House flip or flop: the pitfalls of restored homes

As the housing market has improved and home remodeling shows gain popularity, interest in renovating and reselling homes has never been higher. People want in on what appears to be a get-rich-quick idea but Wilmington is quickly becoming home to a lot more flops, than quality flips.  There are different levels of renovations. Some houses only require cosmetic polish: new paint and appliances, but for this report, we’re specifically talking about older and historic homes. These structures, some having already hit or about to hit their 100th birthday, have the most charm, the most work needed and are most likely to get labeled as a “lipstick on a pig” house. That’s the nickname given to any top-dollar renovated home given low-budget treatment. For buyers, the first check they cash is an emotional one: Do I like this house?  But for renovated homes, that’s just the beginning of a long road to investigating the quality of work done to it. “A lot of times when it’s a bunch of pretty stuff, you don’t know what’s going on behind the walls,” said Delinda Harrelson, President of Home Solutions Group.


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