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Signs Of A Flip: Know What To Look For

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There is certainly nothing wrong with buying a home that was previously a flip. The practice of buying and fixing up neglected and outdated homes and then selling them for a profit has become a career for some enterprising entrepreneurs. You might have also noticed several reality television shows that detail the pratfalls as well as the glamorous results of a flipped home. Many buyers don't have the time or inclination to tackle these large remodeling projects and want homes that are move-in ready so these homes would seem to fill a need. The main problem that can happen with some of these less-publicized flips is the quality of the work performed. So that you can better spot and investigate what appears to be a flipped home, read on.

Research Past Sales

The longer a flipper holds on to a home the more it costs them. Even when the flipper pays cash for a home, most must turn over a certain number of homes in a given time to make money on them. When a home is taken off the market, there are records on the multiple listing service (MLS). If you are unable to access this service, you can also, sometimes, view property records using the county tax assessor's office or other deed record websites. You can, of course, just ask your real estate agent how long the home was owned by the previous owners. When you notice that the home you are interested in buying was owned for only a few months prior to being listed again, you might want to know the reason why.

Beware of Cosmetic Fixes

Flippers who know what they are doing know how to make a great first impression. Buyers often love a home at first sight and so it just makes sense to ratchet up the curb appeal on a home. Another issue with flipped homes is that the changes are more cosmetic in nature. It's less expensive to paint those old kitchen cabinets or to remove the door and advertise open shelving than to replace them altogether.

Don't Be Dazzled — Be Careful Instead

Those buying such a home should focus on value over glitz and sparkle. You can buy your own nice appliances as long as you don't have to replace the roof within a year of purchase. Your new best friends should be a home inspector who can give you a professional opinion of the home's systems and a real estate agent who knows all about the home.

For more information about real estate, contact a local real estate agent.