A "Flip" 2016 Style: THEY'RE BACK! Yes, boys and girls, the house flippers returned to the market in 2016 with a vengeance. More often than not, house flippers are folks with little or no construction experience looking to make a killing by buying a beat up old house that has a ton of problems and then doing everything they can to caulk, paint, and carpet over the problems with the structure and systems to maximize their profit. Sadly, even the cosmetic work is often poorly executed, and that fresh coat of paint only looks good from a great, great distance, for instance browsing pics of the house on the web.
Typically, flips are small older homes consisting of 2 or 3 bedrooms and 1 or 2 baths, built over crawl spaces, and ranging from 1000 to 1500 or so square feet. Usually flips are houses that have suffered from years of neglect and deferred maintenance. The renovation work completed by the flipper invariably focuses on cosmetics, while ignoring fundamental problems. Equipment and systems that are long past their useful life are often left in place. Work that should have been done to code is not. Likewise, long accepted, industry standards and manufacturer's instructions are simply ignored. For the home inspector this usually means that literally everything inspected is a "write up."
We now average 5 hours time on-site for an inspection of a flip and then often an equal amount of time writing the report.
Flippers either care nothing about quality or simply lack the knowledge to understand what the problems are and how best to correct them. It does not matter if the flipper you are buying a house from is is unscrupulous or simply ignorant, either way you lose. Major problems go unrepaired. Work is not done to code. The purchaser winds up buying a house that will likely cost them thousands of dollars and much aggravation and inconvenience over the years. So, if you are buying a flip, remember the old saying, "let the buyer beware!"