Remodeled homes are a great way to get a contemporary place on a budget. But what looks pretty at first glance might be lying to you.
There’s a saying in Spanish that goes, “cheap things turn out expensive”. It’s easy to be tricked into the shiny new facade of a flipped home only to discover the ugly truth underneath over time. Follow the steps below to avoid signing your name away on a potential disaster.
1. Check the Workmanship
The quality of the workmanship is the first indicator that the remodel has or has not been done well. Take into account all the small details of the property that could otherwise be easily overlooked.
Check that no edges are peeling off the floor. Check the paint job to see if there are any missed spots, and above all feel for dust underneath. If they couldn’t be bothered to dust off the surface before painting over it, what else did they slack on?
In the kitchen, examine the tiles on the flooring and backsplash. Are they all evenly placed? Do the cabinets all match? Are the counters even and attached to the wall?
In the bathroom, are the tiles in the shower and the floor even?
These are all questions to ask yourself on your walkthrough of the remodeled home.
2. Check the Materials
Maybe you’re not looking for top-notch appliances and materials, but that doesn’t mean you should settle for bottom of the barrel products, either. You are spending money after all, and renovators sometimes take advantage of homebuyers by using extremely cheap items to save on their own budget while building. This means accelerated wear-and-tear and lower quality day-to-day life on your end.
Do your own research into the types of appliances found in the home. If they’re not standard, well-known items, strongly reconsider purchasing the property. Likewise, if materials like the plumbing pipes don’t match, or haven’t been updated at all, save yourself and walk away.
3. Check the Functionality
The design of the remodel needs to be catered towards everyday life in a way that makes sense. It’s one of those things you don’t notice or appreciate until it goes wrong.
This means the doors shouldn’t be blocking one another when opened, and should open and close with ease. Same goes for the windows. Also, make sure that all the kitchen cabinets and appliances open smoothly and don’t obstruct each other.
4. Confirm the Changes are Approved
Before workers begin a remodel, they need to obtain permits that ensure their compliance with building codes. If they never completed this step it means they don’t respect the rules, and you can go ahead and assume the worst. Think flooring plastered over to hide rotting wood, or black mold behind newly placed tiles.
5. Hire Professional Home Inspectors
Once you’ve done all the legwork yourself and concluded that the remodeled home is worthy of buying, the final step is to get a second opinion, not only from your real estate agent but from professional home inspectors. It is beneficial to have someone else look over the property in case you missed something. Even moreso, professionals will know to look in places you don’t. They will assure you that the house structure is intact (including the roof, a place you’re probably not keen on exploring), the AC and heat systems are good to go, and that the pipes are ready for use.
Don’t skimp out on this part of the process. Trust me, it’s worth the extra money to get professional input. In the long run you could be spending a lot more than you signed up for on unplanned repairs.
Don’t be shy to look beyond the surface, inquire on the details, and test everything out. Purchasing a home is a big decision that should be well thought out.
Many remodels are worth the investment. Just because a building is old doesn’t mean it can’t be worked on and restored to new. But the bad apples of renovations are out there, and you should do what you can to protect yourself.