You just fell in love with that house – but does it have a cheap kitchen flip? How can you tell? Here are some important things to look at as you are touring that dream home!
Poorly Made Drawers
Open the drawers to see if the drawers are all wood, including the sides and backs of the drawers. Some drawers are not even solid sided. Instead they are open on the sides with an aluminum rod to keep things in the drawer. Check for dovetail construction in the corners, which can signify it was made durably and is of superior quality.
When looking at the drawers, it’s important to pay attention to what tracks are used. Cheaply made drawers have aluminum rails and plastic wheels, which can crack or wobble with age.
“Custom Cabinets” Aren’t Always an Upgrade
Cheap kitchen flips are frequently updated without the end user in mind. The flipper does not think over the bests way for the kitchen to function in the 21st century. Cabinets are just changed out without consideration to the fact that our needs in a kitchen have changed in the last 50 years. We need more storage for large appliances like Kitchen-aid mixers. You don’t want a microwave on the counter any more. You need more storage for spices.
Watch out for cabinets with blind corners that have a lot of hidden space that’s not accessible, as well as the cabinets above the fridge or double oven that are usually installed out of reach for most people.
Make sure there are no large gaps between the cabinet doors and the frame and that the cabinets are installed on a straight line. Are the doors hanging straight? Do they close when you shut them? Are they soft close doors?
Don’t Count on the Quality of the Kitchen Counters
For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of your home – so it’s important to feel confident that the materials used in your kitchen are durable.
A flipped property might advertize quartz countertops because of their popularity, but did you know that they’re not all the same.
Be sure to ask specific questions about the materials used before you buy a flip. Cheap quartz is quick to chip and stain, while quality surfacing from a trusted brand like Silestone will be durable and offer a warranty. If the countertops are granite, make sure that they are sealed correctly so that they don’t stain with every glass of red wine! Ask how to maintain those gleaming countertops too so that they will look as good in five years as this year!
Do the Appliances Say Cheap Kitchen Flip?
Do the kitchen appliances open properly and clear all handles and cabinets? Isn’t it annoying when you can’t open the oven door without standing in the next room or if you open the oven door you can’t open the dishwasher because they are right across from each other?
Another sign of a cheaply flipped kitchen is when appliances don’t have hinges on the correct side based on the layout of the room. There’s a chance the flipper installed appliances that weren’t specifically ordered for that house or that they didn’t take into account the proximity of the wall to the refrigerator when the door is open! (I speak from personal experience on the latter,)
Another sign to watch out for is cheap bottom of the line appliances or ones that are already slightly dented or scratched. Is the interior of the dishwasher stainless throughout or plastic? Did the flipper buy the appliances at an appliance warehouse that specializes in slightly damaged appliances?
Is the stove equipped with an anti-tip device? Is the dishwasher correctly attached to the countertop and sides so that it can’t be pulled forward by an active toddler? You don’t want to have to spend more money correcting things that should have been done correctly the first time.
Bad Paint = Cheap Kitchen Flip
Another way to tell if you are looking at a cheap kitchen flip is to look at the corners of a space. Do the cuts on the crown molding and baseboard corners line up?” Is the paint in the corners of the room and the ceiling done correctly? Are the corners of the closets clean and well painted? Looking in the corners of a home will tell you a lot about the workmanship of home flippers and their tradespeople.
After you have looked up at the ceilings and the corners then look down at the kitchen floor. Look at the bottom front of the dishwasher. Does the flooring go underneath the dishwasher or just stop right at the base? If you want to change out your dishwasher at some future date, will you have to go with the same style because you otherwise will have a gap in the flooring? or you will have to replace the kitchen flooring too?
Old Outlets? That’s Shocking!
Does your “new” kitchen have new outlets to go along with all the upgrades? Are the outlets close to water sources GFCI? Are the outlet covers new and clean or old and dirty? Are the outlets themselves usable or painted over and useless? The seller who didn’t bother to replace the older smoke detectors, switches, and outlets is someone who probably skipped a lot of other meaningful updates that you might not be able to see.
Give us a call at 240-401-5577 or email us at Lise@lisehowe.com. With over 30 years experience helping buyers find good homes, we are glad to walk through the home of your dream to make sure this is not a nightmare scenario – and to suggest other homes too! If you want to start searching right away, just click here.
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