Active Rain April 9, 2011

Lipstick on a Pig – Understanding the Dangers of Rehabbed Foreclosures


I seldom re blog posts from other authors but this piece by John Mulkey is sound advice that more people should consider. All too often, I’ll show a home that was bought at foreclosure and rehabilitated in a manner that addressed cosmetics but left mechanicals and structural matters in a dubious state. 

There is a certain type of buyer who is looking for a turnkey property. They have no appetite for doing restoration work and just want to move in. New kitchens and baths, fresh paint and refinished hardwoods influence them strongly, but in these cases a home inspection is even more crucial to dtermine if the rehabilitation was superficial or masked more expensive problems down the road. 


Via John Mulkey, Housing Guru (

Lipstick on a Pig – Understanding the Dangers of Rehabbed Foreclosures


piggy bank with lipstickWith millions of homes having been lost to foreclosure and millions more to come, savvy “investors” may purchase some of the best deals with the intention of turning them for a quick profit.  Unfortunately, some of those “investors” have little knowledge of construction and use their skills as “make-up artists” to put lipstick on what might otherwise be seen as a pig, a home with serious or even dangerous defects. 


Homes that have gone through the foreclosure process have often been neglected by owners who lack the financial resources to do routine maintenance.  Other homes may have been vandalized or had appliances, plumbing fixtures, wiring or plumbing pipes stolen.  And while the investor may replace missing fixtures and make repairs, in some cases those making repairs lack the proper licenses or certifications required by local building authorities.  Unscrupulous “flippers” may even attempt to cover up obvious flaws or dangerous conditions. 


Homebuyers considering the purchase of a home that has gone through foreclosure should always seek the guidance of an experienced real estate agent and should ALWAYS have the home inspected by a qualified home inspector.  While homes that are being “flipped” for profit may have lots of “sex appeal,” buyers must look beyond the surface.  Applying makeup cannot solve serious defects; and if there are unanswered questions or concerns it may be better to skip the flip.


To see some of the dangers posed by “flips,” and unscrupulous “flippers,” read these two posts from Jay Markanich, an experienced home inspector in Bristow, VA:


Mr. Jay’s Neighborhood – Meet Flipper

Oh, They Didn’t Need You.  The County Did the Inspection.


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