Welcome back to the ultimate quick inspection checklist for your potential flips! This is a speedy guide to help you make the most of every tour through a home you think might make a good flip. While you will absolutely want to hire an inspector for any finalist property, you can save yourself the money and time by discovering if a property rules itself out early on simply by remembering to check a few key factors with each tour. Last time we got up to nine points and without further ado, we bring you part two.
10) Look for Cracks
Consider how much you're willing to repair when looking through each home. Cracks in the walls are particularly problematic because they can indicate a serious structural problem something that occurred when the house settled, or a sign of past damage. Either way, you may wind up replacing the drywall to fix the crack and could discover something more worrisome behind it. Make note of any cracks you identify and don't forget to look up at the ceiling.
11) Level Doorways
You might actually want to bring a small level with you in a pocket, one of those meters with the bubble in a tube of water. Set the level on top of each doorframe to see if it's even. If the bubble is in the center than everything's fine. If the bubble is off-center and the doors appear to be hanging at an uneven angle, this could indicate a cracked and slipping foundation.
12) Turn On the Burners
Most homes are bought and sold with the stoves left in place and this is true of your flips as well. Unless you've already resolved to cover a new stove, check the unit in place. Turn on all the burners and check their responsiveness. A burner that won't light will mean that you'll need to replace the stove either way or risk taking a hit to your final price for non-working appliances.
13) Flush the Toilets
The plumbing of a home, especially one that has fallen into disrepair, is often the clearest sign of it's true health. Often when a residence is left empty for a while and is suddenly full of people, that's when the plumbing breaks. You can at least get an early impression of the state of the pipes by flushing all the toilets as you tour and inspecting their drain and refill time. Also, listen for any unnerving sounds during this process.
14) Sound Check
Another measure of a home's value is how soundproof it is both through exterior and interior walls. With the help of the guiding real estate agent, a friend, or a small music playing speaker, test the sound transmission from room to room with doors open and closed. This will give you an idea of the insulation in the interior walls and how much privacy residents in the home can expect.
15) Inspect the Wall Base Molding
You can almost always tell how well a home has been cleaned and cared for by the state of the wall base moldings. The strip of wood or plastic along the bottom of the wall, often holding the edges of the floor in place, are surprisingly revealing. Dirty, chipped, and badly scuffed wall bases indicate a home that's been mistreated while spotless new wall bases show that either someone has taken good care of the home or at least thought to replace the old scuffed ones before putting the house on the market.
16) Step Lightly
The next thing to look into is the floorboards, and not just on the hard floors. Walk over the carpets, tiles, and laminate carefully, bouncing on the balls of your feet to see if you can detect a wobble or a squeak. While this may not be a structural problem, loose floorboards or tiles is worth remembering when you're making a renovation plan.
17) Sponge Test the Paint
The quality of interior paint actually matters a great deal for families, especially those with children and pets. If the walls aren't sealed with a washable gloss, then any sort of mess can permanently stain the walls and cause a hassle. To tell if the current paint job is durable, do a discreet spot test with a damp sponge. If the soft side of the sponge comes away with paint flecks, you will need to repaint one way or another.
Choosing the right flip is all about finding an opportunity that fits perfectly into your renovating capabilities and your available budget. Make sure you know what you're dealing with before committing to a purchase. With this quick checklist, you can determine if a property is worth calling the inspector or should be left for a more ambitious flipper.
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