Lipstick on a Pig ~ Remodeling Woes

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Beam & Branch Realty TREC #547752

Lipstick on a Pig ~ Remodeling Woes

Remodeling Woes

In this remodeling and HGTV awakening era, as real estate agents, we've all seen the great updates as well as the examples of what NOT to do! Recently, I was showing my son who is hoping to be a first time home buyer some remodeled homes in the Houston area. Due to the flooding Houston has experienced, currently there are hundreds of remodeled and updated homes on the market.


In viewing homes all over the Houston area, it became obvious very quickly the differences in quality, versus lipstick on a pig jobs. While most of these homes had crisp, new colors on the walls, gleaming tile choices, and updated fixtures, there were many whose covered-up flaws were very apparent. Learning to look past the glam is essential as we guide our clients through the buying process.


Some of the most common "cover-ups" included the slapping of the exterior paint over rotted siding. As you view the outside of the home, painted over soggy siding is easy to spot. While at first glance, the fresh paint can give the appearance of a beautifully remodeled home, the reality many times, is the obvious hiding of the flaws.


While I am certainly not a trained home inspector, I have toured enough homes to be able to spot a fake! When representing our buyers, it is our job to point out the obvious flaws. The patchwork ceilings and  paint cover-ups provide us with excellent clues to the overall workmanship of the remodel.


Be on the lookout for the "lipstick on the pig" remodeling jobs. Your buyer may be inheriting what appears to be a cute, updated home only to be surprised with a hidden agenda of expensive repairs. Do your homework and make sure you fully inspect and uncover any of that lipstick that may be hiding more than you bargained for.


When you are ready to find the home of your dreams, give us a call at Beam & Branch Realty! We are here to assist you in the buying or selling process. More importantly, we want to help you avoid the lipstick on a pig remodel!

Posted by

Beam & Branch Realty       

"Have you fully lived today?"

   Paula L. McDonald ~ REALTOR®

        Granbury, Texas 

 936-203-0279 Direct

Selling Hood County and surrounding areas! 



 John Maxwell

Farm & Ranch


          ABR                 Institute for Luxury Marketing                Institute for Luxury Home Marketing



Copyright 2019 Paula McDonald


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Raul Rodriguez
Covenant Partners Realty - San Antonio, TX
Looking out for the client's interest and not my p

In this PC world we live in, I am surprised that no one has been offended by comparing a mess of a house to a pig. Great post, have a great day!

Nov 15, 2019 03:41 AM #5
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Carolina Life RealEstate & Relocation 919-602-8489

Paula, I imagine we see that everywhere. If I had clients or my son buying in a flood area, I'd also consider having mold test done to make sure it isn't in the walls. Good luck with finding your son a home!

Nov 15, 2019 04:06 AM #6
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Good morning, Paula... an apt description -- lipstick on a pig. I've used it quite often when looking at homes with buyers. Sellers think they are fooling us, but most of the time, not so much.

Nov 15, 2019 04:20 AM #7
Brenda J. Andrew
Professional Realtor in Corpus Christi, TX

Good morning Paula,

We see this so much especially with flip houses.  The seller thinks they are going to turn a quick profit, not realizing it's all going to come out in the wash!  Although we are not home inspectors, I usually just point out things like this, and say, that is something you might want to have checked out by a home inspector.  Great read!  Have a great day!

Nov 15, 2019 04:32 AM #8
John Henry, Florida Architect
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

Good observation.  Paint hides a multitude of sins and you have to look very closely.  Even pushing on some siding at ground level will reveal whether it's sound or not.  Thank you

Nov 15, 2019 04:33 AM #9
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, Paula McDonald I've seen many fix and flips by those who have a truck and a hammer and call themselves builders.... they do not remodel....they hide the damaged areas and hope to get the home closed....

Nov 15, 2019 05:42 AM #10
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Paula. I think you have exposed some real concerns. I agree. Please use a bigger font though.

Nov 15, 2019 06:17 AM #11
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

When people put lipstick on the pig rather than doing things the right way, I hope they end up losing money on their investment.  Buyers can often see clearly when a job was not done properly.

Nov 15, 2019 06:38 AM #12
Jill Sackler
Charles Rutenberg Realty Inc. 516-575-7500 - Long Beach, NY
LI South Shore Real Estate - Broker Associate

A quality product stands on its own.  It's not difficult to differentiate between two extremes.

Nov 15, 2019 06:56 AM #13
Charita Cadenhead
Keller Williams Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Don't you just hate it when listing comments say "remodeled" or "rehabbed" and when you walk through the door you automatically know it's a carpet and paint job?

Nov 15, 2019 07:50 AM #14
Gail Smith-Bibb
Gwen Fowler Real Estate - West Union, SC
A tradition of trust

So true. Very common here. 

Nov 15, 2019 08:15 AM #15
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Important to spot what is wrong before you spend your money and regret the purchase, by then it is too late. Better to look for the lipstick from the beginning. And always get a home inspection.

Nov 15, 2019 09:07 AM #16
Mimi Foster
Falcon Property Solutions - Colorado Springs, CO
Voted Colorado Springs Best Realtor

My husband and I spent decades remodeling Victorians in Downtown Colorado Springs. As a trim carpenter I was always impressed with his work and attention to detail. Can't tell you the number of times we would see homes that had been "remodeled" with the cheapest materials and shoddy workmanship. Good to have an expert in the Grandbury, TX area to help people avoid those pitfalls.

Nov 15, 2019 10:30 AM #17
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ

We've had our share of bad flippers in my area and it's still going on , just not to the level it did in the down market. Very easy to spot poorly remodeled homes.

Nov 15, 2019 01:24 PM #18
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Property Manager

This is certainly a common problem with flippers who get $$$$ signs in their eyes when they find a fixer-upper.  It happens with cars too.  A thorough inspection by a qualified inspector isn't a suggestion but a must for EVERY purchase... including new construction.

Nov 15, 2019 01:55 PM #19
Rose Mary Justice
Synergy Realty Pros - Dandridge, TN
Synergy Realty Pros

I just viewed one that was a bad job. So bad that the buyer spotted it all within entering the home.  

Nov 15, 2019 08:35 PM #20
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

The signature behaviors we leave behind tell a story of those who left them.....

Nov 16, 2019 06:18 AM #21
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

Yep, lipstick doesn't really hide anything. It is up to us to find those instances and point them out

Nov 16, 2019 06:29 AM #22
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Yes, when you walk enough homes and attend enough inspections, it isn't difficult to spot the pigs wearing a coat of fresh lipstick. 

Nov 16, 2019 07:59 AM #23
Donald A. Masters
Master Home & Building Inspections, LLC - Rockville, MD

Flipped homes, whether by owners, private capital, or father and son companies that just buy-fix-and-flip are a real problem for buyers. We inspect so many that don't meet modern standrds. While some are easy to spot just by looking -  poking around as inspectors do can result is some rather dramatic findings. Typically we charge more for flipped homes because they take more time to inspect, and they create more liability on everyone's part.

Bottom line is to make sure and use a detailed home inspector that can locate those problem houses. Referrals and return customers are gold.

Nov 17, 2019 08:27 AM #24
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Paula McDonald

Granbury, TX 936-203-0279
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