We all love a well done flipped home, and there are people who do a great job at it and make a profit on their investment. However, not all flipped homes are about the new kitchen cabinets or fancy new light fixtures. It about the unforeseen financial surprises that can come along with a flipped home. Here’s 5 questions you may want to ask before buying one.
- If the home is pre 1978, you will want to ask if the insulation has been upgraded. If not, what kind of insulation exists in the home? This will effect the level of energy efficiency, which can cost a lot of money in the long run, not to mention your comfortability in the home.
- Are there any “before” photos for you to see? And any photos during the construction phase? Photos don’t lie. They will show what the state of the home was when it was torn apart. That way you can see if there were any hidden no-no’s that could come up to haunt you in the future with respect to pipes, wires, ductwork, etc. You want to make sure that the plumbing and electrical have been upgraded or brought up to local codes.
- Were permits submitted for the renovation? Any potential home buyer looking at a flipped home should want to have the peace of mind knowing that their flipped home was properly constructed. If permits were pulled, there will be a public record, including inspection reports that you can access. You will need to know what local city department to contact. It’s research well worth its weight because our homes are usually the single largest investment that we own.
- You might want to know who renovated the home. A licensed contractor that belongs to the local Better Business Bureau or a related Builder’s Association might be more reputable than a renovator found from Kijiji for example. You can usually tell with your eyes whether the workmanship is excellent or shoddy. Look closely at floor transitions, grout in a bathroom shower, and installation of doors, cabinetry & railings.
- Depending on the vintage of the home, have the sewer lines been replaced? That can be a 10-15k bill if there are large trees on the property.
Good luck if you’re thinking of purchasing a flipped home, and remember, consider the big ticket items that might not be instantly recognizable, like a new roof. It’s these “hidden items” that could be the deciding factor on whether you put in a bid, or keep looking.