4 Key Elements to Inspect Before You Buy a Home to Flip

Flip home inspection (photo credit lolasmom19 via flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/debklemkosky/3972625803/)If you’re looking to purchase a home to flip, that is to fix it up and sell for a profit, you’ll want to be sure you’re not buying something more damaged than you can handle. Flipped homes look bright and shiny new but to do a flip right you have to be 100% certain what you’re getting and how much the repairs will cost. No matter what the condition of the home you want to buy to flip, an infrared home inspection can make the difference between getting a good buy and going bankrupt in the process of flipping the home.

1. Inspect the Roof

A typical home inspection means that the inspector will look at the roof from a ladder or from the inside of the home, but an infrared roof inspection finds a lot more, including hidden moisture. Nearly all leaks start out small – often invisible to the naked eye, which is what a standard home inspector relies on – and the moisture can go on doing damage for years before it’s discovered.

Thermal imaging makes it easy to find damp insulation and other problems that result from a leaking roof. See the Top 4 Advantages of an Infrared Roof Inspection for details.

2. Check the Windows

You can easily see for yourself whether the windows of the home are cracked or broken, but do you know whether they are well-sealed or leaking heated or conditioned air into the outside? Even if the home has storm windows, missing insulation or poorly installed seals can mean that the windows are not as energy efficient as they could be – and energy costs quickly add up.

Giving home buyers the assurance that the windows of the home are solid protection against the elements and efficient at containing the air that is conditioned is a terrific selling point. Knowing ahead of time means you can factor in the cost to update or replace the windows.

3. Examine the Electrical Systems

An infrared home inspection finds electrical components that are hidden to the naked eye. The advantage of infrared for electrical inspections is in discovering whether the electrical systems are overheating. Overheating electrical components may be overloaded, which can cause serious problems with your home flipping budget when you try to add switches or update the appliances. An infrared inspection report will show you the standard photographs side-by-side with the thermal imaging photographs, so you can see not only where the problem is but what you’ll need to do to fix it.

4. Learn about the Plumbing

The water distribution pipes that run through the home may be in acceptable condition or they could be leaking. If there’s a leak, you’ll only know if it has been going on for some time and has caused visible damage without an infrared home inspection. With a thermal imaging camera, however, you’ll know if there are hidden leaks that nobody knows about yet. Leaks mean major budget damage. Even newly installed plumbing may leak if it’s poorly installed and sealed. Sometimes, you’ll find leaks under the toilets and sinks that have not yet caused enough damage to lift the flooring or stain the ceiling.

Even if you got the lead on this home from a reliable source, an infrared home inspection can give you ALL the details you need to know the real condition of the home before you make an offer. Plus, you’ll have a far more reliable budget after the thermal imaging inspection to make sure that you can get in and out of this flip home deal quickly and with a profit.


Andrew MacDonald is an experienced and certified thermal imaging inspector for homes in Elgin, Algonquin, St. Charles, and surrounding towns. When you want to understand your home’s condition or are considering buying a new home, call Andrew today and he’ll tell you how his 20 years’ experience can help.
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