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The Flip House Saga Continues (It Has Gone From Bad To Worse)

Do you remember the flip house next door to us? If you missed that story, you can read more about it here: A Flip House Gone Wrong (And House Flippers Gone Insane). Long story short, a flipper bought the house next door to us, and in my humble opinion, redid everything in the house using cheap materials and shoddy work, and then put the house on the market for $450,000.

I don’t even remember when the house originally went on the market after the “upgrades” (I say, trying to hold back the eyerolls), but by January of this year, the price had been marked down to $439,000.

And what was being offered for that price? Well, you can hop over to my previous post to see all of the details, and you can check out the videos I took of the kitchen on my Instagram story highlights, but suffice it to say that the kitchen is a total mess.

Here are the highlights:

  1. The space for the refrigerator (not pictured above) is really narrow, and there’s no water line.
  2. There’s another area with enough wall space for a refrigerator, but it has no outlet or water line.
  3. The cabinet with the space for the dishwasher was installed after the baseboards were installed, so there’s about a 1/2-inch gap between the cabinet and the wall.
  4. The space for the dishwasher doesn’t have any electricity or plumbing.
  5. The upper corner cabinets don’t have coordinating lower corner cabinets, so you have to duck under those upper cabinets to get to those end drawers. The other side has the same arrangement.
  6. The stove is standing all alone. There are no cabinets/countertops around it, making for a very awkward and inefficient cooking experience.

The kitchen is just ridiculous, and the fact that they started out asking $450,000 for a house with that kitchen seemed insane to me.

I’ve watched as the price has dropped little by little over the last nine months, and now the price has dropped to $325,000. That still seems crazy to me for this house…with this kitchen that needs to be completely torn out and redone…but they didn’t ask for my input.

So one day earlier this week, I was working in our master bathroom, and I glanced out the window to see two work trucks sitting in the driveway of that house. These were trucks loaded down with ladders and toolboxes (actually, one may have been a van, and the other a truck) with a company name on the side. I didn’t pay any attention to the name of the company, but they were there for several hours doing some kind of work on the house.

I wasn’t interested enough to ask any details, but I did ask if the house had sold. The guy told me it hadn’t sold, so I went about my business.

And then as I was driving by the house yesterday, I noticed some of the work they did. OH…MY…GOSH. Just when I thought the “upgrades” [huge eyeroll] on this house couldn’t get any worse, they proved me wrong.

Evidently, someone thought that the two entrances with steps leading up to them needed handrails, so now the house has a handrail outside of each entrance. I’ll start with the nicer of the two. Here’s what the handrail at the secondary entrance looks like…

What the heck is that?! But again, that’s the nicer of the two.

Here’s the new handrail at the main front entrance of the house…

I’ll remind you that this was done by “professionals” with vehicles filled with tools and official company names on the sides of their vans/trucks.

But evidently, those toolboxes didn’t contain a level or a tape measure. I mean, just look at how that thing is leaning!

If you needed a handrail for extra stability as you walk up steps, would you trust this thing?

I can’t believe that there are “professionals” out there who would do this type of work. How in the world do people like this stay in business?

It’s really unfathomable to me. I wish that I had paid more attention and at least had written down the name of the company on the side of those vehicles. These people should not be allowed to work on houses if this is the type of work they’re producing.

But in my opinion, this shoddy work is on par with the rest of the work that was done on this house. And they’re still asking $325,000 for it.

For contrast, we bought our house on the same size lot (one acre) for $80,000, and I transformed our front porch from this…

Into this…

And I’m just a self-taught DIYing homeowner. I don’t even have a big truck or van filled with lots of ladders and toolboxes, or a big business name logo on the side of my vehicle. But I do own a bubble level and a tape measure, and I take pride in my work. I wish the people making a complete mess of the house next door would start doing the same.

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66 Comments

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  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Judy
    September 23, 2022 at 10:57 am

    Oh gosh! Unbelievable!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Angela
    September 23, 2022 at 11:12 am

    What on Earth?! I wonder how much they paid the “company” to do this. It really won’t move now!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Joyce Prescott
      September 23, 2022 at 8:25 pm

      Omg! That is awful! They were probably told by the bank or insurance that they needed a handrail, but come on…that is awful! Shoddy work for sure!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Kay
    September 23, 2022 at 11:13 am

    Tragic

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susan
    September 23, 2022 at 11:16 am

    If handrails are going in you can bet that FHA is involved. My son recently bought a house and FHA make the previous owner put in railings on the basement stairs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    barb
    September 23, 2022 at 11:20 am

    UGHHHH! As a business owner of sub-contract company (resi/comc’l overhead doors and gates systems) I can tell you that anyone can slap a logo on a truck to let the community they are “pros” which is not necassarily truthful.

