New home buyers can be naive: they see granite counter tops, a fresh coat of paint, refinished floors and an open floor plan, and are ready to put in an offer. But if you are buying a flip, it’s important to know what’s behind all those updates.
“Flips” are run-down homes that have been purchased, renovated and put right back on the market for a higher, profitable, price. If your realtor shows you a flip – which you can tell by looking at how long the current owner has had possession of the property – make sure you do your homework. If the updates were beyond cosmetic – for instance, if walls were moved to create an open floor plan – then check with the town to make sure a permit was pulled and that it has been properly inspected. Further, find out who’s name was on the permit and that it was a contractor who is licensed and insured. The town building department will have accurate records of any permits pulled on the property. Keep in mind that if you buy a property that had significant work done, but no permit was pulled, you’re assuming the risk and liability if you purchase the home.
We talked about this issue on a recent edition of Real Estate Radio, which airs on Saturday evenings on WBZ AM-1030. Interested in learning more about flipped homes and what to look for? Watch this video to see the broadcast.