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Old 12-19-2018, 05:50 PM   #31
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


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Shingles in bad shape= includes not only replacing the shingles but possible decking damage, mold or fungus that will need to be treated, wet insulation that will need to be replaced.
Joe, what's a worst case scenario for mold remediation, labor wise, dollar wise?
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:07 AM   #32
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


@PatentPending , I understand what you and @Yodaman are saying, but, have you ever been on site when a NEW house is being built? You think Flippers cut corners, you should see some of the GC's I have worked for and some of the subs they hire. Very few care about quality, they want PROFIT. I've been asked to cut corners so many times I lost count. I've seen framing that would make you shudder and licensed electricians leaving hot wires taped off inside walls because they didn't want to put them in a box. I've seen excavators OVERdig holes and then when the foundation was backfilled, walls got pushed in.

If anything, I think I might trust a flip more than a new build. And, that's why many areas have strict codes/guidelines/inspections for flips or new builds.
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Old 12-20-2018, 11:26 AM   #33
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


GYMSHOE has an excellent point above....that both flippers and new builds are motivated by profits.... that can be enhanced by substandard work.

And, if buying an existing home, be it flip or not, you do have the advantage of a test of time.... in that you have an advantage in assessing at least it's structural integrity... foundation, settlement, and weather resistance, and how it has fared with age. You may be able to check prior utility bills, and prior insurance claims etc.

Not any ironclad evidence, but the "test of time" does give certain assurances that a new home can not.
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Old 12-20-2018, 12:16 PM   #34
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


I agree Gymschu. However, during my tenure as a General, I found being honest with the prospective client is always the best policy(to coin a phrase). I came in behind some "contractors" for bids, and had to tell the client the suggestions from those "contractors", either wouldn't be cost effective, or wouldn't work. Most of those times I got the job even though my cost was higher. I moved to Cost Plus a Fee after a few years to make sure we didn't lose money, after under bidding a few.



Just want everyone to know there are good, knowledgeable, honest Contractors available to them. Albeit hard to really know if the one you're dealing with is one of the honest few, referrals are the best plan to follow.
We all need to make a buck, just not retirement money on every one.



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Old 12-20-2018, 12:40 PM   #35
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


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what's a worst case scenario for mold remediation, labor wise, dollar wise?
Worst case scenario (flooded house that sat closed up or some marijuana grow houses), you weigh the cost/benefit to remediate it and what the end product will be vs demo and rebuild. Sometimes a new house on that land wins out.
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Old 12-20-2018, 12:57 PM   #36
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


Just remember folks, "pay heed to what it tells you before you buy."
Get knowledgeable help on every prospective flip if you need it.

The details of the property, and location will tell you all you need for a decision......................................




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Old 12-28-2018, 10:31 AM   #37
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


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I agree Gymschu. However, during my tenure as a General, I found being honest with the prospective client is always the best policy(to coin a phrase). I came in behind some "contractors" for bids, and had to tell the client the suggestions from those "contractors", either wouldn't be cost effective, or wouldn't work. Most of those times I got the job even though my cost was higher. I moved to Cost Plus a Fee after a few years to make sure we didn't lose money, after under bidding a few.
This is a good illustration of why the comparison between flippers and contractors is specious at best. Everybody is motivated by profit, but there's a huge difference in accountability. All the examples Gymschu listed could expose the contractor to liability, get them in trouble with the licensing board, etc. and then whoever purchased all those cut corners could go after the contractor's bonding/insurance. Where I live at least, a flipper only needs to pass inspection (i.e. appear to be code compliant) and not flat-out lie to the buyer (but doesn't have to disclose anything not specifically asked for).

On top of all this, a contractor has a reputation to uphold. I guess if a flipper were really bad word might get around eventually, but as far as I know flippers generally don't list themselves on Yelp (I think I mentioned earlier, maybe we need a review site for flippers).

My previous post was really about the misaligned incentives between flippers and homeowners though, not contractors. A homeowner lives with whatever work he has done on his house for, potentially, decades. A flipper washes his hands of it as soon as it sells. Which one is going to take more care to ensure that everything was done well, and which is only going to care that things are superficially okay?
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Old 12-28-2018, 10:47 AM   #38
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


@PP You mention the reputations of flippers. Since the first tv shows about flippers I have waited for the trailer of flipper reports from buyers who now own what was portrayed as a wonderfully remodeled home. I always wondered how the well healed athlete who bought the beautiful home with a view felt when he say the show of the house being flipped with all of the rats. And I'm judging from what they choose to show. What did they hide???

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Old 12-28-2018, 11:11 AM   #39
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


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All the examples Gymschu listed could expose the contractor to liability, get them in trouble with the licensing board, etc. and then whoever purchased all those cut corners could go after the contractor's bonding/insurance.
..

A flipper washes his hands of it as soon as it sells. Which one is going to take more care to ensure that everything was done well, and which is only going to care that things are superficially okay?
Are you kidding? That's entirely not true. Contractors AND flippers are BOTH liable.