    Potential cutomers need to do their due dilengence and ask around who does “quality” work. We get calls asking “what’s your cheapest door/gate” or “y’all are more exspensive than blah blah blah” <> Yes we are, because we are a company that hires and trains employee’s to become skilled tradesmen/women. We all need to make sure we are hiring good quality trades.
    The pandemic allowed some people to think they could whip out a hammer and create a business making guardrails – haha!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michelle C
    September 23, 2022 at 11:22 am

    And that main entry handrail isn’t even attached to structure. It’ll just push or pull over.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lisa Myers
    September 23, 2022 at 11:23 am

    Wow!!! Unbelievable Kristi!!! Your house looks amazing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Missy
    September 23, 2022 at 11:27 am

    Yikes-those handrails look like what you would use on an indoor staircase-not for outdoors…

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Cate
    September 23, 2022 at 11:27 am

    I just want to buy that house so I can be your neighbour. You would be a great teacher to have on hand! And if that house has the same potential as yours, I’m sold! I love your work!!

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Nadine Garwitz
      September 23, 2022 at 11:56 am

      Me too. I am a DIYer, but my skills wouldn’t fill the bottom of a thimble compared to your’s Kristi. I would love learning from you. And, I do make good measurements and keep my level handy.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Teresa Cook
    September 23, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Does you city require permits for “companies” such as this? This is crazy!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Claudia S
    September 23, 2022 at 11:43 am

    I hired a “reputable” company off Angie’s and they destroyed my bathroom. I had to have it completely demo’d and redone. I did take that other company to court and won. Trying to find a good/trustable company is almost impossible.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      JJ
      September 24, 2022 at 7:19 pm

      So true. All of the true craftspersons have aged out. Few now provide good workmanship, and they all think they’re worth top dollar.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara Pilcher
    September 23, 2022 at 12:00 pm

    No way that house meets your local building code.

    Love the curb appeal, especially the landscaping around the front door!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michelle B
    September 23, 2022 at 12:08 pm

    *speechless jaw drop*
    Maybe you should offer them their asking price with the caveat that they cover removal and haul away of all indoor features down to the drywall. Maybe they’d get the hint. That our house cries at night that it has to be next to your property and look like this.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Joan Hornung
    September 23, 2022 at 12:10 pm

    Here in Florida, there are SO many of these “Pros,” it is totally impossible to hire someone.
    Even with recommendations…so many are unlicensed, uninsured, and after you give them a deposit they never show up, and are hard to find as they move around and change their names. My friend is chasing one now that she put a large deposit on windows, and never heard from him again. It is getting so hard to trust anyone! We also used Angie’s list once for my daughter in NY…they were not great either! We had to watch them like hawks because they were taking short-cuts. My husband is great thank God, and knows a lot, and can do a lot. You both are worth your weight in GOLD!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheila-G
    September 23, 2022 at 12:12 pm

    Good grief! Surely there are building codes. In GA, code says a maximum 4 inch gap between pickets. We used hogwire instead of pickets on our deck, had to make sure the openings didn’t exceed that max.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CathyR
    September 23, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    It’s their burden to carry and it won’t get much better with interest rates rising. They we’re probably told by code officials they needed rails so they had Cheapo, Inc slap some on. 🤦‍♀️

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carla Klatt
    September 23, 2022 at 12:19 pm

    That is just unbelievable! The sad thing is someone will purchase this house and not realize everything that is wrong with it until it’s too late….How contractors can put their name on this type of work is just amazing. Sure hope others in your area follow you and read this warning ⚠️

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rebecca B
      September 23, 2022 at 6:14 pm

      So true. Very hard to find a good reputable handyman / carpenter. The good ones, if you can find one, all want the big jobs.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tracy
    September 23, 2022 at 12:20 pm

    Laughable! I’m dying! 😂 Obvious first time flippers(hopefully anyway) thought they could slap lipstick on a pig and make some big cash. This house will likely keep getting lowered and they will lose their shorts. If it took nine months and still has not sold, well…..
    Probably a Angies List find! Only contractors that are in need of work are there. If a contractor is immediately available best to look elsewhere!! Anyone can get a license and call themselves a contractor!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tonya
    September 23, 2022 at 12:30 pm

    As a homeowner who has been remodeling our current house for 10 years, I can honestly say I am not shocked by that “CONtractor”. My husband has had health issues so he hasn’t been able to do a lot of the work on house the last couple of years, so we hired a “CONtractor” and got conned. His work was crap, but he kept telling us, it will look great when I am done, you will love it. So in other words, he slaps crap together, and then just puts pretty stuff around it to make it look good. So glad he wasn’t there any longer than he was. My husband has turned into a Project Manager and that is what you have to be these days if you hire out anything.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Paula Anthis
    September 23, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    I understand that a mortgage will not accept a n entrance of more than 2 steps without a handrail. Of course no specifics about how safe and sound the handrail is required to be.
    Your description and assessment of the unbelievably idiotic ‘updated kitchen’ is spot on correct and very sad.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    El
    September 23, 2022 at 1:04 pm

