Buying a flip
"Flipped" homes have a bad reputation in the real estate industry and for good reason, a lot of flipped homes have shoddy ventilation work, atrocious finishes and electrical work that's down right...scary. I know this because I myself bought and currently live in a flipped house, they moved walls, changed electrical components and the tilework throughout looked good from afar but far from good.
Its not all doom, gloom and sorrow though! Flipped homes usually come with a smaller price tag (as they've spent more time on the market) and if you're handy and care about quality you can turn it into a masterpiece. One of my last inspections was a home with many DIY projects done throughout, the work wasn't outrageously terrible but you could tell it wasn't done by a professional either. Nonetheless the clients were excited to take apart what was done and start from a (nearly) fresh slate.
There are however DIY nightmares to avoid, while I was upgrading the basement bathroom in my own home, I found wires that were spliced and taped back together hidden behind some poorly finished drywall and made me question all the other renovations done in my home. A year later I had a small leak that affected my kitchen ceiling, and when I peeled that drywall back I found more of the same electrical DIY performed on a thermostat that happen to control an electric baseboard radiator (that's playing with 240-volts). One home I witnessed they used roof tar to try and patch a crack in a foundation, needless to say that's not what to do.
I consider myself a pretty handy person, after all I am a Red Seal Endorsed Carpenter and Certified Professional Inspector, but If you aren't handy and the location is too good to pass up, I strongly recommend you get a contractor in to help make your house into your dream home. My reports are written so that any reputable contractor can look at it and make a proper game plan. Here's a short list of DIY's to avoid in the purchase of your next home:
-anything "slapped together" in the bathroom
-Compromised structural components (like large notches taken out of floor joists for plumbing)
I intentionally left out ductwork, finishes, and decks from this list, as most issues I find here aren't going to cause the house to fall down or catch fire overnight.
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Brent Whelan has been in the construction industry for over a decade and has worked for one of Halifax's top renovation companies and Canadas largest restoration firm. He's a Certified Professional Inspector and holds a Red Seal Endorsement in carpentry.