You will hear a lot about the things not to do when it comes to flipping houses but very few people take the time to mention the things you absolutely must do in order to successfully flip a house and thus begin your ride on the road to real estate investment riches.
1) Do put everything to pen and paper and plan it out carefully before you begin. If you are going to enter into this to make money you need to treat it like a business. This means you need to have a plan of action and make every effort to work towards carrying out that plan.
2) Do establish a budget for the entire project. You need to have a plan for how much money you are willing to invest in the property itself, how much for renovations, and how much money you need to make in order to be a worthy investment for your time and labor. A house flip is a lot of work in order to pull it off successfully. You want to have a good idea of how much homes in the neighborhood are worth, the value of your property as is and the estimated value of the property once improvements are made. In addition you should also have a pretty firm grasp of the costs involved in making the repairs in order to create a realistic budget for the entire project.
3) Do have an inspection. This is the single most important detail that can save you a great deal of time, money, and heartache when everything is said and done. Be prepared to walk away if the inspection determines that there is more work needing to be done than simple cosmetic repairs. You want to make changes that people can see because those are generally the changes that drive up the cost of the house. You want to avoid needing to make changes and improvements that aren’t visible but are very necessary. If you need to invest a lot of money and labor into the house you need to seriously consider the realistic profit potential the property offers. If it isn’t significant then you need to walk away before the property becomes a real estate investment money pit.
4) Do know the neighborhood and plan your flip according to the needs of the area rather than your personal tastes and needs in a home. This is another thing that many first time flippers forget. This is not a personal project it is a business project and you need to treat it as such. Keep costs down and feelings out.
5) Do remember that you are in the market to make money not waste money when it comes to establishing an asking price for the property. You’ve poured blood, sweat, and probably more than a few tears into your flip but you cannot set the value of the property by the effort you’ve placed into it. Have realistic expectations of how much you stand to earn from your efforts and how much you are willing to go down on the price in order to walk away with some profit in your pocket.
You should also take a moment to reflect upon the fact that many first time flippers actually lose money on their first flip. If you turn a profit at all, even a small profit you have learned many valuable lessons that you can carry with you into future flips and make more money. More importantly the lessons you learn from your first flip are lessons that money really cannot buy so it is worth a lower profit or even taking a slight hit if your experience makes you even more money in the future as you continue along your real estate investment path.