In older neighborhoods, chances are you are going to buy a fixer-upper, a home that has been remodeled with the use of licensed contractors or a flip. While many flips are done with investors who hire contractors, many or done by DIY owner-flippers, who lack the skills of licensed contractors.

When buying a home it’s always recommended to utilize a real estate expert to assist you in your home buying experience.  Their job is many, but one will be to guide you through this terrain.

For instance, to help you determine if a home is a remodel they (or you) can look at the public record and see when the property last changed hands. If it’s less than a year ago, the property may require a more thorough examination, as this could indicate a flip.

The sooner you can determine whether that fixed-up home is the rare treasure, a true remodel that it seems to be or a well-disguised dust heap (flop), the better your chances of backing out or having the flipper pick up the tab to make things right, saving you a ton, the sooner you can be on your way to finding a home that suits you.

It’s important that your purchasing decision is not swayed by cosmetics alone.  Refinished hardwood floors, new countertops, appliances, and fixtures might be deceiving.  What’s important in fixing a home is to replace (if necessary) a rotted subfloor or replacing dated plumbing.

We always recommend that you hire a certified home inspector.  A good inspector will follow up on possible trouble spots.  You can expect a typical home inspection fee to vary by a home’s price, size, and age.  The cost of a home inspection can save you thousands down the road.

With a few pieces of information, you can determine if purchasing a remodeled home or a flip home are the right choice for you.