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Flipping 102: The total gut job

Lynne Caloggero

March 5, 2021

In my last post, I jokingly called a more aggressive flip a “total gut job,” but there is some scary truth to this label. Anyone who has renovated a home knows the concept of “project creep.” Once drywall is removed from a single wall, revealing something scary behind it. Or, to remove the drywall it is impossible not to remove adjacent sheetrock, then ceilings, then floors. You get the picture…before you know it, the house is gutted!

Why does this happen? Because drywall is a convenient cover for former DIY projects that resulted in unsafe conditions, things that have allowed water to penetrate, or that were simply deemed too expensive to solve at the time. Things such as poor wiring, termite damage or mold can be hidden with drywall.

So, before you know it, the wall you wanted to remove in order to open up the floor plan, if done properly, leaves you looking through studded walls and wondering if you’re going to lose money rather than make it.

Call in a professional

How can this be avoided? By seeking experienced pre-purchase advice! Choose a realtor who know something about construction, or better yet, has hands-on experience flipping their own properties. And, by all means, do not skip the home inspection!

Realtors with flipping experience are rare, but they can help you recognize the difference between the desirable “fluff & buff” (see our Flipping 101 post) that can usually be completed by anyone with a decent eye and desire to work, or the budget busting “gut job” project.

Choose Merrimack Valley Realty! We’ve been flipping houses since 1994. We can help you find the best flipping property based on your budget goals, and we have great sub contractors we work with on our own flips to help our more adventuresome clients who truly do want to step up the risk level to achieve that greater reward.