real estate

Buying a flipped home? 5 questions to ask

What changes have you made to the house?
What changes have you made to the house? © Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock.com

Some states such as Texas are "full-disclosure" states, says Szot, who lives in the Lone Star State. A full-disclosure policy means that sellers have to tell buyers everything they know about the house, including changes they've made.

That makes it easy to get a list of the work an owner has done to the home, she says.

Even if you don't live in a full-disclosure jurisdiction, you can still ask the current owners for a written, detailed report of all the changes they've made to the property -- and ask them to sign it, says Szot.

Permits, and other documents related to work or upgrades, should be available to prospective buyers, says Mike Holmes, contractor and author of "The Holmes Inspection: The Essential Guide for Every Homeowner, Buyer and Seller."

Check with the permitting authority to make sure that work passed inspection once it was completed, he says: "The more you do your homework, the better."

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