March 07, 2017

Three Steps to Take to Evaluate a Flipped Home

Homebuyers love fully-renovated, updated houses. And here in Maplewood and South Orange such homes are often sold by investors as flips.

But buyers beware…not all flipped homes are created equally — because not all investors have the best intentions. Some investors care less for the stewardship of the home than others. Luckily, there are a few ways to evaluate whether that shiny-penny-of-a-home — you know, the one with the polished bathroom, beautiful open-concept kitchen, dark-stained floors, and light grey walls — was renovated in a quality way or not.

Read on for three steps your Realtor should take when helping you navigate the world of flipped homes.

Three steps your Realtor should take when helping you evaluate a flipped home

  1. Obtain the property’s building permits and compare them to the renovations completed. If the permits don’t match the renovations boasted, consider this is a red flag. Don’t fret and don’t abandon your pursuit of the property, but know you and your Realtor should investigate further. In addition, take note of any permits that remain open and notify your attorney — additional work may need to be completed before the permits can be closed.
  2. Identify the investors who are selling the home and learn their reputation. If the investor’s name isn’t on the tax records or is obscured by an LLC, have your Realtor locate the articles of incorporation with the state. Then do your due diligence.
  3. Inspect the home. It’s always a best practice to thoroughly inspect the home you’re purchasing, and even more so for a flipped house. In addition to hiring a cut-throat general home inspector, hire an electrician to evaluate the home’s electric service and outlets, a plumber to scope the sewer line, and a chimney expert to evaluate the flues and fireboxes.

Working with a Realtor with local market knowledge and who asks the right questions is essential in this process. If you have any questions or would like to discuss further, please email me: [email protected].

Happy house hunting!


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