Let's say a flip included a complete electrical rewire, and the flipper hid a poorly wired junction box in a wall which started a fire in the middle of the night. You don't think the homeowner has every legal right to sue the living **** out of the flipper? They do, and they will win. Flippers are not legally able to wash their hands of their sale. Just as with any homeowner selling to a new homeowner, there are legal obligations the previous owner has to the new buyer.

Another example, flipper works on a house with a mold problem. Decides that it's better to just bleach the mold and paint over it with Zinsser instead of proper remediation. New homeowner's young daughter gets a respiratory illness six months after moving in due to mold infestation in the property. New homeowner sues the flipper not just for the cost of remediation but also entire cost of the property, medical costs, and emotional damages. This latter example was told to me by a realtor friend of ours. Not only was the flipper sued, but she, the realtor, was also sued. The case is ongoing, but considering the homeowner is using a personal injury lawyer who only gets paid based on the outcome of the suit, the only costs for the case are on the flipper's side who has to pay a lawyer to fight the suit, essentially wiping out his profit.

People bad mouthing flippers need to know that contractors also cut corners. Just because the person is a professional (and I use that term loosely for many) contractor or licensed doesn't mean they do quality work and don't cut corners. I've worked with plenty of contractors who said, "Meh, it's hidden." And they move on full well knowing it was a poor job. A license does not equate to quality. It has nothing to do with work ethic or pride in doing a good job.

As for the guy who posted about a mother/daughter team who hid a chipped tile with a sofa, that's 100% on the buyer for not using that against the seller during the negotiating phase. And if that sours you to flipped houses, that's ludicrous. What you do is notice the flaw during the house search period and either move on to another house or use it against the seller to get a lower price.

Long story short, buyer beware. That warning has been around for a long time for a reason. And it doesn't say, buyer beware of investment properties. It says buyer beware, period. Doesn't matter who you're buying from, be it flipper, homeowner, bank, foreclosure, new construction, or anything, be careful.
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Old 12-28-2018, 12:20 PM   #40
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


It's not nearly as black and white as that and largely depends on the jurisdiction.

"Buyer beware" ... you throw that term around but it has a specific legal meaning in this context, and it hasn't applied in most of the US for years. In the states where caveat emptor actually still applies to home sales (very few, but I live in one of them) the seller is not required to volunteer anything (except for Chinese drywall and lead paint, which are federal issues). Mold? Bad wiring? Rodents? Tough ****.

I will concede that I shouldn't have brought up "liability" since I'm not a personal injury attorney. Since that cat's out of the bag though, I can speculate according to basic legal principles (and assuming a caveat emptor state). Regarding the wiring it's really not that clear cut. Was the work permitted and inspected? If so that might make it significantly more difficult for the buyer to prove negligence. Unpermitted work? That's probably a win for the buyer. Actively hiding bad work (that he knew was bad)? Almost certainly a win, if you can prove it.

Regarding the mold, that's totally something a seller technically shouldn't be able to but absolutely could get away with where I live (because caveat emptor applies) unless you had, say, an email where he said "I'm going to hide this mold with Zissner." Will the homeowner win that case? Again, depends on the state. Will the homeowner win all of the damages asked for? Almost certainly not (emotional damages are very tough, and good luck getting a jury to award the entire value of the property).

Again, this is all way outside my practice area so... actually it's probably best to ignore most Internet discussions of legal issues.

ANYWAY, my points regarding reputation, accountability, and incentives still stand. A contractor is bonded, insured, and has to answer to the licensing board. A homeowner worth their salt actually cares that quality, rather than merely overtly acceptable, work is being done on their house and can (and should) watch the contractor like a hawk. ****ty work isn't illegal per se, and, barring legal issues (concession: other jurisdictions impose much harsher requirements on sellers), a flipper does indeed wash their hands of a property upon closing. Furthermore, if I hire a contractor and they do a crappy job, I can, among other things, recover from bond/insurance, have them come back and fix it, and leave a bad review. So while a contractor is motivated by profit like everyone else, their future profit at least partially depends on doing a good job now so as to maintain their reputation. On the other hand, if I buy a house from a flipper and discover crappy, even non code-compliant (again, jurisdiction matters, but generally so long as it doesn't rise to the level of negligence), work I can do... what? Send an angry e-mail?
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Old 12-28-2018, 01:48 PM   #41
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


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A homeowner worth their salt actually cares that quality, rather than merely overtly acceptable, work is being done on their house and can (and should) watch the contractor like a hawk.
- this is accurate, but...

It is a grossly inaccurate statement that in most states you cannot sue the previous homeowner for prior defects whether or not they are liable to disclose them to you or not, including defects in plumbing, electrical, roofing, mold-related issues, HVAC, etc.

