Would You Buy a Flip?
Obviously this is a very generic question and there are a lot of variables. :)
I'm guessing that most of us wouldn't buy an obviously poorly done flip. However, would you purchase one that seems to have been fairly well done?
I'm looking at houses in New England, generally older homes. I viewed a couple of 50s-60s era places that were obvious flips. The renos seemed to be pretty well done. One in particular had all the right things, though they cut a few corners that I thought could have been done better (for example, in one the fridge was too small and they should've sprung for a taller counter-depth fridge (or simply done a better job planning the new kitchen so that it could accomodate a standard fridge), and the highly visible central stairs to the basement were low quality, painted white). There were a few more picky items, but no real red flags.
The realtor I was with viewed the full reno as a good thing (it really was all new). I viewed it with a lot of trepidation.
At the end of the day, I'll probably fall for an older, draftier but more charming house. But I'm curious as to how others view houses that are obvious flips.
On the one hand, if they're done well, it seems to be a good thing for everyone. Buyers get nice, updated move-in-ready houses, and sellers (hopefully licensed contractors) make a profit. And we're not tearing down perfectly good houses that need some updates. :) And who is to say that the contractors' work is of any lesser quality than a new build, or a family home that has been updated and maintained over time?
Have I just watched too much TV? Obviously, I wouldn't go for a (visibly!) poorly done flip. But even flips that seem nice on the surface make me nervous. Who knows what corners have been cut and what lurks beneath?
I bought my current home from a couple who had been in it for 20 years and maintained it really well. It's fairly old (almost 100 years), so of course there are ongoing maintenance issues, but I felt good buying a house that really seemed to have been cared for by people who made decisions with a longer view (i.e., they wanted to live in it forever, not get it good enough to flip).