real estate

Buying a flipped home? 5 questions to ask

What buyers should ask about a flipped home
What buyers should ask about a flipped home © Stephen Mcsweeny /

Buying a flipped home is like negotiating a Cold War treaty: Trust, but verify.

Flippers often make just a few cosmetic changes before they resell a house. With fresh paint and brand-new appliances, what's not to love? Frequently, flippers target projects the next buyer would have had to tackle anyway. Buying a home with a smaller to-do list is a plus.

In some cases, flippers renovate or make structural changes. That's also good, if they do it right. Not so hot if they make a hash of it. And, in rare instances, a less-than-scrupulous soul might disguise a home's flaws with paint or well-placed wallboard.

While buying a flipped home isn't a bad thing, a smart buyer wants to know that upfront and ask a few extra questions before making an offer.

Here are five questions that the pros in real estate, construction and renovation recommend you ask to determine whether the home was flipped, and what its true condition is.

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