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How to inspect a flip

How to inspect a flipped house

Buying a flipped house can be tempting, especially when there is such limited housing inventory in San Diego at the moment (March 2021). As the saying goes “You can’t judge a book by its cover” so here is our advice on how to inspect a flipped house.

Do a thorough walk-through
When you’re touring a flipped house, you’ll want to be thorough. Look at the basement, attic, and crawl space, and ask your home inspector to pay extra attention to these areas. Open up all the cabinets, and check that all the fixtures and fittings work. Paint can hide many flaws in a house…just like a make-up on a face it glosses over imperfections and fills in the undesirable cracks! You should pay attention to it. Often detail work like molding and baseboards will give clues to uneven/saggy floors or bowed walls, if these things look haphazard, you can probably guess the flipper wasn’t thorough elsewhere either.

Some evidence of cutting corners by the flipper include:

  • Doors and windows that don’t open/shut properly.
  • Signs of water damage on the ceiling or drywall or in cabinets.
  • Faucets and fixtures that won’t get hot or cold or have poor water pressure.
  • Attics and other less visible areas in poor repair.
  • Uneven baseboards or paint lines.
  • A water heater older than 10 years.

Home inspection and beyond
A home inspection is vital no matter what type of real estate transaction you’re going into, but with a flipped house, you may want to investigate further. A termite inspection or a mold inspection are options, and maybe even a sewer inspection. This is especially important if there are large trees around the property or evidence of bowed sidewalks…root intrusion into sewer lines is not a surprise you want when the deal is done.

Ask about warranties
You’ll definitely want to ask the seller for a home warranty as part of your negotiations, but you should also inquire about other warranties that may be in place, too – ones that came with new appliances or systems installed in the home or warranties on any contract work done as well. Make sure the warranties are transferable and that you have the contact info and other details necessary to call on those policies when needed.

The bottom line
Bring in the pros to help, and protect yourself with a smart contract, warranties, and thorough inspections.
Remember that people get into flipping houses to make a profit. The team at DuPre Real Estate will guide you through the steps needed to help safeguard your money so call us.

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