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Buyer Beware: Flipped homes can turn dream house into nightmare

Home-flipping popular again in Tampa Bay Area
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Posted at 2:47 PM, Mar 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-14 14:47:47-04

House flipping in the U.S. is happening at the highest rates since 2006 - during the housing bubble - according to a new report from the parent company of RealtyTrac.

193,009 single family homes and condos were flipped in 2016, according to their year-end report, that's up 3.1 percent from 2015, and it accounted for about 5.7 percent of all single family home and condo sales.

But that rate was much higher in the Tampa Bay market.

9.9 percent of all Tampa Bay Area homes sold in 2016 were flipped homes, according to the report. That puts the market at the fourth-highest rate in the entire nation among metro areas where at least 250 homes were flipped.

A house flip is defined as a home purchased and re-sold within a 12-month time period.

With renovators flipping homes at an extremely-high rate, contractors say that sometimes new and first-time home buyers find themselves owning a newly-renovated property where the work that was done was not done well.

Poorly-done work can turn into a real nightmare for families just fulfilling a dream of home-ownership, resulting in costly property damage and even legal cases.

The National Association of Exclusive Buyer Agents (NAEBA) is warning buyers about this trend, and shares the following tips to prospective shoppers:

  • Make sure the flipper used a licensed contractor.
  • Request an updated disclosure statement from the seller.
  • Request a list of work done, including receipts and warranty information (water heaters, plumbing, electrical, HVAC).
  • Check for all permits on the property and the upgrades.
  • Make sure all upgrades passed full inspection.
  • Make sure the property has a certificate of occupancy.
  • Have a professional termite and mold inspection.
  • Look for water damage and old wiring in the attic and basement.

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