Red Flags to Look for Before Buying Your Next Fix and Flip Property
For fix and flip real estate investors, there’s nothing better than finding that perfect “diamond in the rough” property. It’s like a dream come true. It’s in the perfect location at the right price, but is what we like to call “an ugly duckling.” It has an overgrown lawn, outdated light fixtures, horrible paint colors and lots of small cosmetic items that scare off most buyers. It is by far the ugliest home on the block. With a fresh coat of paint, a little bit of work and some new light fixtures this house could generate some big profits. It may be tempting to make your move right away, but before you do, be sure to do your due diligence. Look for these red flags that could turn your next real estate investment flip into a big flop.
1. Too Long On The Market
If the home has been sitting for too many months (or even years) on MLS, this could be a sign that something is wrong with the property. Be especially cautious if it is showing pending sales that fell through. This could indicate that previous homebuyers or real estate investors noticed serious problems with the home during inspections.
2. Foundation Problems
Major foundation issues can scare off potential buyers and cost thousands of dollars to repair. Look for cracks in the bricks, walls, flooring, foundation, sidewalk and driveway, as they could indicate some foundation problems. Uneven floors are also tale-tell signs that the home might require foundation repair.
3. Sewage and Draining Issues
Sewage and drainage problems can quickly turn into a bad situation for flippers. Drive by the house after a rain before buying the home. If you see puddles of standing water, the yard may have a drainage issue. Puddles near the foundation are especially concerning. Standing water in the yard and heaved walkways may also be signs of a blockage or break in the underground sewer line.
4. Roof Damage
Replacing a roof is expensive. A new roof can cost anywhere between $6,000 to $20,000 or more depending on the size of the roof and type of roofing materials. It pays to check out the roof carefully. Shingles that curl up at the corners, missing shingles, cracked shingles and exposed nail heads are all signs that the roof may need to be replaced.
Moisture leads to mold, which is the bane of every homeowner and real estate investor. Not only can it cause health issues and respiratory problems, but It can be costly to remove. Some mold growth is obvious, but it can also be lurking out of site and be more difficult to detect. When checking for mold in the home, look for water stains on the ceiling, walls and floors – including in the attic and basement. Dark, fuzzy stains and musty smells can indicate there might be a mold problem in the home and should not be ignored when inspecting the home and estimating repair costs. There’s a chance of it returning if the initial work wasn’t done right. Mold elimination should also include fixing the water source.
For many real estate investors, flipping homes can be an enjoyable experience. It can also be very lucrative. Keep in mind that due diligence is one of the most important things to master when it comes to real estate investing. There are hidden costs you need to take into consideration when deciding if a home is a good investment. Some repair costs are manageable, while others may exceed your budget. The next time you are looking at investing in a fix and flip property, be aware of the red flags that can help you distinguish the money makers from the money pits.