Flipped Home

Can I ask you guys for a review of my narrative that I use for homes that have been flipped. I have inspected quite a few of these and the workmanship is typically poor at best. I know the buyers will be experiencing higher and more frequent future repairs. I report all the individual defects as I always do but I feel there should be an overall statement that the home was flipped and what that means.

Here is what I add to my reports, let me know what you think?

It appears that this home was flipped, this means it was purchased with the intent to fix up and sell for a profit. It is not uncommon for the workmanship that was performed in a flipped home to be of amateur quality as an attempt to reduce the costs of repairs and upgrades. Amateur workmanship may raise the potential of future repairs, you should consider this in your price of your purchase and expect to have more future repairs than of a typical home built by professionals. Permits and accompanying follow up inspections may or may not have been acquired, you should consult with the the sellers for documentation that work was done with the required permits.

Even though it may be generally true, do all of your findings support a flippant statement like that? I mean, it sounds disrespectful…

I prefer to stick to my factual findings and maybe elaborate somewhat on those.

Just my opinion…


Hey now. Armondo Montelongo may fly up from Texas and punch ya in the nose for that comment. They do everything by code and use nothing but the best labor and products.
Yeah we all know 99% of flips are cheap and its all about the profit BUT you can’t make a general statement like that. Scare every buyer away and p-off every REA also. Just state the facts individually as per each component found defective.

It’s a good idea to suggest a permit/passed inspection search be performed for flipped homes that have had major work. Most flippers don’t get permits to avoid time delays in getting the home ready for resale.

I think our job is to be objective. It might be better to just do a thorough inspection, find the things the flipper actually messed up, and report them.

If nothing else, the statement about considering the price of the home based on it being flip would definitely need to be removed.

I agree with the comments here. That’s a broad brush to paint flipped houses with. I’ve actually got two flippers in my area who do really good work. And much of the work done by flippers requires no permits at all in several of the counties where I work.

I would just call what you observe and leave it at that.

When relevant and it appears that considerable remodeling has been done, you may wish to craft a statement indicating that the home appears to have been renovated or remodeled, and they may wish to obtain any documentation/warranties that may be transferable/permits etc.

You may wish to tweak…

“The property has been renovated or remodeled. Therefore, you may wish to request documentation that would typically include permits and any warranties or guarantees that might be applicable, because we do not approve or tacitly endorse any work done without permits, as latent defects could exist.”

Chill man. :slight_smile: You/we no longer need to worry about flippers/fixer-uppers, historic properties, tract homes by shady builders. INachi has you covered. :mrgreen:


I put a link into my report:
Click here for helpful information about structures that have been renovated or recently painted.

Here is what the linked information says:


It appears some updating to the … system was done and possibly not by a licensed … contractor. Strongly recommend buyer to check to see if required permits had been obtained for any updating or remodeling.

I used this on almost everything (just had to change the component) in one report on a home a realtor flipped and he did have a contractor. This was an add on to what ever else I had wrote. But I would never write what you wrote.

Can you cite a source for “most flippers.” Having been directly in the flipping industry from 1977 to 2003, and inspecting flips and researching permits since 2001, I don’t think your statement is true, at least not for Southern California. And I think that if flippers in Southern California can afford to get appropriate permits, I think other areas of the country can, and do, too.

Russell, the source is me and my experience with my last 2000 inspections here in NJ. I have seen enough bad workmanship on flipped houses to write a book and rarely do I see a flipped home obtain permits when “Major” work is performed. I don’t know about California but in NJ I run into Non-permitted workmanship almost everyday. If it’s not a amateur installed water heater, furnace, electrical panel, finished basement or renovation it’s something else. I call these out as I see them but also suggest to have the seller provide proof of permits and passed inspections to the buyer. You can only imagine what we have going on here in Coastal NJ with Hurricane Sandy damaged homes being sold super cheap and then flipped. I have gotten feedback from many clients where the seller cannot provide proof of permits/inspections for the new siding, new a/c unit, new water heater, entire addition attached to the back of the house etc. Maybe it’s just different here in NJ, but sadly people try to skirt the permit route thinking it’s more of a hassle than a protection.

Well thanks for the input guys, I won’t be putting that comment into my reports and will just report on my individual findings.

Here’s what I use.

“The subject property has recently undergone sufficient remodeling and / or renovation so as to warrant the issuing of building permits by the local municipality. This inspection does not warrant that these permits were issued, that the subject property was inspected by the local municipality authorities or that the tradesmen were properly licensed, insured or qualified to do the work.
It is strongly recommended that the client, and their attorney, obtain copies of all building permits issued for this work, copies of all municipal building code authority approvals and copies of all contractor and/or sub-contractor invoices from the seller prior to closing. This documentation should include any and all license numbers and insurance certifications of the contractors and sub-contractors involved in the work and the closing documents should include all warranties for the work.”

This puts the liability on the client’s lawyer and saves your butt. It also tends to make the client (around here, usually young couples that have fallen in love with the stainless steel / granite / hardwood / tile and other flashy cool things) and brings them down to earth and accepting of the fact that they should do their own due dillegence.

Hope this helps;

I like that Will, mind if I use it?

Go for it. I have always said that plagerism is the highest form of flattery.

(BTW: Make sure that the check clears this time :wink: )