First, I don't want to label all renovators as 'house flippers' and put them out of business. In fact, I genuinely appreciate the skilled contractor who purchases a tired, dated, obsolete crapbox (like all those Toronto Housing Corporation dumps which have been unloaded over the past year) and turns them into quality, renovated, mechanically-sound dwellings for resale while extending the properties life span another thirty years. In fact, I fully support the home improvement industry earning a premium return on investment for jobs-well-done.
But steer me - and my Buyers - clear of the unscrupulous folks who flip houses for profit in the shortest possible time doing the least amount of work. They drive me wild! Why? Based on the 'finished' product that comes back on the market just weeks later, I find these Flippers tend to lack renovation experience, a genuine commitment to quality, or the appropriate level of taste.
In Toronto, a City with an abundance of dilapidated hundred year old housing stock in centrally-located high-demand neighbourhoods, it's feasible to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse. However, you have to have a sufficient skill set to know what you're doing, possess enough moral and ethical integrity to care about your craftsmanship, and have foresight to invest in a well-informed designer to approve your finishing and fitting choices. Really!
One of my top flipper picks that make me want to Flip Out is....
Recessed Lighting Overkill!
As a realtor parading buyers around the City on a daily basis, I shudder every time I open the front door of a flipper house, turn on the lights and Blam!...the entire living room ceiling lights up like some glossy automobile showroom. Newsflash - recessed lighting is supposed to discreetly direct beams of carefully calibrated light onto a thoughtfully-placed art collection, or other focal points like a fireplace - and not blind the room like a sports stadium. Worse, the truly incompetent flipper will also install the recessed lights with too much insulation around the light fixture's housing units embedded in the ceiling, so as the lights overheat the thermal protection switch built into the fixture automatically turn off until the bulbs cool down, then pop back on.
If this happens to you, you've unintentionally bought a disco with no beat. You then have my permission to set up your Ipod and lip sync Abba's 1976 hit "Money Money Money" at your awkward overlit housewarming party.
Notice the spotlight effect in this video (like around the 54 second mark) which you, too, may experience in your newly flipped dwelling due to your newly acquired overheating recessed lighting!
I have more flipper rants in me, so stay tuned for sequels.
~ Steven and the urbaneer team