With all the TV shows about flipping houses today, it seems that everyone thinks they can do it too.  While the TV shows show some of the problems the flippers run into, they don’t show all the details and planning that go into a good flip.  And trust me, it’s the details that will get you every time.  If you even suspect that there are issues with the home you are about to buy, I cannot stress the importance of a home inspection enough.

Several times a week, I inspect houses that were flipped.  Some are very well done, and I only find minor issues.  The vast majority though, have major issues.  Most flippers seem to budget for the cosmetics that will help the house sell fast.  The nice granite countertops, the tile showers, a new coat of paint, and new flooring.  For a buyer that doesn’t get a home inspection, this may be enough to get them to sign on the dotted line.  For those that do get a home inspection, we can get into the actual systems of the house and look beyond the beautiful kitchen.

I recently did a home inspection in Southern Maryland on a house that had been flipped.  The house was an older split-level ranch on a nice amount of land.  Cosmetically, the house was great.  By the time I finished my inspection, my client was scratching his head and asking me what he should do.  When I turned on the water, we found several burst pipes, the roof was leaking and would have to be replaced really soon, There was mold in the attic, the electrical was a mess, and the deck was not sufficiently supported.  They were at least thoughtful enough to hang a tarp in the attic to catch the water from the leaking roof.

Without a home inspection, my client wouldn’t have known about the mold in the attic and the leaking roof.

Another flip I inspected in Baltimore was an even better cosmetic job, with a really nice roof-top deck.  Of course, to get to the deck you had to duck under the power lines that were about 4 feet off the deck.  Oddly enough, this was not the first time I’ve seen power lines across a deck!  That and a loose wire in the electric panel that was energizing the cover made for an interesting inspection.

White wires are normally not energized, thankfully I checked before touching this panel, because the wire was hot, and so was the cover.

Yes, that’s the power lines coming in from the pole about 4 feet over the deck.

At least a couple of times a week, I hear the same thing.  “I need you to inspect this house I’m buying, but it’s just been renovated, so it’ll be really easy.  Can you give me a discount?”  When I hear this, I normally add a bit of time to the inspection, since I know there will probably be a few issues that will take some extra investigation. Don’t worry, the price is still the same though.

So remember, no matter how pretty the home is, always get a home inspection.  Not everything is as obvious as the power lines across the deck.  While I hope that the house you are buying is a flip, I want to make sure it’s not a flop.

To book your San Antonio, TX area home inspection, call 210-202-1974 or book online at www.vhillc.com

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