Moving in to a newly flipped home can seem like a great deal. But unfortunately, some flippers tend to cut corners, and their cheap cosmetic fixes can be hiding shoddy workmanship and other more expensive and serious problems. Just ask Kaitlin Mattes, a homeowner who's been going viral on TikTok for exposing the many annoying mistakes she's uncovered in her horribly flipped house.
Inspired by Kaitlin's saga, I recently asked members of the BuzzFeed Community to tell me about their horribly flipped homes, and oh boy, was I ever not ready for this. Here's what they had to say:
1. "Our flippers didn't adjust the toilet phalange when they put new flooring in the bathroom. Every time we would flush the toilet, a tiny squirt of water would drop into the floor, which was directly on top of our kitchen. The ceiling gave way six weeks after we moved into the place."
2. "I live in a rental, but the owners replaced the carpeted floor way before I moved in. They used cheap tile, and I guess did it as a DIY project because none of the tiles are level, so there's dips and hills. They also tend to crack easily. There were a few cracks from before we moved in, but our son was a toddler, so he made a few new cracks from dropping stuff. My husband used to work in construction, and the floors drive him up the wall."
3. "Our 3 bedroom/1 bath has the tiniest possible amount of space to fit a toilet, tub, and sink. So, why not install the largest jetted bathtub the space will allow? No one will mind the lack of storage solutions. Also, there is a full-sized window to the back yard inside the shower, which shows anyone in the shower to the neighbors from the waist up..."
4. "Weirdest: mice skeletons painted into the floor underneath the bathtub. Most annoying: dog hair that wasn't cleaned up before the floors were put down. Every few months, it gets worked into a pile that comes out between room transitions."
5. "Just bought a house that had been a foreclosure and had been 'updated' within the last year. There had been a lot of money put into it (new furnace, AC, roof, back deck), but for that reason, they skimped on the interior flip. The kitchen in particular was crap from the layout to the craftsmanship, and the floor was already peeling up because they never finished removing the tile and just threw laminate over it. So, we knew we were going to redo the kitchen from the get-go. Didn’t realize how crappy a job they did until we went to tear it all out. Let’s just say caulk was basically holding the kitchen together."
6. "The condo was a rental for years before, and they replaced the carpet before selling. Within two weeks of buying it and moving in, the low budget carpet started shedding like crazy. Rolls started wrinkling and created a tripping hazard. Apparently, the carpet was cheap and very poorly installed."
—Andrea, San Luis Obispo
7. "My parents just recently bought a house, and there's so much wrong with it that it could be its own article, but I'll just focus on the plumbing and electrical. They must have been done by someone who was drunk and high at the same time while going to the University of I Don't Know What I'm Doing. The first week of living there, the plumbing in both bathrooms stopped working. So, that first week we couldn't flush the toilet and had to wash our hands in the kitchen sink."
"My bathroom plumbing was put together so drunkenly bad it took my dad three months to fix. The person that did the plumbing had connected the sink, toilet, and shower together. So, if you were to flush the toilet, the water from the toilet would start going up the drain of the sink and the shower. And if you were to run water in the shower or sink, it would go into the toilet.
Now, for the electrical. It makes no logical sense. When they were hooking up the electric to the breaker box, they had one breaker just for the microwave. Another breaker had a bedroom, hallway, kitchen, and foyer all together. One breaker had the lights for another bedroom, and you would think it would have the outlets for that bedroom. Nope, that's on a completely different breaker. And even though my dad and I tested every single switch on the breaker box, there's still a switch that we don't know what it goes to."
8. "They ran an electric cable around a closet door (between wall board, without true frame) instead of installing junction boxes and connecting through the basement. Discovered this when replacing interior doors."
9. "Not me, but my parents. They bought a house from the original owners, who did a very cheap, half-assed job of 'fixing' it up to sell. Bathroom cabinets are mismatched and too small for the space, none of the tile matches, and in one room, cheap vinyl flooring (that was not even glued down properly) was laid down on top of moldy, water-damaged wood parquet. The guest quarters have uneven flooring because they put new tile down over the old tile — except in the guest bathroom, so there’s a half-inch difference."
