In a market like the one we currently have here in Grand Rapids flips are fairly common. An individual or a company purchases a beat up, dated or neglected home, the house gets cleaned up and updated and placed back on the market as fast as possible. There are a few things to look at when buying a home that has been flipped.
1- Check to see if permits where pulled and closed out. Here in Grand Rapids all permits can be checked online. You can see who pulled the permit, when it was pulled and if it was passed its inspections. The absence of permits arent a deal breaker but is a not a great sign.
2- Look past the kitchens and bathrooms. Flippers spend most of their time and money on these areas and often neglect to fix or update the more important and costly items of the home (foundation, furnace, electrical, plumbing, etc.) I have seen a brand new kitchen with high end appliances but right below it in the basement were damaged joists and beams. Make sure you are not being blinded by the cosmetics.
3- Although quality flips exist, they are few and far between. Do some research on who flipped the home. Is this their first flip? What type of reputation do they have? Look up their companies google reviews.
4- Get it inspected! Although these tips can help you weed through the really bad ones expirienced flippers are good at hiding problems. Make sure you hire an inspector that is going to go through the home with an expirienced set of eyes.
Hopefully these tips help! If you have any question or want me to inspect your next home let me know! Id love to help!