This Content Creator Bought A Flipped Home That Turned Out To Be A Trainwreck—Does She Regret It?

Image this: You tour a home that feels mild, vibrant, cheery. You resolve to make the leap and put in a proposal. Each house won’t be precisely what you need aesthetically, however it’s move-in prepared and can seemingly require little or no work till it can save you up and do a few of the remodels you keep in mind (the kitchen, particularly).

“We liked the character of this home, particularly the vaulted ceilings,” says Deema Lopez of the house she and her husband purchased in 2019. “It was ‘turn-key.’ The earlier house owners had completed some renovations and painted all of it white and made it look so fairly and it felt very completely happy. However then…DUN DUN DUN.”

a current iteration of deema’s lounge. she likes to tinker and transfer issues round recurrently, which is so enjoyable to look at.

I’ve been following Deema of Fairly on Fridays on Instagram for about three years. Except for being only a delight to look at (learn: she’s hysterical), I’ve all the time been taken by her enviable creativity. There’s the “subway tile” she drew on with a Sharpie in her youngsters’ lavatory. And the window-pane grid “wallpaper” in her bed room that was crafted with pencil. And naturally, possibly her most well-known DIY of tiny little flowers she hand-painted on the partitions in her essential hallway. I watched that come to life on Instastories throughout 5 full days. Oh, and the way may I not point out the painted patio ground? What. A. Journey. For her and for her viewers. 

“I faked every thing. I did pencil and sharpie tile, faked a backsplash, painted our checkers exterior, painted our ‘wallpapers’,” Deema tells me whereas we reminisce about how I first discovered her (the pencil wallpaper). “We did so many budget-friendly issues like that till we may afford actual stuff.” In spite of everything, when your partitions are chipping, there are mysterious smells all over the place and your home windows are leaking (ruining your wood flooring you by no means deliberate on altering), you gotta save the place you may.

Again to the DUN DUN DUN: “There have been so many issues mistaken with this home that it’s laborious to maintain monitor,” Deema says, half laughing. “So many bandaid options that on the floor stage appeared so fairly and also you’d don’t know about however as soon as we acquired in nearer, it was a prepare wreck.”

For ease of studying, I’m going to listing out in bullet factors all of the issues Deema recounted to me that got here up after they moved in. 

  • Plumbing points galore. “They didn’t join the pipes beneath the bottom so we had a extremely dangerous scent close to the laundry room and all of it needed to be rerouted which price a number of thousand {dollars}.”
  • Air duct points within the attic. “I don’t really feel very well-versed in what occurred there, however we needed to pay a pair grand for that.”
  • Bathrooms that weren’t sealed. “We seen a scent across the ring beneath the bogs and known as a plumber who instructed us the issue was they weren’t sealed. Simply floating.”
  • Hearth detaching from the home. “All of the earlier house owners did was fill the cracks with paint or some glue that wasn’t nice.”
  • Home windows weren’t sealed from the surface. “When it rained, all of the water seeped in underneath our hardwood flooring.”
  • Doorways to kitchen cupboard drawers had been falling off. “All they did was paint the kitchen cupboards horribly and add plastic {hardware}. The doorways to the drawers would fall off continually. I can snigger about it now. The caulk was coming off. Issues had been simply uneven, retailers, plumbing…the kitchen was not nice.”
  • Complete home was painted with out priming. “All the things was continually chipping.”
  • The divider between wooden and tile flooring was not safe. “They simply pop off on a regular basis between rooms.”
  • Spray-painted issues to cowl up. “Let’s see, they tried to cowl up rust all over the place; all our hinges, and issues within the lavatory. In addition they spray-painted the soot within the fire as an alternative of simply cleansing it.” 
  • Main electrical security issues. “There was one occasion the place we had been putting in a lightweight and we came upon our electrical was such a hazard that it may have set our home on hearth. I’m undecided how that acquired previous the inspection. It was on some setting that was too excessive and we solely discovered it out changing a lightweight.”
  • Subfloor separating. “This was a extremely large factor and held up our kitchen renovation for months. After eradicating our hardwood for the renovation, the contractor realized they’d laid concrete on one aspect of the kitchen and a distinct concrete on the opposite and so they didn’t join them so there was a HUGE crack that ran underneath the entire home. We needed to get an engineer and pay hundreds of {dollars} to repair it. The previous householders needed to have recognized as a result of it was new concrete. The engineer confirmed me the place the brand new concrete was laid, so that they didn’t disclose that regardless that they knew. If we didn’t repair it, it could hold separating, and finally, our ground would have busted open. It was so dangerous.” 
  • Much more subfloor separating. “My daughter has a dip in her room underneath the hardwood and I believe the identical factor is occurring there that we present in our kitchen. We’ve been avoiding it as a result of it’s going to be extra hundreds spent.” 

