You've Probably Seen All The Flippers On TV
You've seen them on TV. The Flippers buy a run down home at a steeply discounted rate, and then fix it up to sell for a profit. Typically the home hasn't been well maintained, or it's just older and has not been updated in awhile.
And In Comes The "Flipper"
The Flipper comes in, sometimes with a crew of professionals, many times not, and typically takes care of most of the cosmetic issues with the home. Many times ignoring the fundamental deficiencies of the home. Some flippers will even do much of the work themselves using the skills they learned on YouTube®.
The Buyer Sees The Upgraded Home
When the prospective buyer walks into the home they are dazzled by all the "pretty". The granite countertops, fresh paint, new appliances, and new flooring.
What I See As The Home Inspector
When I come into the home as the home inspector, I'm looking at it with a more cynical eye. I'm not impressed with all the niceties. My job is to look past that and find anything that is going to be a problem for my client. Many times the workmanship on a flip home is substandard, and not professional. Sometimes, the Flipper will even try to conceal defects.
The Flipper Might Not Follow Instructions
All appliances will have instructions from the manufacturer detailing the installation procedures that should be followed. Many times the flipper will ignore the instructions and do what is cheap or expedient. The following photos are some examples of this.
Many Of The Real Safety Issues Are Ignored
Many of the real safety issues are ignored because they are expensive and don't add to the appearance of the home. Face it, nobody has ever walked into a home and said, "Oh, what a beautiful electrical panel". So many flippers will not update things like water heaters or electrical panels.
Buyers Don't Usually Climb On The Roof
But I do. If the roof is safely accessible, then I will climb on the roof to see what I can see. And I usually see plenty. Because many inspectors don't climb on the roof, many roofers will do substandard work on repairs. Most times the Flipper won't even know what's been done to the roof. Or not been done.
Bathroom Exhaust To The Attic
Bathroom exhausts that terminate in the attic, and not to the exterior of the home, will create a damp, moist climate in the attic that is conducive to breeding mold and causing moisture damage. Wet insulation also loses it effectiveness as insulation.
Don't Be Fooled By "Pretty"
Sadly, most of the issues pictured here were found on the same home. The market is very active right now and everyone watching the Flip This Flip That shows on TV think they can do it too. As your home inspector, I will inspect your home as if it were for a member of my own family. I will look for the things that could cost you money, or be a safety issue for your family. Even if you think this is the nicest house you've seen yet, get a home inspection to expose the truth behind the cosmetics.