Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Living in a flipped house

The house we recently moved into was purchased inexpensively from HUD and then remodeled and resold to us in less than 3 months. We have heard from neighbors that the man who flipped the house has done work in a few different states on similar projects and that doesn't surprise me. In many ways he did a good job at what he was trying to do.

The neighbors have told us that the house was all but destroyed before he purchased it. All the windows were broken and the walls had holes in them and I can only imagine what else. Our house is in a nice neighborhood surrounded by well kept homes and yards so it was the perfect opportunity for a flipper. I understand that his goal was to get the job done quickly and make as much money as possible on the deal and that leads to a certain degree of carelessness when it comes to finish work.

All of our interior doors are hung incorrectly and are difficult to close. The tile work is sloppy around the edges and either has missing grout or has excess and looks messy. The trim and doors were all primed (I assume they were purchased that way) but it doesn't appear they were painted at all or caulked at the joints. The wall painted was only one coat and was applied poorly so there are white spots and the edging looks streaky and there are even spots that weren't painted at all.

A lot of these things aren't an issue because I am planning to paint most of the walls but it would be nice not to have to paint ALL the trim work. I did that at our last house and it is not awesome. Many of the doorknobs were loose and that only took a few minutes and a screwdriver to tighten up. The exterior doors do not have any weather stripping which might be a regional thing but will need to be remedied before we get pests or snow in the house where they don't belong.

I guess the point is just buyer beware. If you aren't DIY inclined and don't know enough about home improvement to tackle fixing the things that get skipped during a flip, you'll need to figure the cost of repairs into your purchase price. When you are interested in a house, ask your realtor to check when it was last purchased and the price paid. If the house has brand new finishes and was recently purchased for quite a bit less than the asking price, you are most likely looking at a flipped house and, with all the flipping shows on tv these days, you might be getting someone's first attempt which may mean less than stellar work.

Have you considered flipping houses? Have you ever lived in a house that was flipped? I am planning to test for my realtor's license and my father builds houses so it's something we've talked about many many times.

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