Friday, December 11, 2009

Don't flip this house

As has been reported here and elsewhere, the flippers are back. And these aren't the moms and pops who watch a lot of HGtv. These are the hardcore investors who buy properties for all cash at sheriffs' sales, run crews of workers through the house, and put them back on the market a month later for $100k profit. This past summer, I had a very good experience with a pro flipper of a house in North Hollwood.

It seems the fast, cheap and out of control pro flippers are back, too. This past week I've seen two of the sloppier, cheaper flips of the year. Yes, they have nice coats of paint and granite counter tops but, uh, hey the heater hasn't worked in years. They couldn't be bothered to replace funky old windows, scrape ceilings, strap water heaters, or make sure that kitchen cabinets don't bump into appliances when they're opened, among other things. Do they think that potential home buyers don't notice? Yes, when a buyer is initially dazzled by a house, they may over look things. But then there's this little inspection period, see? where the buyer is looking for reasons to walk. And during that period, we'll notice everything. Advice: flippers, do it all the way or don't do it at all.

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