Flippers, at Least in Dallas, May Be Out of Control

A woman who I didn't know, called me a week or so ago at the suggestion of a mutual friend.

The woman lives in California, but she and her husband had bought a Dallas home in a popular and hot 1930s section of bungalows.

The MLS shows that they paid $425,000 for it; apparently it was a cash sale. They bought it through a Realtor.

She wanted me to handle the leasing of it, as they didn't plan to move to Dallas for a few more years.

After wrestling to get access, I went to look at it.

There were multiple code violations that apparently were the result of "remodeling" and "updating" that had been done by the previous owner.

Obviously, either no permits had been pulled, or the city inspector(s) didn't know what they were doing.

The biggest nightmare was that a new, large service panel had been installed on the back of the house. 

It looked great, but it wasn't properly grounded.  I traced the wires, and found that an old fuse box near the kitchen had been removed and new runs from the new breaker box had been spliced in with wire nuts.  Much of the wire was too small for the new breakers.  A lot of it seemed to be knob and tube. 

What was on the back of the house was nothing more than "eye candy." The electrical service in that house is dangerous.

A loft had been created near the front door, and with a very narrow steel winding staircase up to it.  The ceiling joists had been cut, and what was now the floor to the loft was not properly supported.

Plumbing issues abounded.

When I got back to my office, there was an email from the owner telling me that they had decided not to use me.  That was perfect because I wasn't going to take the leasing assignment.

It was then that I remembered that they had security cameras inside.  I assume they watched me as I inspected their mess, and that was the geneses of their decision.

But here's the thing.  There isn't anything unusual about this kind of ship-shod work in Dallas homes, regardless of age, and it surprises me that insurance companies insure those homes without requiring some evidence that the homes aren't a dangerous risk.

It also surprises me that the City of Dallas isn't more on top of unpermitted remodeling.

I'm personally scared to death of flips.

Bill Cherry, Realtor

Since 1966

214 503-8563




Comment balloon 4 commentsBILL CHERRY • January 24 2017 03:23PM


I would like to do one but my hubby is scared of, right now, no!

Posted by Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®, Giving Back With Each Home Sold! (RE/MAX Realty Center ) about 1 year ago

Real estate investors must be careful who they work with in another city. It can be scary at times.

Posted by Harry F. D'Elia, Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR (Real Estate and Beyond, LLC) about 1 year ago

Watching you on camera, that would be reason alone to probably not work with them, let along being attached to a property that is going to have a lot of potential to have serious issues.

Posted by Morgan Evans, LICENSED REAL ESTATE SALESPERSON (Douglas Elliman Real Estate) about 1 year ago

I have a couple of rehab and resale people who do fantastic work and both havew been full time builders so I wouldn't trash all of them. What you are describing is the put a bandaid on a gaping wound flipper you prettifies but doesn't address fundamentals.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 1 year ago

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