10. "They didn't connect the heat to the venting."
11. "Owners before us were contractors and liked to reuse leftovers from their projects. They also liked to drink, a lot, according to the neighbors. They put leftover tiling down in the kitchen, and it’s clearly supposed to be bathroom wall tiling, not floor tiling. They didn’t put the right sub-flooring down, and our new contractor says we’ll have to rip everything out to replace it with something better. We’ve been saving up for it, but aren’t quite there. It is so slippery when it gets wet, we’ve had so many slips and falls in there."
"One time, my wife had to rush to throw up in the bathroom off of the kitchen, and she hit a wet spot and fell ass over head WHILE she was vomiting. She ended up doing some kind of mermaid/walrus/sea lion flop ‘n slide across the floor all while throwing up. We HATE the tile."
12. "We bought our home from a 'contractor' who had added on two bedrooms and a dining room. Fast-forward two years, and the floor starts caving in. As it turns out, it was a weekend job with his buddies that the inspector didn’t catch. He did not grade the yard appropriately, and water was flowing under the house when it rained. When the floors were taken up, we discovered untreated lumber lying straight on the ground. He had not laid any type of moisture barrier. We also found tons of mold and dozens of beer cans."
"We had to have the backyard regraded, all of the foundation on that portion of the house replaced, and new flooring throughout the house. Insurance wouldn’t pay…$20K later, and we never could track the guy down to sue him. We were thankfully able to sell and recoup our money when the housing market went crazy last year."
13. "The company who fixed up the house replaced three doors on the ground floor with window-plated doors. One of these doors leads to the basement, which is fine. Another is for the hall closet, which is a bit weird but I guess fine if you don't mind people looking at your coats and vacuum cleaner. But the third door...well..."
14. "Our house was a flip. We didn't know what that entailed. Some corners were cut in the renovations. They covered the basement ceiling with drywall, so we don't know where the electrical or plumbing lines are, in case we need to fix something. It's an unfinished basement, but I guess they tried to make it 'finished.' The walls leech water, as is normal for where we live, but the paint bubbles and peels and covers the floor and everything near it. We wasted time and money to try to fix it."
15. And finally, "Rented an apartment that had been flipped and was the epitome of 'lipstick on a pig.' Floors were all redone, but not the sub-flooring, so throughout the house you would hit soft spots where if it weren't for that top layer of flooring, (e.g. carpet) you would have fallen through the floor. The water from the washer and some other things drained into a pit in the basement. Got heavy rain a few weeks after moving in, rainwater leaked into the basement, which really isn't unusual or unexpected for this type of home and how old it was. What was unexpected was that the contractors were so lazy, that instead of throwing away their trash in the garbage, they would just shove it down that drain pit."
"They had clogged it with chunks of drywall, foam, and whatever else you can imagine, so the next morning, we awoke to our basement being flooded with multiple inches of water.
There were also holes in the foundation so large that you could see daylight through them. This led to a mouse and rat infestation."
"The light and ceiling fan in the living room was wired incorrectly and would turn off/on at its behest. Had a leak in the ceiling below the upstairs bathroom, and figured the tub was leaking since we were having other issues with it. Plumbers came by, had to cut a massive area out of kitchen ceiling to check, and found that it was actually toilet water dripping into our kitchen. The people who fixed it up never actually sealed the pipes for the upstairs toilet, so it just leaked every time you flushed it."
"They also put two seals in below the toilet, which actually prevented any sealing, and more toilet water subsequently leaked from there as well. Plumbers said they fixed it all, but later that night, right after someone took a massive dump, they flushed the toilet and almost every ounce of shit water leaked through the supposedly newly fixed seal. And because the ceiling had been removed, it all cascaded onto our kitchen floor and countertops, and into the dishwasher we had left open (so the dishes could fully dry before we put them away because that also worked for shit). Those dishes were all thrown in the trash.
Honestly, I could go on and on about this place. But I'm tired."