Buyer Beware: DIY Remodeling and Flipping

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I grew up in a real estate family. My grandfather was a builder in Dallas. My father bought and remodeled hundreds of properties in Dallas and Houston. While others were playing with friends at the age of 12, I was either crawling under a house to fix plumbing or repairing windows or helping resurface floors.

I have nothing against those who remodel and flip. But lately the craze on TV and in the neighborhoods is for anyone and everyone to take on dramatic remodels without a lot of help from qualified or licensed trades. This can result from wrong products being used like flex pipe under a sink to worse, safety issues when electrical plumbing or even structure changes are made….or hidden.

As a real estate inspector I see this weekly.

A beautiful updated home, new granite counters, farmhouse sinks or stainless appliances, beautiful floors and newly designed exteriors to pull in new homebuyers.

But the problem in more and more houses is what is not seen by the homebuyer will cause significant problems down the road.

Some issues, grading improperly changed and now foundations flood.

Electrical wired incorrectly and now there are missing grounds and missing bonds.

Plumbing that will eventually cause health issues.

Structural members cut in the attic that will eventually if not soon result in roof issues that may cause a loss of part if not all the house.

The list goes on. Best cases are when the cosmetics are updated but the electrical, plumbing, roofing and HVAC is ignored.  Then the buyer will find that systems will need to be updated much sooner and for thousands more than expected after they are the owner.

As an inspector, we want to help. Our mission and calling is to make sure you know what your house has to tell you, the good and bad. That way you won’t end up with a moat under your house and some critters in your attic you didn’t know lived there, or electrical systems that may not protect you when a short occurs, or HVAC systems in the attic that will soon be flooding those beautiful floors below.

 

 

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