A flipped house undergoing renovations

What to Look for When Buying a Flipped House

What Is A Flipped House?

A flipped house is typically a home in poor condition that were purchased cheap by an investor or group of investors with the goal of renovating and reselling quickly for a solid profit. The focus of the investors in these renovations is interior finishes and fixtures: fresh paint and new flooring, along with kitchen and bathroom updates.

Typically, the flip investors put their money “where it shows”, but often ignore not-so-glamorous, but important components like roofing, the HVAC system, and the water heater. Also, the work may be done by handymen, without any building permit or inspections, instead of licensed contractors.

A flipped house can be problematic and falling apart but they all aren’t. Many are legitimate and can add both value and life to the home. However, here are a few things to look out for when examining an investor renovated house:

  • Deteriorated bathroom tile that has been painted over. Looks good, but the paint will begin to peel shortly after you move in and use the shower several times. Here’s an example below, where the tile has been painted white, and the faucet handles and spigot spray-painted silver.
  • New bathroom vanity that is not attached to the wall
    • Goofy handyman plumbing, such as this example:A roof that has been pressure washed to look newer than it is, which actually shortens the life of the roof.
    • Ancient water heater and HVAC system
    • No electric receptacle in the bathroom. Older homes had a receptacle in the base of the light over the sink, but new bathroom light fixtures no longer have them. You end up with a bathroom with no place to plug in anything.
    • Refrigerator in the kitchen has an ice maker, but no water line serving it.
    • Garage door spray painted, but in poor mechanical condition.
    • New interior doors that were poorly installed
    • New flooring installed over rotted or termite-eaten wood sub-flooring
    • Laminate wood flooring installed too tight with areas of weakness.
    • A recently enclosed back porch with no air conditioning vents in the ceiling.

A professionally renovated older house can be both a good buy for you and a profitable investment for the renovator, but not all flipped houses are as wonderful as they first appear to be.

American Construction is an Arizona based General Contractor specializing in Commercial Construction, Full Home Renovations and New Home Builds. Learn more about American Construction.

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