Flipper Fix!

By
Home Inspector with Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC 3380-000723

Sometimes I smile and sometimes I cringe when someone calls to schedule an inspection and they say that the house was a foreclosure but an investor bought it and fixed it up and it is "beautiful now."

Well, to each his own.

This is what greeted me as I approached this three year old house!

The sidewalk has settled about 2".

This presents a couple of problems - that first step is a doozy, about 10" high.  Forget Grandma, it was hard for me! That is too high for most codes.

And secondly, as the sidewalk, and soil, settle around houses, and front stoops like this, holes are opened up which are very attractive to small animals and snakes.

Once I was explaining the animal attraction to someone when a rabbit darted out from under the stoop right through my legs!  Convenient object lesson!

There are various fixes for this kind of gapping, which I won't go into.  But, importantly, if you set out to "FIX" it, please FIX it!  Sheesh...

I don't know about you, but I can hardly see this "fix..."  I wonder what grade my shop teacher would have given me for this one!

You can bet that when I see something like this as I approach a "beautiful" flipped house, what I will find inside is often a laugh riot.  This case wasn't so bad, except for one very dangerous thing which will be the subject of another post.

My recommendation:  When you show flipped houses, have a good look.  You will probably see what is and is not properly done.  But ALWAYS hire a home inspector!  You never know what lurks in one!

Posted by

Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC  

Based in Bristow, serving all of Northern Virginia.

Office (703) 330-6388   Cell (703) 585-7560

www.jaymarinspect.com


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Re-Blogged 6 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 08/28/2010 12:28 AM
  2. Yvette Chisholm 08/28/2010 01:41 AM
  3. Jay Lloyd 08/28/2010 02:10 AM
  4. Monique Hailer 08/28/2010 05:24 AM
  5. Karen Kruschka 08/28/2010 10:56 AM
  6. Jennifer Dulmaine 08/28/2010 02:23 PM
Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Location:
Virginia Prince William County Bristow
Groups:
Ask the Home Inspector
Active Rain Block Party
Professional Home Inspectors
The Vent
Adventures in Home Inspecting
Tags:
flipping houses
unprofessional work
unattractive installations

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Show All Comments
Rainmaker
283,530
Tere Rottink
CoastalVa Realty Inc - Virginia Beach, VA

I am dealing with a wonderful house that was touched by a flipper/scammer.  It is the worst workmaship I have seen period.   I know locally plenty of good flippers who do a great job, but I am appaled by this house.  What really makes me mad is that he is looking to make about $90,000.  With that kind of profit he could have done good quality bathrooms, change the roof, windows and install ceramic tile.  I will probably never show a house done by this person, and will make sure that no agent I know does.  I see a blog post coming.  To make it worse he the broker/agent/flipper won't answer his phone.

Aug 28, 2010 08:07 AM #39
Rainmaker
347,545
Melanie Ross
Coldwell Banker Solano Pacific - Benicia, CA
Benicia CA & Vallejo CA Real Estate, 707-319-2828

Sometimes we call flipped homes "putting lipstick on a pig", not all, but some do this to get by cheaply.

Aug 28, 2010 09:16 AM #40
Ambassador
2,072,828
Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Clearwater, FL
Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor

You are so right about hiring an inspector. Anyone who purchases property and does not hire an inspector needs to have their head examined. There are just too many things that can be hidden that a good inspector will find!

Aug 28, 2010 09:17 AM #41
Rainmaker
455,411
John Mulkey
TheHousingGuru.com - Waleska, GA
Housing Guru

Jay - Some of the intelligence exhibited by "Flipper" seems far superior to that of some of the flippers.

Aug 28, 2010 09:42 AM #42
Rainer
334,511
Keith Lawrence
RE/MAX Properties - Mahwah, NJ
ABR, CDPE, SFR, 203K Specialist

There are some good contractors flipping homes that do great work and then there are those investors just flipping the home without any improvements.  Your suggestion about getting a home inspection for the potential homeowner is good advise.

Aug 28, 2010 10:38 AM #43
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Fernando - I gotta wonder if inspectors have the same bad reputations among flippers as the flippers have among us inspectors!

Jim - ummm...  That rabbit story is true too!  It was so funny!  What a lesson for the buyers.  The lady's eyes got real wide and she said, "I thought you were kidding."  Not!

Yvette - well, you are exactly correct!  Some things make your eyes roll.

Emily - lots of these flips would be far safer for rabbits!

Aug 28, 2010 11:59 AM #44
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

I'm with you Jeff!  We could swap some stories, huh?  Have your secretary call my secretary and we'll do lunch.

My neighbor did that Lenn for his front stoop.  It worked great!  That is really the way to go for something like this.

