Is it really possible to make money flipping houses? If so what are some of the mistakes to avoid to ensure your deals are profitable, and some of the smarter ways to invest to limit risk, and maximize your gains and free time?
HOUSE FLIPPING WORKS
Yes, flipping houses really does work.
You can argue that ‘reality’ TV isn’t really reality, but looking at the real numbers there is proof that it works. Besides, you can see it in action for yourself in virtually every neighborhood in America from South Beach in Florida to Manhattan in New York City, to Memphis, Tennessee, and Beverly Hills, California.
If you look at the data on NYC’s biggest transactions each month you’ll find many of them are flips. In 2016 Fortune magazine revealed that the average gross profit on a flip was over $58,000, and around 7% of all homes sold in the first 3 months of the year were flips. In some cities flips make up more than 10% of home sales. In many years there have been around 200,000 home flippers in the market. RealtyTrac tracks these types of sales and reports that some cities are seeing flip yielding more than 100% returns, and over $100,000 in profit per flip.
Property records also show that a growing number of celebrities are flipping houses. Ellen, Kanye and Kim Kardashian, Vanilla Ice, and many others have been active in buying and selling homes. One Michigan lottery winner put over $1M of her winnings into her home flipping business. Look around the web and you’ll find many successful attorneys and doctors moving into real estate investment; suggesting it is paying more, and is more enjoyable than their old careers which they spent years in college earning a degree for.
So yes; house flipping absolutely works, no question about it.
In fact, you cannot only flip houses, but apartment buildings, land and lots, office buildings, malls, and warehouses, hotels, and condos too.
Does everyone get it right, or make masses of money on every deal? No. So where do they go wrong? How can you avoid the blunders and get more success.
COMMON MISTAKES IN HOUSE FLIPPING
Emotional vs. Objective
House flipping can be very emotionally rewarding. Yet, the big mistakes are frequently seen when investors fail to be objective and act emotionally instead. This is when investors buy the wrong properties, make the wrong changes to the property, wait too long to sell, and simply far overpay what they should.
Not Preparing for Overages
The main reason flippers get caught short is that they fail to plan for going over budget. They can be too optimistic on the time it takes to resell or remodel a property, or underestimate the costs. Once they are in this position it can be a dangerous and disastrous downward spiral.
Taking too long to resell
Every day holding a property is money. It’s money going out. This includes property taxes, insurance, and payments on financing. Each day can also bring more risk of property damage or prices going down. Ideally a flip should happen in days, not months.
New investors often fall into the trap of over-improving properties. According to building cost reports most of the most common DIY projects and home improvements actually lose money. You have to know the ROI on every line item, what will deliver the most return, and when you are going too far. A gold toilet might look awesome and get some media attention, but it is unlikely to add much to the appraised value of a home compared to a regular porcelain one.
Failing to Leverage Investments
Paying all cash for a property, and using all your cash to improve on can sound great. Yet, it means missing out on one of the chief advantages real estate investment offers. That is leverage. Financial leverage means being able to multiple your gains, while keeping risk down.
Don’t skimp on your due diligence. That means pulling comps to double check the value of a property, ordering title searches and surveys, and having home inspections done.
Ignoring the Math
You have to do the complete math for flipping to work. You need to know all of your acquisition costs, your holding, marketing, and rehab costs, and your closing costs and taxes on the sell end.
Lack of Organization
Be organized and avoid simple blunders that can be costly, or at least sap your potential. Have a tax strategy and bookkeeping system. Get good tools for finding private lenders, motivated sellers, and end buyers, and keep investing in your real estate education.
Rushing in with Only a TV Education
You don’t need a new degree to flip houses, but you do need more than what you learned from a couple of episodes of house flipping shows on TV. Read books, look for online real estate courses, and get a coach.
HOW YOU’RE FLIPPING HOMES ALL WRONG
What mistakes might you have been making in real estate already?
It’s amazing to see the poor approaches to dealing with tenants by newer real estate investors. First of all; tenants can be a good asset when reselling homes. Many end buyers in the market today are looking for income producing investment properties. Why take out what they want most in the home? It is also important to note that you can’t just kick a tenant out in many areas. Often the lease will survive and override the sale. In other cases it can make sense to replace the tenant, but do the numbers carefully. Also be sure to get the tenants’ side of the story on the lease, deposits, and status of their stay, not just the version the Realtor seller gave you.
Make sure you do the whole math. Be careful this doesn’t become a ‘zero sum’ equation. You still need to be financially ahead once you factor in all your costs and taxes. You want to make sure you are having a positive impact and are adding value to the wider community and are not doing harm. And most importantly; you need to make sure that your move into real estate gives you more time, not less.
NEED A LICENSE
There is a lot of misinformation out there about needing a real estate license to flip houses. If your local laws dictate that you need a license then absolutely get one. However, in many cases you simply don’t. Even many real estate agents don’t understand this. Getting a license can bring some advantages. It can also being more complications.
You have to have a long term plan. Don’t think a month or 5 years ahead. Think 100 years ahead.
WORKING TOO HARD
Some investors are just working too hard and too much. Instead of actually investing or enjoying more free time they have created the equivalent of 5 or more full time jobs. And they are trying to fill all those roles themselves. That’s a recipe for burnout. It’s unnecessary. Work smarter. Leverage others.
HOW TO HACK THE HOME INVESTMENT BUSINESS
There are several ways to hack your way to success faster, and more efficiently.
Real Estate Wholesaling
Real estate wholesaling is a form of flipping houses, but it doesn’t require fixing up homes at all. That dramatically reduces costs, risks, holding times, time required and potential for mistakes. That means faster pay days, and more free time.
Leveraging private lenders can provide access to more capital, at better terms, the ability to close faster, and all without needing perfect credit.
Find better sources of information, cash buyers, motivated sellers, and learning. You can find proven tools and systems which are ready to be plugged in, as well as experts who have already been there, mastered the ropes, and are willing to share their knowledge. Then you can leap right to successfully flipping houses without having to reinvent the wheel or learn from scratch.
Set Bigger Goals
Most often we are simply stifled and limited by the goals and limitations we put on ourselves. Get a bigger vision, a bigger set of goals, and bigger aspirations for how quickly you can win, while preserving your free time. Then reverse engineer how you’ll achieve those goals. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish once you are in real estate and gain expert insight from others.
Whether you are just starting out with no money and no credit, or you have already been trying to flip houses, and have plenty of cash the tips on this page, and insight from a great coach can catapult you to where you should be. All that is in your way is taking a little action. So why wait? Redesign your future, take control of your finances and life.
The best time to get started is now…