Flipping a home for profit can be exciting and creative work. However, a first-time home flipper needs to be vigilant about buying a property where you can avoid expensive repairs. Here are several major areas to carefully investigate with the help of a professional home inspection before making a purchase offer.
Roof and Chimney
It’s important that the roof be in basically good condition. Damage to the roof may mean damage to the rest of the house too because there may be water leakage and other issues that can affect the structural integrity of the house.
Missing or broken roof tiles, damaged downspouts, and a corroded or crumbling chimney can be expensive to replace or repair. Have these areas checked for problems, and if anything is noted, get an estimate for the work that needs to be done. Check to see if the upstairs areas of the home are leaking or show water stains to find out if the damage has progressed into the home.
Framing and Structure
House walls and framing structures should be checked if exposed, or if visible damage is seen to suggest structural problems. Some of these visible damages may include cracked or bowing walls or ceilings. If these signs are there, repairs may require redoing the framing in the walls. It may also point to an issue with the foundation. Damaged drywall should be removed and replaced, with walls exposed to the stud level for evaluation. Floor joists should be solid with no evidence of shifting, deteriorating, or breaking.
You should always get a home inspection done before you buy property, but especially if you notice any signs that there could be structural damage. Your real estate agent should be at the inspection and will likely be able to explain to you if there are any major issues that came up.
Foundation and Mold
Whether your home is built on a slab or built a basement, the home’s foundation needs to be solid without signs of cracks, fissures, or deteriorating concrete. If mold is present, especially black mold, the affected areas will need to be treated to protect residents’ health, as mold can be highly toxic. Damp spots or leaks from outside could cost a significant amount to repair.
Termites and Rodents
Infestations can do a lot of damage to a home and can make the structure itself unstable and unsafe. A termite infestation can wreak havoc with a home’s wooden structures. They burrow into wood, weakening beams and joists, requiring major repairs to make the house safe.
Mice and other rodents sometimes gnaw a home’s wiring and burrow into its insulation, which will result in both repair and extermination bills.
Lawn Trees and Moles
Many home buyers prefer properties with trees for decorous purposes or for shade. However, older trees with large, deep roots may cause problems if the roots spread upward and outward. These roots can break through the surface soil or extending to the home’s foundation. This could lead to a sizable bill for removing the tree and its roots and repairing the damage they have done.
Another possible lawn problem is moles and other soil pests, like voles. They can do serious damage to the lawn that will require pest control of these animals as well as lawn repair to the yard.
Home flipping is a great way to make a solid profit. Unfortunately, surprise problems can eat into that profit and may even negate any profit you could have made. To avoid that, when house hunting for a first flip, do your due diligence to avoid properties with problems requiring major repairs.