Seller disclosure case law doesn't only cover what the previous owner knew what was wrong but also what he SHOULD have known was wrong. Examples that cover this...sewer blockage that was causing drainage issues for the past 5 years before someone sold their house is arguable enough that the previous owner should have known about a potential major sewer problem that resulted in $15K of work for the new owner. Or, respiratory problems with each person in the household for the past 3 years should have been indication enough there was mold in the HVAC ducts blowing everywhere which caused similar health problems with the new owner's family. These are all legit reasons a new owner can sue, and everyone knows a personal injury lawyer would chomp at the bit to make some money.

The previous examples I posted or even these above are not a 'be all, end all' list. There are plenty of situations that can result in lawsuits in, yes, most states.

My point is that a flipper can be out of the furnace (selling the flip) and into the fire (in a win or lose lawsuit paying hefty defense attorney fees) just as easily as a contractor can be out of the furnace (finishing the job and collecting a check) and into the fire (license revoked or in a suit himself). While the flipper may eventually win the lawsuit, in the end, he loses because he had to spend the time and money to fight the suit.

As stated before, just because a contractor is licensed/bonded means squat and has absolutely nothing to do with work ethic or quality. It's like saying just because someone has a driver's license and car insurance means they won't drunk drive and total someone else's car. I've worked with plenty of contractors and flippers who both flat out suck. There's good ones in each along with the bad ones. My experience? Most contractors stink, licensed or not. And they are some of the most unreliable people on the planet.

Going back to the OP's comment, good luck if you're doing a flip. Do good work and get permits so it doesn't bite you in the a** later, because yes, in most states, it can bite you in the a** later.
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Old 12-28-2018, 02:13 PM   #42
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


That's actually a pretty good analogy with the driver's license and car insurance, but it kinda bolsters one of my points... Getting screwed by a contractor is like getting hit by a driver with a license and insurance, but getting screwed by a flipper is like being hit by someone without insurance (or in a hit-and-run). Both suck, but one is much worse than the other.

I'll take your word for it on disclosure laws, since my only experience with that is in Virginia.

I've also long ago sworn off arguing on the Internet, and this seems to be heading in that direction, so I guess you "win" by default?

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Old 12-30-2018, 06:14 PM   #43
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


Jeez guys, If you're buying from a flipper, hiring a contractor, CHECK THEM OUT !!!!!! Flipping yourself, crawl under, put your knees on the ceiling joists (wear a dust mask) Look at the panel, shove a camera down the plumbing. If you don't feel comfortable picking a property YOU can repair, DON'T Flipping is not for everyone.



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Old 12-30-2018, 09:35 PM   #44
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


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That's actually a pretty good analogy with the driver's license and car insurance, but it kinda bolsters one of my points... Getting screwed by a contractor is like getting hit by a driver with a license and insurance, but getting screwed by a flipper is like being hit by someone without insurance (or in a hit-and-run). Both suck, but one is much worse than the other.

I'll take your word for it on disclosure laws, since my only experience with that is in Virginia.

I've also long ago sworn off arguing on the Internet, and this seems to be heading in that direction, so I guess you "win" by default?
Considering as a homeowner you would have to go through the process of getting restitution from a contractor or a flipper and both is a nasty experience, neither of which guarantees restitution. I would hardly call either one of those worse. Both suck.

For someone who doesn't know about contractor insurance, while most contractor insurance is general liability, which does cover faulty work, the burden of proof is not on the contractor but on the homeowner to prove the contractor's work is responsible for the home damage. This is not as clear cut as automobile insurance or health insurance. It is difficult in many situations to provide definitive proof that a contractor's work is responsible for the damage. Just because a contractor is insured doesn't mean the homeowner will get paid, and if they do, it could get paid years later once the proper investigations are completed by the insurance company, well after the homeowner already borrowed out the wazoo to rectify whatever damage the licensed contractor f-ed up.

Contractor insurance is not some magical thing that makes someone a good worker or reliable, and it most definitely doesn't mean you're getting a claim paid against a contractor's bad work. Since a flipper can be sued for his own personal assets, I would call it the same.

The greater majority of flippers are NOT diy'ers, and to get the house fixed up, who do they wind up hiring? Contractors who are licensed and insured. Most flippers, by far, are not doing the work themselves. They hire it out to contractors. So to say one will never buy a house from a flipper is to say one will never buy a house from someone who hired contractors to fix it up.

Going back to my earlier post, contractor or flipper, buyer beware. As a consumer, do your research, inspect the house, gain some fundamental knowledge, and you'll be far better off when you buy the house.

No matter who did the work, do your research. Go down to city hall and see what permits were pulled for work. It is openly free public knowledge and let's you know at least what was inspected by the town, and more importantly what failed or passed and is potentially still open. Being a knowledgeable consumer will serve you well your whole life, not just with house purchasing.
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Old 12-30-2018, 09:38 PM   #45
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Re: Any DIY House Flippers out there?


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I've also long ago sworn off arguing on the Internet, and this seems to be heading in that direction, so I guess you "win" by default?
Implies I'm getting aggresively argumentative. Just stating my case. Didn't think this was a "win" or "lose" type of discussion. You have an opinion which differs from mine. So what. I think you're wrong. You think I'm wrong. Big deal.
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