Before You Buy a Flipped Property

Use Common Sense When Buying a Flipped Home

Have you recently fallen in love with a “flipped” home? Does the idea of moving into a cleanly renovated space excite you? To see an old home tuned up with brand new appliances, gleaming marble countertops, and fresh wood floors can make other homes seem shabby by comparison, but be careful before you make the leap. There are some precautions you want to take before you close.

“Flipped” or “rehabbed” homes are homes which real estate investors buy in order to renovate them and sell them for a profit. Sometimes these homes have been secured after short sales, foreclosures, surviving relatives, or even at auction. For real estate investors, part of the profit depends on how fast and affordably they can renovate the property. In seller’s markets, there’s even more pressure to make sure a home is ready to sell, fast.

While there’s nothing necessarily wrong with a flipped house, you will want to make sure you know a bit about the home’s history. Naturally, you’ll want to do all the due diligence you’d normally do when buying a home, but it can be useful to dig a little deeper. Here are some questions to ask:

1. What shape was the home in before it was renovated? Was it just outdated? Vacant? Trashed by squatters? Find out the state of the home when the flipper purchased it.

2. What deficiencies, damage, or other defects did the home have when the flipper bought it? Ask for a list of issues, if possible.

3. Who did the work on the house during the renovation? Contractors? Handymen? Did the flipper do the work personally? Are there invoices which detail the work completed and the money spent on the repairs? Were the appropriate permits secured?

4. Was anything left “as is”? What sort of issues were deemed too small or not vital to the renovation?

5. What was the legal history of the transfer of ownership? Short sales and foreclosures might have legal obligations on the flipper or other liens.

You shouldn’t shy away from a flipped home you love, but don’t go into the situation blind. I have experience working with buyers who have purchased flipped homes, and I’d be happy to help you navigate the questions. Let’s talk!

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Choosing a Realtor

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Choosing a Realtor: 10 Questions Your Agent Should be Asking You

Buyers aren’t the only ones who should be asking questions when interviewing agents. After answering all of your questions, it is the agent’s turn to further define your wants and needs by asking these ten questions:

1. Why buy and why now?

Helps the agent gain valuable insight into your reasons for buying a home tailor his or her services to your situation.

2. Are you working with a lender?

If you are not yet pre-approved, your agent will recommend a lender.

3. How many houses have you already looked at?

Helps us learn about your home search efforts and determines whether you are or have been working with other agents.

4. How do you prefer to be contacted?

Knowing the best way to communicate with you, whether via phone, email, or text, will set expectations as to when you (and your agent) are available.

5. What if we found the perfect house tomorrow?

This helps gauge your readiness to move and get insight into your timeline. Are you looking to move in the next three months? If you are a first time buyer, we will also discuss the home buying process.

6. What are your three favorite neighborhoods?

A fun way to talk about where you would like to live while having a conversation about local communities, neighborhoods, and subdivisions.

7. What is your favorite room in the house?

This helps us learn more about your lifestyle and opens up the discussion to features you are looking for in a “dream home”.

8. How important is outdoor/garage space?

In many areas and price ranges, this question quickly eliminates a number of options. Would you be willing to live in a condo or do you require a home with a garage and private back yard?

9. How long do you think you will live in the house you buy?

You may want a house you can enjoy for now that will be easy to sell later. Or you may want a forever home and have more particular requirements.

10. What is a deal breaker for you?

Roads with a lot of traffic? Apartment complex neighbors? No front yard? This question saves time by knowing your deal breakers upfront.

Whether you’re a first home buyer who is learning the ropes or moving onto your next home, these questions should help you to clarify your goals while selecting the right agent for you.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

10 Tips for Second Home Buyers in Stuart, FL

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Ten Investment Tips for Buying a Vacation or Second Home in Stuart, Florida

By Dan Hechtkopf and Reid Heidenry

1. View the home as a form of recreation, not an investment.

If you buy one, make sure, above all, that this is a house and an area you enjoy. It will be worth the cost if you spend as much time there as possible, put your heart and soul into caring for it or plan to keep the home in the family for future generations.

2. Approach joint property investments carefully.

These types of agreements can start wars even in the warmest families. Set down some rules about the percentages of ownership accorded each party and what rights those percentages confer.

3. Don’t buy outside the country.

In other countries, rules about title and ownership are not as clear as they are in the United States. In many countries, you run the risk of your property being ransacked or nationalized.

4. Research all four seasons before you buy.

It’s a good idea to visit the area in which you plan to buy during every season.

5. Make sure the house and location make a good rental.

If you’re really going to work to rent out the property, make sure it’s well suited for vacationers.

6. Work with an agent who knows the area.

The agent can also be a great resource for little-known information on hidden bonds and community events.

7. Don’t buy a timeshare.

Even in a good economy, it’s hard to sell a timeshare.

8. Buy an existing home instead of land.

To build a house from the ground up, you may have to deal with coastal authorities, local building restrictions, aggressive homeowners associations and sketchy contractors.

9. Factor in extra costs.

In additional to the loan, you’ll have to cover taxes, insurance, maintenance and utilities. If you live more than an hour away, you might have to factor in the cost of a caretaker or property manager.

10. Buy only what you can afford.

You simply enter what you make and what you owe, and the calculator will tell you how much more the banks will lend you.

This post has been authored by Eric Slifkin, REALTOR® serving South Florida’s Treasure Coast. You can reach me at 888-288-1765, or visit my Web site. As your resource for information on new or resale homes throughout the Treasure Coast, please be sure to contact me about any home you may find on the Web, yard sign or ad and I will research the property, arrange showings and handle all the details.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.