Whew. When she was going by all this, I simply stored dropping “wows” and “ohmygods” and the occasional awkward snigger as a result of that’s simply who I’m when somebody is telling me their comedy of errors. You would possibly anticipate these sorts of issues in a fixer-upper, certain, however in a “turn-key” home you bought? Not precisely. 

deema utterly overhauled the kitchen in her household’s dwelling to make it way more useful. defective drawer doorways not included.
she used the present fire to separate the kitchen cabinetry from the eating room built-ins. let’s hope it doesn’t fall off the home, proper?

“I get pissed off each day when one thing falls off or chips or we discover one other factor mistaken. There goes one other couple thousand {dollars}, okay,” Deema provides. “It’s fixed.”

After that laundry listing of disasters, I ask her a provocative query I assumed I knew the reply to. “Do you remorse shopping for this home, contemplating all of this?” Making ready to listen to an adamant “sure,” Deema surprises me. 

we love a eating banquette round these elements.

“I don’t. I like this home. I don’t need to reside right here ceaselessly however I like this home. We purchased it proper earlier than the pandemic so I’m so grateful for it. I remorse not asking the best questions and what we didn’t do earlier than signing the papers, however we most likely would have nonetheless purchased the home and possibly have the house owners repair some issues. I’m probably not somebody who has regrets, however I simply want I’d have recognized what was ready for us, what cash would should be spent.” 

As somebody who has lived by what looks like all.the.issues, I requested Deema her recommendation for anybody contemplating a flipped or owner-renovated dwelling in order that they don’t find yourself with the surprising cash pit she did. Study from Deema. Ask the best questions or do some digging, similar to…

as dema talked about, the bogs had been aesthetically in good condition after they purchased the home and aside from resealing bogs and uncovering spray-painted rust, they haven’t completed a lot in right here.

5 Essential To-Dos Earlier than Shopping for A Flipped Residence (So You Don’t Finish Up Regretting It)

  1. All the time—ALWAYS—examine if the house owners pulled permits for the finished work.

“We by no means checked to see if the earlier house owners had permits for the renovations. I could possibly be mistaken however I don’t suppose most first-time homebuyers suppose to examine for this. I imply, we didn’t. Looking back, we all know they hadn’t pulled permits which is a big crimson flag.”

  1. Skip the standard inspector.

“Quite a lot of my buddies have mentioned that they’ve employed contractors reasonably than an inspector to stroll by the house prior to purchasing it. From what I perceive, many inspectors simply have minimal coaching and actually solely have a look at surface-level stuff, however a contractor would flag much more. If I ever purchase one other dwelling, I’m hiring a contractor to do the walk-through inspection for me even when I’ve to pay them extra.”

  1. Test when the house owners bought the house after which after they put up for sale. 

“I can nearly assure that in the event that they purchased it, renovated, and flipped it again in the marketplace shortly, there are going to be points. Permits can take some time to get, so if one thing occurred too quick, they possibly didn’t even get permits. It’s laborious to mess issues up in case you have a allow and it’s inspected and accepted. Our home, for example, had been bought by the earlier house owners, ‘renovated’, and put up on the market inside a yr’s time. I don’t suppose we’ll ever purchase one other dwelling that has the same story.” 

  1. Ask extra questions if one other purchaser takes again their provide.

“Somebody had put in a proposal earlier than us and ended up strolling away from the home. The realtor mentioned it was as a result of it was on a busy avenue, which it’s, however figuring out what I do know now, it makes me marvel. You seemingly gained’t be capable of be taught the true purpose why somebody rescinds a proposal, however when you hear that data, it is best to most likely go into issues extra cautiously. It makes me marvel if they’d checked for permits, and notice there have been none, and backed away. Do a bit extra digging. I do know there’s a privilege of time to do all of this, particularly on this market, however when you can, it’s price it.” 

  1. Study what you may in regards to the house owners.

“We by no means acquired to fulfill the house owners or know something about them. Is that standard? They had been very bizarre about the entire course of and secretive. They had been these legendary creatures that solely spoke by their realtor. Possibly that is frequent, however on reflection, it feels bizarre.” 

deema repurposed a dresser and made it look inbuilt in her daughter’s room.

So there you could have it. For those who’re a seasoned home-owner or have gone by the shopping for course of earlier than, possibly a variety of this already. However even in case you are, you won’t have gone the route of flipped dwelling. In supersaturated markets like LA, the flipped property is so commonplace, usually bought as an funding to make a fast return, that Deema’s troubleshooting is a welcome lesson that she and her household sadly needed to be taught the laborious means. 

And since the EHD group is so educated with tons of dwelling life expertise, I’d prefer to open it up within the feedback so as to add any of your individual crimson flags or must-asks previous to signing on the dotted line. 

Thanks, Deema for chatting with me and pulling the curtain on your house’s woes. For those who’re in search of a brand new comply with and love classic, thrifting, artwork and a complete heap of creativity (you wouldn’t be right here when you didn’t), go try Deema’s accounts (Instagram, TikTok, Threads) and join her nice publication that I’ve shared earlier than on The Hyperlink Up. You gained’t remorse it!

Your buddy in design, 


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