(Closed) Buying a Flipped House?

posted 6 years ago in Home
Post # 3
3265 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

As long as you get it checked over by your own inspector, I wouldn’t be concerned unless they are.

Post # 4
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

I did! I was looking for a completely remodeled house because I didn’t want to deal with upgrading myself. The house was bought by the previous owner 4 months before it was sold to me, and it was remodeled from roof to floor. I had a friend refer a house inspector to me to make sure all the work was done well and with good quality materials (and obviously that there were no major things wrong with the house).

Post # 5
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

My thing with flipped houses is you never know what they are covering up structurally with fancy cosmetic upgrades. Around here, flipping is big business, but the houses are also way older (like, a hundred+ years old) so the pipes and electrical systems are a big concern. Houses here often don’t have foundations unless they were put in long after they were built (to the tune of $75,000-100,000). I grew up in Dalls/Ft Worth, so that’s been a big learning curve for me as we’ve house hunted.

I guess I wouldn’t totally nix a flipped house, but i’d be wary. Don’t get gushy over the cosmetic stuff – make sure you get a rock solid inspection. Cosmetic stuff is easy to add later. It’s much harder to fix structural stuff.

Dallas/Ft Worth has a ridiculous amount of decent housing stock (vs here, where there’s no place left to build, and anything larger than a 2 bedroom is very very difficult to find). I’d probably pass and go with something that had a more concrete history if it were me!

Post # 7
13096 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

It wouldn’t bother me so long as a solid inspection showed the work was done well and they weren’t attempting to cover up any major flaws/issues.  I’d rather someone else go through the reno for me and I get to enjoy the finished product.

My Mother-In-Law just sold her mom’s (DH’s grandma’s) old home to a company that flips houses.  There is nothing wrong with the house – it just needs to be totally renovated because it is outdated.  It still has the original kitchen (with functioning avocado green appliances)!

Post # 8
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I’d be very clear with the inspector to give an estimate of the quality of the upgrades and renovations.  We’ve had a few houses on our block flipped, and since I telecommute, I can watch the workers come and go all day long.  The consistent theme I see is use of lower grade, cheaper materials: lower grade insulation, low-end cabinetry and fixtures for kitchen and bath, cheap paint, cheap thin carpet, low-end granite if they’re putting in granite. You get the drift.  You may end up paying top dollar for a pressboard kitchen that looks gorgeous now and falls apart in 4 years, or stuff you’ll need to replace a lot sooner than if you’d renovated yourself and put in higher-end stuff even if it cost more. 

Just one example: we recently had our kitchen redone and we picked a mid to high-end granite for the countertops. We picked our own slab from a granite distributor, and on their quality/price scale of 1-7 we picked a 5.  It was cut in the warehouse and delivered in big slabs, the finished cut of each of the surfaces to be covered, plus the trim bits.  The flippers across the street appear to have used cutouts/end bits from other slabs to form a counter-top, as their square footage and basic floor plan is the same as ours, but their granite showed up in sections rather than full surfaces; this is a lot cheaper because you’re basically using the leftover bits from someone else’s job, but it means more seams in the countertop which mean more upkeep in re-sealing, and more chance for water to seep through to the cabinetry. It also means the pattern might not be a dead match.  In the grand scheme of things, it’s only about a $1500 price difference (at least on my job) to buy the full slab and cut from there, but a flipper doesn’t care about the long-term appearance and funciton. They care about $1500 more profit.  

So hire an inspector who will catch these things.  They can end up being very costly in the long run.

Post # 10
2023 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I agree with PPs – just make sure you have a thorough inspection!

My dad and brother have flipped a few houses – it can be challenging, especially when you are within a city with strict construction/inspection codes.

My FH just bought us a house that was built in the early 80s.  It has a blue tub and white/blue marble counter top.  The kitchen was complete with plenty of wallpaper haha… We are doing the reno’s ourselves.  I wouldve loved to have bought this house post flip! haha…

Post # 11
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

We bought from people who bought from flippers. They were only here for 6 years.  A lot of electrical stuff came up during the inspection. But our inspection was solid. Nothing that the sellers didn’t take care of. 

With buying from investors, be prepared to fight. Around here they don’t help buyers they just ant their money’s worth 

Post # 13
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

If you lived in near me I would think you were buying the house we looked earlier this fall! My husband and I were very close to putting in an offer on a flipped house. At first visit it looked great we loved the layout and finishing touches he did. The more we looked into the more we found flaws. He priced himself out of the neighborhood we were looking at. To keep the price reasonable he did high end in some areas and really cut corners in others. In our case the kitchen was beautiful but the windows were orginal (1940s house). The bathrooms upstairs was tiny but he decided to give the master bedroom a walkin closet that was massive along the same wall instead of making the bathroom bigger or adding a second one that space.

I would recommend visitng the house more than once to make sure you dont miss anything. See if the invester can be there to explain exactly what they did. If you know someone in the home construction buisness bring them and see what they think he put into the house so you can better judge what price you will have to pay. And he did price himself out of the neighborhood dont settle you will find something even better! We did and are about to close on a house we love so much better than the flipped house!

Post # 14
11233 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

We fell in love with a flipped house last year. It helps that we both worked in home improvement and knew all of the products he chose were good quality, and we looked at the house three or four times. Unfortunately, the closests were TINY, and my job never hired me in so that we could make an offer on it, and it sold. 

There’s another house that we’re looking at that’s a flipper, but this guy (different guy) didn’t try to put much money into it. He chose pretty blah flooring and left all of the brass fixtures, had them paint cheap slab doors gloss white with brass knobs, etc. It wouldn’t take much to change out the things that we really don’t like, and aside from it being on the small side, it does have everything we want, and is below our price range.

Post # 15
2107 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

You mentioned that the price is high for the neighbourhood.  Do you see prices going up in the future?  I’ve heard that it’s better to have the worst house in the best neighbourhood rather than the best house in the worst neighbourhood.  You don’t want to lose money on fancy cosmetic upgrades.  As everyone else has said, make sure you get a thorough inspection completed on the property. 


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