3 Hacks To Find an Easy House To ‘Flip’

10/05/2017 02:04 pm ET

We’ve got home and garden channels (like HGTV) making it seem like ‘flipping’ is just about as easy as slicing bread.

And that just isn’t true.

Renovating a home is tough work. It’s laborious and time consuming. It’s not like the shows. When I was in high school, I used to spend my weekends managing work crews and renovating houses to prepare the houses for sale.

But is it fun? Oh yeah. Exciting? Definitely. Challenging? Yes. Is it fulfilling and fun? I believe so.

First, let me explain what ‘flipping’ a home really is. Houses and properties can find their way on the market in a number of different ways. “Flipping’ is the process of acquiring a home, changing the inside and/or outside components to increase it’s curb appeal and livability, then selling it for a price higher than its purchase price to receive a profit in a relatively short amount of time. Easy enough. But where does this process actually start?

Here are a few tips to find the flip you’re looking for.

1. Use the Internet.

Use sites like Zillow and Trulia as guides when looking for location, comparable properties, and other needed information to determine estimates for your flips. These are easy and free resources that will be extremely useful as you crunch numbers and determine a location for your first house. They give information on the surrounding area, prices of homes in the same neighborhood or neighboring areas, and can also give you an indication for the level of crime in the area. Even if you are looking to flip a house in another country, there are many international resources, like, Compari Imobiliare.

2. Reach out to those with experience.

Reaching out to real estate agents in your area is a must. Remember, these people are actually paid to sell homes – so they definitely know their stuff. Plus, they can provide you with much more specific information that may not be available to the average Joe. This will save you both time and money. I bet we could all use a little more of both!

More so than that, if you know contractors in the area (or, and even better, those who have flipping experience) reach out to them to find the best possible estimates and advice for your project. On top of that, you’ll gain some much-needed contacts that you may need in the future.

3. Expect the unexpected.

Lastly, be conservative in all your estimates for both time and costs. It’s always easier to make the numbers look good. Skimp a little here and a little there. The hard part is being conservative in our estimates and still coming up with a number that looks like it will be worth the time. The challenge isn’t to manipulate the numbers, but rather overestimate and still come up with profit and timeline that fits your requirements. If this can be done, not only does it prepare you for unforeseen snags and drawbacks but also gives you cushion for completion. Heck, you might even end up with more profit in less time than you expected.

Flipping isn’t easy, but it can definitely be worth it.

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