Thinking of Buying a Flipped Southern Maryland Home?

Kimberly Bean
Kimberly Bean
Published on May 6, 2016

It’s a common mistake home buyers make: Assuming that a recently renovated Southern Maryland home is the same as a brand new property. They think the newly renovated home is problem free and ready to move into. These homes often sell for top prices because buyers assume that the property is turnkey.

Watch any house-flipping show on TV, and they make the process of transforming a home look easy! These TV shows don’t stick around, though, to see how the house holds up after the buyer moves in, strong weather hits, or there is unavoidable wear and tear.

A property flipper wants to move on to the next property as soon as possible. Finding hidden issues can require greater expense and lead to a busted budget. As a result, work on the home can be rushed.

Thinking of buying a flipped Southern Maryland home? I’ve got a few tips to help you avoid any distressing problems down the road.

Focus on the details

New bathrooms, kitchens, and appliances will draw your attention, but it’s important to look beyond them to the quality of the workmanship. The devil’s in the details – they will reveal how well the work was done.

Signs of rushed work include:

  • Slanted or unevenly spaced bathroom tiles
  • Doors that do not close flush to the door frame
  • Gaps between the wall and countertops
  • Light switch plates that are slanted or not flush to the wall

Cosmetic mistakes could be a sign of bigger problems that the untrained eye can miss. If the house flipper paid little attention to the visible details, you need to look deeper. Check plumbing connections, the gas line to the water heater, and the electric panel. Lack of attention to detail can signal lack of attention to more significant areas of your home.

Get a full inspection of the property

Even if the home looks like a brand-new property, you should have a quality home inspection done. A Southern Maryland home inspector will check the quality of the work done on the home and can find hidden issues that the buyer may not see. Was the work completed thoroughly, or did the flipper try to get away with the least about of work possible? Are the renovations in compliance with codes? A home inspection can give a complete overview of whether the property is up to scratch.

Be diligent

Buyers of flipped Southern Maryland properties should fully review the disclosures. Were the correct permits taken out and signed off for the work that has been completed?

Be sure to get copies of all work approvals and finalized permits. If you don’t get them, you can look for them online or at the local building department. All permits that are applied for and signed off on are a matter of public record.

Always ensure that all permits are cleared before closing on a property. As the new owner, you could be liable for any unsafe or illegal work.

Research the flipper

Who is the seller? Find out as much as you can about the person or people selling the house. Are they an experienced contractor? What is their reputation in the community? Your real estate agent can help you find out more about the seller.

Good Southern Maryland contractors and investors who have been flipping properties for a while will have an established reputation. A property flipper with a strong track record should be open and clear with disclosures, documentation, and even provide warranties. A good home flipper is interested in maintaining their reputation as well as accumulating satisfied customers. They don’t want complaints from buyers, legal issues, and a bad reputation.

Final thoughts

Over the last two years, we’ve seen a big increase in homes being purchased for the purpose of renovation followed by resale – also called “flipping.” Improvements can be high quality, but there’s always a chance the contractor was over budget or short on time. Properties with a rushed renovation can leave the new owner with plenty of problems.

Buyers should have the flipped property should be checked over top to bottom by a trained expert who knows what they are looking for. Poor workmanship can cost money and peace of mind.

White Plains MD Homes for Sale and Real Estate Services in Southern Maryland. You now have a search engine to help you with your Southern Maryland home search! And I’m ready to provide you with a custom home valuation if you’re considering selling your home. Let’s connect to discuss how I can help you. Contact Kimberly Bean at 301-440-1309

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