Do you think “flippers” have an positive or negative effect on the housing market?
With home prices on the increase some think that more flippers are racing into the market, grabbing up the run-down and discounted properties in an effort to turn a quick profit and keeping other buyers from getting into the market. This is certainly true to a point but how does this effect buyers (and other sellers) in the market?
In many cases the homes that flippers are targeting are in need of repair and have quite a bit of deferred maintenance. Many home buyers just don’t have the additional capital and time needed to make these improvements once they have invested their savings into the purchase of a new home. Cleaning up those properties can also be beneficial for other homeowners in the area, bringing in new neighbors with an sense of pride in ownership and generally improving the appearance of the neighborhood.
So you can argue that flippers are bringing better, more live-able homes that benefit today’s home buyers or that they are taking advantage of the low amount of inventory on the market to make an profit at their expense. That is a tough one to answer.
Of course, sometimes the flippers move too fast for good improvements to be performed. Cutting costs to increase the potential profit and using quick fixes instead of long term repairs aren’t uncommon to find. We occasionally find home that look great but common sense wasn’t used due to the fact that the people performing the work were only concerned about finishing and re-selling and not about the actual “live-ability” of the home.
Case in point, here is an home I recently showed an client. The exterior looked great with fresh paint and some simple landscaping. We opened the door and were greeted by the clean, fresh smell of new paint and carpet. The kitchen was shiny with granite and new appliances but.. take a look at these photos and tell me what you see.
In that spot so obviously to be home to the refrigerator.. not only is it blocking a decent portion of the window behind the sink, the real question is how will I reach that wall switch?! What you can’t see in the photo is the fridge will also stick out into the doorway about 8 inches. At the stove.. not only can’t I open the door to the oven and any of the cabinets at the same time, I can only access the contents of the oven from the side. With about 11 inches from the open oven door to the cabinet and countertop, it’s a little snug to stand in front of the door and while there may be enough room for feet and legs, try standing with your back against a wall and bending over to pick something up. Just poor planning.
When you are out looking at homes think about how you will live in the house and always have an inspection performed by an experienced home inspector who knows what to look for. This applies to any home whether it’s new construction, renovation or a completely original older home. You are making what is most likely the single largest purchase of your life. It is that important.
Oh yeah, the beautiful contemporary home in the photograph at the top of the article is not a flip, however it is named the Flipped House due to the original interior of the home being flipped to connect it to the outside.
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