Should you buy a house that was a flip?

These days, a large portion of single-family homes are being flipped, that is, the homes are bought, renovated, and resold quickly.   In recent years, it has become harder for flippers to finance these investment properties, and properties are often bought with cash or hard money loans.  However, many markets are in need of housing inventory and so those that can amass the funds to flip a property can make money in the process.

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Prospective homebuyers should always have an eye out unprofessional looking renovation work and defect cover-ups.  However, when the entire property has been flipped, it may be harder to tell where the investor cut corners while prepping the home for sale.  “A lot of these guys who buy these homes to remodel and flip them do a good job,” said Bill Jacques, president of the American Society of Home Inspectors. But, “there’s always going to be the person to put lipstick on a pig and sell it. They try to honey up these houses and paint them, put some new light fixtures in and make people think they’re in new and good shape.”

How to Evaluate a House Before Making an Offer

Keep in Mind: You are Looking at a Building, Not a Home

This is by far the most difficult thing for prospective buyers.  After months or weeks of searching, buyers finally find “the one”, and instead of remaining objective, they mentally move in.  Don’t get attached too early or your heart might overrule your head and cause you to overlook major problems.  The house is simply a building that needs inspecting.  If you do find faults, it doesn’t mean you should put off buying.  Rather try and use what you’ve discovered to negotiate the price or request a repair.  Once you buy it, it belongs to you. Problems and all.

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