Over the course of the last few years, I’ve coined the term “Spray & Pray” to describe properties that are bought by “flippers”. The term comes from my impression that the property is painted (sprayed on the inside) and then the flippers pray that they make it through the inspection period. Flippers are real estate investors that buy and then quickly sell a property for a profit.

I’m not opposed to flippers. I believe in capitalism. I’ve inspected several properties that flippers were selling that were actually in pretty good shape. However, some of the properties that I have recently inspected had substantial defects that likely were known to the flipper.

For example, here’s a photo of a kitchen counter at a home that I recently inspected. In this photo, you can see there are no receptacles at the backsplash for the kitchen faucet. Most building standards require that no point along a counter is more than two feet away from a receptacle and that all receptacles within six feet of a water source are GFCI-protected. This is a pretty obvious defect that was “overlooked” by the sellers when they upgraded the property for sale.

Here’s another photo, this time using infrared thermography, showing missing insulation in a stud bay in the master bedroom (that used to be a garage/carport). Not only is the insulation missing, but when I inspected the attic space I observed a very long trunk line that had been added to supply heating and cooling to the additional rooms. Unfortunately, the existing heat pump is not large enough to provide adequate cooling to the home since it is now considerably larger than it had been.  This master bedroom at the other end of the home is simply not going to cool with the current system.  Arizona summers are pretty hot!

Once the inspection was complete, the prospective buyer and her Realtor were involved in some healthy negotiations with the “Spray & Pray” flippers that were selling the home.

Fortunately, armed with my inspection report, the buyer and her Realtor were in a great position to negotiate on some of the more significant issues and the transaction closed in the last few weeks.

I have a few more interesting Spray & Pray stories and photos that I will share in upcoming blogs.

Thanks for reading!

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