let a fresh coat of pain fool you into believe that the windows have been replaced.
So, why does anyone bother buying a flipped home? There are many different reasons. It's important to note that not every flipped home is in poor condition. Some flippers take great pride in their work and wouldn't dream of cutting corners. The only way to know the true condition of the home is to have a complete home inspection completed. This can provided you with the peace of mind needed when considering the purchase of a flipped home.