It can be really easy to get caught up in the excitement of buying a house to flip. In order to minimize the number of surprises and to make the most of your budget, I have put together a list of items you will want to spend some time looking over before you buy. The extra time can end up saving you a big headache down the road. While most of these will not be a deal breaker if this is a flip that you are intending to turn quickly or without a hefty renovation budget then you will definitely want to take note of these areas.
Give these items a closer look:
While minor cracking is not unusual bowing walls can be an indicator of some shifting within the ground. Also, looking to see if there is any type of additional reinforcement that has been added (metal support plates.)
Exterior Material –
Check the stucco, stone or brick work on the house. Make sure it is not cracking or separating from the exterior. If minor repairs are needed that can be addressed but if there are major sections needing repair that can require a larger budget and timeline to remedy. Also, if there is siding installed what material is it and does it need to be replaced or painted? The cost is significantly different between these options.
Are the shingles stained, curled or missing? If so, then it is likely the roof may be at the end of its life and will need to be replaced. Though this is not a deal breaker it is an important budget item that you will need to include if it does need to be replaced.
Make note of the age of the windows (original or replacement), their condition, and the number of windows. If you need to account for repair or replacement a count will be necessary to have the most accurate estimate.
Level Floors and Staircases –
Once inside the house make sure that the floors are level. I have walked through my share of homes where it felt as though I was in a fun house.
Plumbing and Electrical –
If these have been updated it will be a definite boost to your budget. If not, make sure to include the expense to bring these key systems up to code. Many older homes will not have had any updates so be prepared.
Mechanical Systems –
Furnace and A/C in a home can be a significant expense. If there are radiators then there is likely no ductwork. That would require an additional cost if you were to convert the heating system to forced air from radiant heat.
Knowing what to look for and make note of when it comes to these higher expense items can guide your decision making process when it comes to buying your house flip. There are definitely situations where purchasing a home in need of some of these more extensive repairs could pay off in the form of a higher resale value. Keeping all your numbers in mind and knowing that each house you look at will continue to teach you more and more about the estimating process.
Have any house flipping or real estate questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
So you’ve purchased a house to flip. Now what?
Want to buy a property and renovate it?
I have a freebie checklist that will help you — 8 Things I look for When Purchasing a Home. Just click here to download it.
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