Flipping properties is still going strong in the DC Metro and Northern VA areas. While some are very pretty inside, and usually priced well to sell quickly, there are still some things you need to know when looking into buying a flip:
1. If you’re getting a mortgage, find out what the guidelines are for your particular lender. Every lender has different requirements. Specifically, some say it must be at least 90 days from the last sale in order for you to buy it, or if the value has increased more than a certain percentage you may need to pay for 2 appraisals. These are the two most common I’ve seen, but every lender is different, so find out before you even move forward to avoid problems later on.
2. Get copies and/or research all permits. I can not stress this enough – LOOK UP the history of the property. If it’s not easily accessible online, call the county and find out. If things weren’t done with a permit or weren’t done to code, you’ll have HUGE issues when you go to sell it or when an appraisal is done. So rather than getting through a home inspection and paying all this money only to find out later on, find out upfront.
3. Get a home inspection. It’s pretty – there’s granite, stainless steel appliances, hardwood floors, hooray! That doesn’t mean it’s structurally sound or the flippers didn’t cut corners when they were redoing it quickly to resell. Have a qualified inspector check out the house. Most flip properties will have a few unfinished details that they’re expecting you’ll find on an inspection and they’ll willingly fix it. But if you don’t know enough to look for things, you’ll learn the hard way that pretty doesn’t always mean done correctly.