    OMG those front ones really takes the price in shoddy. The worst part is that they just drew my attention to another issue with those stairs. They are of different step heights, so the whole front is just looking very sloppy even before you see the sloppy kitchen. It’s the wonky house with some make-up.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Patty Brenner
    September 23, 2022 at 1:13 pm

    Sadly I’m not surprised with the crummy ‘professional’ work. I had a massive water leak in my house in 2018 (completely covered by insurance). The ‘professionals’ that came out to do the work had to redo things several times before it was even close to acceptable. Simple things like paint sheen were beyond them: I was told by the ‘professional’ painting contractor that satin sheen was less shiny than eggshell, smh. They had to do my floors and kitchen cabinets THREE times and in the process ruined my soapstone counter tops because they measured wrong and had to replace them as well (at their cost). I’m not sure if the problem is work ethic, lack of pride in the outcome, or other things (or all the above), but it is very disheartening.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Debbie
    September 23, 2022 at 1:43 pm

    Agree 150% with everything you wrote.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Michele
      September 23, 2022 at 2:18 pm

      Ditto!! It truly boggles the mind that there are those that think they can get by with selling this garbage at such a price. anything more than $100,000 is robbery and with that price you’re paying for the lot and “improvements”.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marci
    September 23, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    If the stuff that a buyer can see is that bad, I hate to think what danger lurks behind the walls in shoddy electrical and plumbing work!

    Can’t believe anyone who has ever cooked would buy a house with that kitchen.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rebecca B
      September 23, 2022 at 6:18 pm

      That’s true. That ridiculous kitchen was obviously designed (using the term “designed” very loosely) by a man, no offense to any guys out there but it’s true.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marjie
    September 23, 2022 at 2:18 pm

    Just curious why handrails start on the first step up instead of at the base of the stairs? In our area the railing starts at ground level.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Tammy
    September 23, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    I just saw that house online and it is “pending”. Surely there is an inspection being done or someone is in for a surprise.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Rebecca B
      September 23, 2022 at 6:20 pm

      Probably a person from California like Sacramento or San Francisco or something and they probably think they got themselves the deal of a lifetime

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Barbara
    September 23, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    Those house prices are so incredibly low.
    Is the town that so undesireable? Hard to understand.

    I have a flip house across the street from me, they have already lowered the price by $200,000. Today we noticed a new chain link fence around the front and side. So you have to go through a gate to get to any door. Its just weird, but would keep a dog in.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Brittany
      September 23, 2022 at 10:28 pm

      Ha! Depends on the area for sure. We bought our 2900sq on 5 acres for 340 a few years ago! Northern Ohio

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    MariaVictoria
    September 23, 2022 at 4:57 pm

    No, you are not “just a DIY homeowner” you, my dear, are an artist!! Those guys should be arrested. But no one is overlooking the whole mess!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Elaine Ness
    September 23, 2022 at 5:23 pm

    I have seen it all. Don’t need my eyes anymore.

    Unbelievable!

    They do some ‘interesting’ things here in Ecuador, but this beats all.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Geri
    September 23, 2022 at 5:43 pm

    This post is so good. “And I’m just a self-taught DIYing homeowner. I don’t even have a big truck or van filled with lots of ladders and toolboxes, or a big business name logo on the side of my vehicle. But I do own a bubble level and a tape measure, “. Made me laugh. Your porch just makes theirs look worse than it is if that is even possible.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs Mike
    September 23, 2022 at 5:47 pm

    I can’t even. WHAT on earth were they thinking?! Maybe the investor will see it and make them fix it?!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sindy
    September 23, 2022 at 6:01 pm

    At least the fact that this house hasn’t sold means buyers aren’t being fooled! Yikes!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol Garrick
    September 23, 2022 at 7:01 pm

    That is CRAZY!!! Unfortunately, probably not that uncommon. Your work is always beautiful and the enormous amount of skill, attention and pride you put into everything is amazing!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Desi
    September 23, 2022 at 7:10 pm

    Is that wood? I cannot believe that a company could do such shoddy work! Talk about no curb appeal. I would love to know how much the bill was for that. Your front porch looks like a house from House Beautiful. If someone looks at your house than that one, I don’t think I would even go in!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Jill
    September 23, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    Kristi, The house next door is so awful. These people, hopefully dont make much money. They seem like some real schemers to me

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Christine Combs
    September 23, 2022 at 9:57 pm

    They’re trying to bank off of your fabulous looking updated house. Thinking that will help there’s sell for more, one glance any potential buyer will see there’s no way in the world it will sell to anyone not ready to completely overhaul the whole house. That kitchen was a complete wast of time and money. If you are going to do such a completely useless job, just leave it the way it was. They can’t possibly think that anyone will accept what they did to the layout of that kitchen. The dishwasher space will NEVER work.
    The new railings are because someone said hey you need a railing if the steps are more than 3′ from the ground. Guess they don’t care if the railing actually will function, just so they have one. That poor house is a complete FAIL!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brittany
    September 23, 2022 at 10:25 pm

    Well it may be selling soon as stupid cheap hand rails are often mandatory for VA or some FHA loans.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Mrs. Kelley Dibble
    September 24, 2022 at 1:58 am

    You’ve GOT to be kidding me.

