Home flipping is on the upswing again in the Columbus Metro, according to a recent report in Columbus Business First. During 2016, 5.3% of Columbus area home sales were flips, up 1.3% from 2015. At its peak in 2006, flipped homes accounted for 6.3% of all Columbus home sales.
While Columbus isn’t exactly a hotbed of house-flipping activity, we are seeing enough of it that buyers should be prepared to encounter a flipped home for sale. Flips may show “like new” and seem enticing, but the quality of workmanship and materials can be anyone’s guess!
This is because certain home improvements in Columbus do not require a permit, nor professional installation. For example, painting, tiling, carpeting, cabinets, countertops and other cosmetic or finish work does not require a permit. Nor does installing a new appliance. Minor mechanical repairs, like installing a new faucet, do not require a permit.
However, mechanical, electrical and plumbing projects require permits for any home additions, alterations, or replacement of existing trade work. You can find out more about home improvement permits at www.columbus.gov/bzs/Permits/.
Even when permits and city inspections are required, not all home flippers are complying with them. And unlike local home builders who have a public reputation to worry about, home flippers can wrap themselves up in an LLC and create a different business entity for each house they flip.
Furthermore, the Residential Property Disclosure Form is easy to fudge when the seller has owned the property about 90 days and has never lived in it. Not that it’s an automatic legal escape, but rather, the circumstances of brief ownership and non-occupancy lend themselves to a claim of ignorance of defects.
Columbus home buyers should use caution and diligence when considering any home. Often there’s no outward sign that the home is a “flip.” Generally, flipped homes may be several decades old, but look virtually brand-new on the inside. This doesn’t mean the home has bad “bones” or wouldn’t be worth consideration. But you may be paying a premium for the interior updates, while the roof still needs work.
Our free e-book, “How to Buy a Home Like a Pro” can help you look past the bells and whistles and evaluate each home objectively!
When you become a Buyer-Client of Buyer’s Resource Realty Services, we will help you examine each home based on its condition, and protect you with contractual contingencies for home inspections and any other concerns. When a seller claims to have made significant repairs, we will ask for proof of permits and copies of receipts. Quite frankly, we give home buyers the best representation and protections available in the industry!
As your Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, we serve your best interests at all times! Unlike real estate agents and brokerages who represent sellers, as an Exclusive Buyer’s Broker, we only represent you, the buyer, getting you the best price and terms with no conflict of interest at all times.
Understanding this distinction could literally save you thousands of dollars not only on the purchase price and terms, but also on seller concessions and home inspection issues, whether you are a first-time homebuyer or an experienced homeowner!
Contact us with your home buying questions! Remember, we are with you every step of the way…all the way home!
Broker, CEBA, CEBA-M, CNE, CSP, ABR-M, e-PRO, GREEN
Buyer’s Resource Realty Services
Serving Metro Columbus, Ohio with Exclusive Buyer’s Agents
7100 North High Street, Suite 204, Worthington, Ohio 43085
614-888-4110 | 888-888-4110 Toll Free | 614-839-4110 Fax