As Chicago’s real estate market continues to slump to 20-month lows, Chicago Home Inspectors have revealed that unethical “quick flippers” are building on the city’s housing issues with a far more dangerous problem: dangerous, so-called renovations.
The Chicago Tribune has already warned of a bubble in the city’s house flipping “frenzy.” According to Real Estate Daily, the effect on the market has been severe, preventing would-be home buyers from purchasing homes while they are renovated and turned around for a quick buck. However, there is a dark side to this marketplace.
For prospective buyers already squeezed by a lack of housing, the prospect of finding a dream home for their family is now laced with the fear of finding a house of horrors, ready to hit their health – and their wallet.
Chicagoland Home Inspectors found one such home when inspecting a recently-renovated property for realtor Denise Reed Burbon of Charles Rutenberg Realty, who commented that buying such property was akin to purchasing a car which caught a flat tire with each corner turn.
“Denise and I were amazed at the state this house was in – these unethical flippers are little more than con-men trying to make a quick buck at the expense of Chicagoans looking for a home,” said Charles Bellefontaine of Chicagoland Home Inspectors, who conducted the inspection.
“Make no mistake about it: These homes are dangerous. Sooner or later, the effect of ‘quick flipping’ is going to result in tragedy. This is a ticking time bomb that is coming about purely because of greed with no concern for consequences. As home inspectors, we are vigilant against this threat and condemn this unethical behavior. Who wants to buy a potential death trap?”
The flipped property, an elegant townhouse located in the historic Bronzeville neighborhood, was inspected on May 5th. Out of 74 items checked, over 23 were listed as a safety hazard with a further 43 recommendations made for improvements to pass.
“It’s hard to buy, renovate, and sell a home in Chicago for $300,000 and turn a profit in Chicago. People looking for homes should not be trusting – and take every effort to protect themselves and their investment,” said Karla Thomas, Founder and Managing Broker at Urb& Burb.