    *shaking head*
    ~Kelley

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Guerrina
    September 24, 2022 at 8:48 am

    Speechless.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Marianne in Mo.
    September 24, 2022 at 9:28 am

    Does the city not have inspections and regulations to meet? Or are you allowed to just do anything with no accountability? I have never heard you mention (that I recall) having anything you’ve done having to be inspected. I find that unreal, if that’s the case. This house should be reported for safety violations, before someone is seriously hurt!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Carol
    September 24, 2022 at 10:56 am

    This is why I’ve learned to do so much DIY. I may not be great, but I don’t want to PAY for “not great.”

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Laura
    September 24, 2022 at 10:59 am

    Maybe you could post a sign in front of your house saying you’re willing to give remodeling advice anyone who buys the house next door. Anyone who pulled up to see the flip house and saw yours would clearly see what a good remodeled house should look like.. : )

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Sheri Hepworth
    September 24, 2022 at 7:41 pm

    Your commentary was hilarious!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Michele
    September 24, 2022 at 10:29 pm

    I’m at a total loss for words.

    Just……. wow. 😳

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Brenda Pawloski
    September 25, 2022 at 9:32 am

    I thought at first you were going to tell us you saw that cabinetry being pulled out so they could take another try at the kitchen, sigh

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Ally
    September 25, 2022 at 1:03 pm

    When I sold my last house, the city inspector forced us to install a handrail on the back steps or they wouldn’t approve the sale of the house. Maybe the city requires them to have handrails? We just threw up 3 pieces of scrap wood for our handrail and fully expected the next owners to tear it down. I would never pay a professional to do that. If you are going to pay a professional, at least have them install a permanent, decent looking handrail.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Betsy Nickel
    September 25, 2022 at 2:29 pm

    We have to have a permit when doing railings here, and that wouldn’t be acceptable. I have thought of permits being a nuisance, but I see how beneficial they are! A railing that isn’t secured properly, besides being ugly, is in itself dangerous. Does your township have any codes for building? Your lovely front porch didn’t need an eyesore to set it off. You could put a sign up for design services : )

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Susie Longwell
    September 26, 2022 at 9:55 am

    See if a neighbor has a camera on their doorbell/house. Someone may have videos of the trucks.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    LindaK
    September 26, 2022 at 10:28 am

    Kristi,
    I had the same thought about the houses for sale in our new neighborhood. They are extremely overpriced for manufactured housing on our area.
    But I’m pretty sure they sellers are expecting “California money” to come in and think they are getting a huge bargain.
    LindaK

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Lauranette
    September 26, 2022 at 4:04 pm

    Can you say UGLY.

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Becky
    September 29, 2022 at 8:59 am

    Am I the only commentor guessing that the appearance of YOUR DIY house next door is contributing to the “value” of the other house? 😄 Wow. People keep telling my sons they should go into trades because there is A) no one doing it, or B) they do trashy work. Skilled tradesmen are becoming scarcer than hen’s teeth!

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    CYNDY
    September 29, 2022 at 2:43 pm

    I think it’s very unprofessional of you to make comments and post online about the flip house next door. Don’t you remember the old adage is if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all.? I don’t think I’ll be reading your blog anymore. Very tacky on your part.

    • Reply To This Comment ↓
      Kristi Linauer
      September 29, 2022 at 6:19 pm

      Not as tacky as that flip house! 🤣🤣🤣 But okay, then. FYI, since this is the very first comment you’ve ever left on my blog, and since you’re just now commenting on a post that was written six days ago, something tells me that you’re not a reader of my blog in the first place. 🤣

  • Reply To This Comment ↓
    Colleen
    October 4, 2022 at 1:07 pm

    All I can say is Hahahahahahahahahaha, I can not do anything but laugh. How ridiculous! That is the sloppiest job I have ever seen and believe you me, I have seen plenty! But hey it matches the kitchen! 2 posts, a 1 by and an INTERIOR handrail. What the heck! If an elderly person uses that and it fails, someone will be out of business. Every where I have lived, if there is more than 2 steps it needs a rail, but that is a death trap, that would not pass FHA financing/inspections, neither will the kitchen, Hahaha.