Over the years, Tarek and I have bought a lot of houses, and we’ve seen every nightmare possible.
From vandalism to faulty foundations — and even cement mix in the toilets — we’ve somehow made it through all of our house flips without going completely nuts or losing our shirts in the process.
From all of our crazy experiences, I’ve learned that there are a lot of things that can set you back when you’re buying and flipping houses, but most of them aren’t going to be deal breakers — if you do your research and plan your rehabs right.
With that said, if you’re buying a house for yourself or you’re worried about a tight rehab budget for a fix-and-flip house, there are definitely a few things you should look out for, and many of the big ones are in the kitchen.
Some of these problems can be deal breakers and leave you wishing you had waited for a different property.
1. WATER DAMAGE
Water damage is an important thing to look for in any room of the house, especially in the basement and ground floor, as previous evidence of flooding can foretell some serious woes down the road.
However, in the kitchen, water damage isn’t necessarily just a sign of flooding and potential problems if you get a rainy season.
In fact, when you see water damage in the kitchen, pay attention. This could indicate a problem with the plumbing, like a cracked or leaky pipe or sink.
Even if the owners swear that they had the cause of the water damage taken care of, you’ll want to take a really good look. Have your inspector or contractor give it a once-over to ensure that you aren’t going to be looking at more extensive repairs down the road.
Even if the cause of the water damage has been addressed, there’s still a chance that the damage could be deeper and more expensive than you think, especially if there’s water damage to the floor.
Have an objective pro look at it for you, and see what they say before you move forward.
2. ASBESTOS PIPES
Back in the day, asbestos was used to insulate pipes and keep them from freezing in the winter. If asbestos hasn’t started to break down, it isn’t that dangerous.
But because any house you find with asbestos pipes is going to be older, you can expect the asbestos to start breaking down in the near future, even if it isn’t now.
Worse yet, if you have kids who like to get into everything (like mine!), you’ll have to worry about them getting in contact with the asbestos, as well.
In general, unless a house is an absolute steal with a lot of room in the rehab budget for improvements, I try to avoid any property that has any asbestos insulation. If you see it on the pipes leading to the kitchen sink, you might want to rethink this deal.
(Continue Reading on Zillow)