When you buy a home in South Florida, or any market where most of the housing stock is older – and not new construction – you will most likely have to consider whether you want to buy a home that has been recently upgraded (often by a home flipper), or if you want to do the upgrades yourself.
Do It Yourself
The most obvious benefit of doing a renovation yourself is that you can purchase the home for considerably less to begin with. Another major benefit is that you get to pick out every little detail of how the renovated home will look. You also control what you spend on the renovation, and if you’re willing to get creative, you can find materials at good prices, and possibly even do some of the work yourself, versus paying contractors, if you are handy. The cons to this are everything you’d expect… you drive yourself crazy with a renovation; costs can get out of control when unexpected problems arise and there are so many details to attend to, that you get sick of having to choose one more color of paint or style of fixture.
Flip or Flop
The major benefit of buying an upgraded home from a flipper is that the house is turnkey, ready to go when you close. You can move right in to a fully functional home. Drawbacks can include – paying more for an upgraded home and possibly not liking the finishings the flippers chose for your home. Even worse, you might get in to the home and realize the contractors your flippers hired did crummy, substandard work that you have to get redone anyway. Or maybe they took the cheap way out of solving bigger problems with the home. Then again, you might luck out and have a spectacular flipper who used quality materials and workers who did a great job of upgrading the home.
How to Decide?
If you are limited on funds, but have a lot of patience and don’t freak out too easily, purchasing a home at a lower price point and renovating yourself is a great way to go. If you know that’s not for you and you just want to waltz in to your house on day one and start decorating and moving in, buying from a flipper is probably the way to go. When you buy, do a careful inspection of your own and look closely at details such as the types of materials used, whether things look finished and if there are any obvious issues. That’s a good indicator of whether or not the flipper put the tender loving care into the home’s renovation that they would if it was their own home.