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Flip houses are not always what they seem

The popularity of flip houses has skyrocketed thanks to the success of television shows that portray the almost magical transformation of an old, ailing house into a beautiful home. The stunning homes on television have led many people around Indiana to purchase flip homes themselves.

However, when it comes to flip houses, there is often more than meets the eye. Over the years, several families have reported that their new house hid significant defects and safety issues.

The common issues and defects of flip houses

Unfortunately, the idea of "too good to be true" often applies to flip houses. Since flipping houses has developed into such a lucrative business, some deceptive developers might be more concerned with money over safety. 

That is often what leads to the defects families have to deal with after buying the home. Some of the common issues in flip houses include:

  • Faulty electrical installations
  • Inadequate insulation or HVAC
  • Improper plumbing
  • Dangerous structural defects

Developers and sellers both have legal responsibilities to disclose any defects before the sale. However, the prevalence of these issues makes it clear that many flippers avoid disclosing defects to buyers.

What home buyers should look at before purchasing a flip house

Even if the person selling the house claims they had an inspection done, it is a good idea to obtain a second opinion. In addition to another safety inspection, there are other evaluations that home buyers should complete as well, including:

  • Review all relevant permits
  • Examine the licenses and paperwork on the house
  • Check that all appliances work properly
  • Obtain warranty information on appliances
  • Request a report on pests, mold and asbestos

The U.S. News and World Report provides an in-depth checklist for home buyers to look at before buying a flip house, to make sure they are getting the deal the developer promises and avoid the costs or repairing these defects.

Flip houses are not always bad

These warnings are not to say that families should avoid flip houses at all costs. Generally, expert house flippers ensure that their houses meet safety standards.

However, it is critical for home buyers to make sure their home is up to par with legal codes. And carefully reviewing the processes of development and permits can help buyers know their future home is safe and solid.

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Katzman & Katzman, P.C.

Katzman & Katzman, P.C.
3500 Depauw Blvd., Suite 2100
Indianapolis, IN 46268

Toll Free: 866-557-8841
Phone: 317-973-0881
Fax: 317-872-5769
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