Michael - it's ugly and a hazard.  Does it get any better than that?

John - it was my buyers who thought this was beautiful.  At least when they called...

Aug 28, 2010 12:05 PM #45
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

J. Philip - that's exactly it.  And when I can see problems so easily, I worry the most about what I cannot see.

Jay - better than new?  What a diaper load that is.  What kind of arrogance does that take and how do they respond to you!?  Thank you again for your very nice words.

Richie - you are most welcome!  They do go over some things really quickly, that's for sure.

Aug 28, 2010 12:13 PM #46
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Charlie - I nearly had both of those things on one inspection!  I think the shop grade on that fix would be F...

Bryan - some are much more obvious than others, but I would always recommend a professional inspection.

Mary Ann - I sure see a lot of them there pigs!

 

Aug 28, 2010 12:17 PM #47
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Mark - I have run across one company in this area who does things by the book and with pride.  But that is all!

Morgan - once things move, they typically keep moving.  So this is not a problem that would go away.

Wow, Brian, that's a big deal!  What do they do to prepare the soil prior to pouring slabs?

Sometimes they do Phil.  But not often.

Felix - we are cheap at twice the price!  At least I think so...

Aug 28, 2010 12:21 PM #48
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Steve - and no matter who calls, the realtor or the client!  My heart jumps a bit and I usually try to schedule in a little extra time for these miracles.

Ed - that would probably create a "black market," "under the table," flipper market!

Art - it sure has changed the market!  For sure around here, but perhaps nationwide.

Tere - a sure way to sell a house!  People like that shouldn't be allowed to ... well, who would be the jurisdictional authority to keep him from doing this?

Melanie - I said that once on a home inspection of a flipped house and that realtor has not called back since!

Aug 28, 2010 12:24 PM #49
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Barbara-Jo - that is the idea!  Hopefully most of the hidden things will get caught, and certainly all of the obvious things.

John - a lot of the younger crowd might see that Flipper on my "flipper" posts and not know why!

Keith - hopefully it is advice that most people would appreciate.  If you know of any of those good flippers, send them here, we need'em!

Aug 28, 2010 12:46 PM #50
Rainmaker
543,756
Eric Michael
Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI - Livonia, MI
Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519

You'd think that the "flippers" would have noticed the problem and taken care of it. I always recommend my clients use the services of a Good inspector.

Aug 28, 2010 01:40 PM #51
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Eric - I think they felt this was fixed!  You can't be sure, of course, but why else would they leave it like this?

Aug 28, 2010 01:53 PM #52
Rainmaker
179,785
Jack Gilleland
Home Inspection and Investor Services, Clayton - Clayton, OH

Looks like pea gravel leaking out from under that slab of concrete.  If the weight of the slab is not evenly supported,  crack.  Like your flipper.

Aug 29, 2010 07:49 AM #53
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Jack - I think that pea gravel was put there to "fix" the problem crack that opened up when the sidewalk settled!  Didn't work...

Aug 29, 2010 09:48 AM #54
Rainmaker
376,710
Robin Dampier REALTOR®
Coldwell Banker King - Hendersonville, NC
Hendersonville & Western NC Real Estate Source

Yes, flipped homes need to have close inspections.  Afterall, the investor didn't purchase to give the property away.  Many are out to make cosmetic repairs/cover ups and make a profit.  How neat that the bunny popped out.

Sue of Robin and Sue

Aug 29, 2010 06:03 PM #55
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

Sue - that was very funny!  What a lesson!  Close inspections all around, I agree!

Aug 30, 2010 08:07 AM #56
Rainmaker
2,765,602
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
Keller Williams 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

 My brother is just now going to close on a having been not tooo flipped house in California...but did his homework knowing repairs..his desired updates...got quotes...after all this...accepted offer...bla bla bla...the lender claimed (he had 80% down) they could not close becuz the appraiser said there was a faucet that dripped...hmmmm...the drip has delayed the closing 2 weeks.  It gets better....neither realtor ever get this "appraiser" the combination...so he was not even in the property...ahhhh...have an outstanding labor day weekend !

Sep 02, 2010 10:22 PM #57
Rainmaker
1,760,695
Jay Markanich
Jay Markanich Real Estate Inspections, LLC - Bristow, VA
Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia

S&D - I would love to be able to inspect a house without entering!  Perhaps a satellite relay to his special receiver?

I will be working this weekend - already booked Saturday and Monday.  Sundays are very busy with church responsibilities, literally 9-5.  So my Labor Day is just that!  But you have a good one too!

Sep 02, 2010 11:42 PM #58
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Rainmaker
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Jay Markanich

Home Inspector - servicing all Northern Virginia
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