Most major markets around the country are experiencing a housing boom right now, and this is bringing out the house-flippers in droves. If you’re thinking of buying a flipped house, there are five things you need to look for before you actually buy it.
First, make sure the major systems are in working order. When buying a flipped home, it’s easy to be attracted to all the dazzling aesthetic finishes, but you should spend more time inspecting the home’s mechanical items than its upgrades. These items include the HVAC unit, water heater, roof, etc. Make sure they’re in working order, as each one is expensive to replace.
Second, make sure the kitchen is not disappointing. In terms of remodeling, the room that will give you the biggest return on your investment is the kitchen. A good test of quality is whether the kitchen has a backsplash. This seems like a minuscule detail, but if the owner took the time to install a nice backsplash in the kitchen, odds are they installed nice finishes everywhere else too.
Third, make sure attention was paid to the details in the bathroom. The master bathroom, in particular, gives the second-highest return on investment in terms of remodeling. As with the kitchen, it’s the little details you need to look for. Another good tip here is to check if the owner installed a power-flush toilet. Much like a backsplash in the kitchen, the presence of a power-flush toilet in the master bathroom is a good sign that the seller invested a lot of time and money into the quality of the home.
Fourth, make sure the floors are even. Here in Arizona, and especially in certain parts of the valley, we have expansive soils. Over time, this can cause a home’s foundation to move. Some house-flippers elect not to spend the money to balance the home’s concrete slab and assume no one will notice because of all of the home’s other great features. Don’t be one of those people who doesn’t notice—always check to see if the home’s floors are even.
Lastly, make sure the finishes are done well and are uniform. For example, make sure the plumbing fixtures match the door hardware. If the door hardware is a certain color—let’s say brushed nickel—you need to check the hinges to see if they’re the same color. If the hinges are painted white, that’s not a good sign. That means, in all likelihood, that the remodel wasn’t high quality.
After you’ve checked these areas, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can walk you through the rest of the home buying process. It’s our goal to make sure you get the best value possible, and we’re experts at doing this.
As always, if you have any more questions about this or any other real estate topic, feel free to reach out to us as well. We’d love to help you.