As home prices are rising, home flippers are returning to the fold, snapping up properties or listing already flipped masterpieces they’ve been sitting on while prices were low. Home flipping is the process of buying a property, renovating it and selling it for a higher price. Many investors, known as “serial flippers,” buy multiple homes and flip them in quick succession. If you’re looking at a home that has recently been flipped, Mary Lynn Stone, President of Century 21 New Millennium offers you a few things to keep in mind.
“Check the tax records to see how long the previous owner owned the property,” suggests Stone. “If it was a very short time, do your due diligence to determine whether the home was an investment opportunity, or whether the owner may be leaving because something is awry.”
If the current owner of your home’s information is available, and they seem to be a serial flipper, check out any homes they have flipped in the past. How does their previous work look? Were the buyers of those homes satisfied?
“If any structural changes were made, be sure they were properly permitted and that all the necessary inspections were done,” notes Stone.
The Quality of Renovation
Make sure to get a proper inspection on the property, and have a builder pay special attention to the home’s structure or any recent changes. “While many home flippers are extremely talented renovators, some cut corners and take shortcuts to flip the home faster,” cautions Stone. Make sure everything is sound so you don’t stumble upon a problem post-sale. “If you can’t have an inspection until you’ve made an offer, make sure to include a contingency clause enabling you to walk away if the inspection shows a critical issue,” says Stone.
Plumbing, Heating and AC
Since many flippers do not live in the homes while working on them, their systems may not have been used, and issues may go unnoticed or unnamed. Does the AC work? How about the plumbing? Any leaks? Be sure to check thoroughly.
About CENTURY 21® New Millennium CENTURY 21 New Millennium, www.c21nm.com, is a full service real estate brokerage company specializing in residential and luxury properties. In addition to the Capitol Hill location in Washington, D.C., the Virginia locations are in Alexandria, Centreville, Culpeper, Fredericksburg, Gainesville, Loudoun, McLean, Stafford, and Woodbridge. The Maryland offices are located in Annapolis, Columbia, Dunkirk, La Plata, Lexington Park, Lusby and Waldorf. Its core services include: mortgage financing, investing, settlement, property management, property insurance, global relocation assistance, and commercial real estate.