Typically, when an inspector heads out to a “Fully renovated” older home it can spark some anxiety. You really want the home to be all that the renovators want it to be, but a lot of the time things that should be fixed are not fixed and these unfixed/un-upgraded items can cause what appears to be a nicely fixed up older home not to sell. So if you fix up or flip houses here are some not so obvious key tips on things you should definitely upgrade/repair/replace so your work will pay off.
If the roof is a typical asphalt shingle roof over 20 years old, replace it and get a PERMIT. So often roofing is not updated on flipped homes and/or a permit is not pulled when the roof is updated.
HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning)
If the HVAC on the home is over 15 years old replace it. Insurance companies are not a fan of old units and neither are inspector reports. Sure a HVAC unit can last 30 years and some do but as an inspector we know the life expectancy of these units is 10-15 years and it will be written up that way in the inspection report.
If the house has a Federal Pacific Stab-Lok Electric panel. Replace it. They have a history for having issues. Insurance companies do not like them and again as an inspector we have to call these out in an inspection report.
GFCI (Receptacles with the trip switch button on them) If the house does not have these on every receptacle within 6’ of a water supply then install them. That means kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms, garages and exterior receptacles. It’s one less thing that will be called out on an inspection report and they are not an expensive upgrade.
Old ungrounded two prong receptacles. You can do one of two things here. Either put a AFCI/GFCI breaker switch in the main electric distribution panel on all of the branch wiring that is ungrounded for some level of protection or replace the wiring in the home with upgraded wiring that is grounded.
Aluminum branch wiring. Many homes from 1960-1970’s had aluminum branch wiring put in the home. Replace it. Insurance companies are going to have an issue with it and it's just plain dangerous.
Water heaters. Just like the HVAC system a water heater has a typical life expectancy of 10-15 years. If they are old replace them. Older units get put in reports. Also make sure you put on a proper TPR valve on the water heater and put a tray under it.
Polybutylene pipes (Poly the grey plastic plumbing pipes "BP2110"). If a home has Poly piping in it and you want to avoid a write up in the report, then replace it. Inspectors have to call out Poly piping. The newer Poly with brass or copper fittings has a much lower failure rate but it will still get written up.
These are just a few of the main commonly unfixed/un-upgraded things inspectors tend to find in renovated/flipped homes in this area. Getting these things fixed/upgraded ahead of time will help the home move and save you money in the long run.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!