ByMelissa Nicholson/Aug. 15, 2022 8:08 am EDT
Flipping houses is a great way to invest your money. If you aren't sure what it is, flipping a home is when someone buys a house that needs work, hopefully, at a low price, then they fix it up and resell it to gain a profit. There is some risk involved, but thankfully real estate never goes out of style. There are many benefits to house flipping, including a potential business that allows you to work from home and create your own hours. According toFlipper Force, there is little startup cost and you have an opportunity to improve local communities.
If you enjoy remodeling and have some knowledge about real estate, house flipping is a great career option or even a side hustle. Keep in mind that the process isn't without stress. House flipping requires a lot of work and even more patience, as surprises can pop up along the way when remodeling any home. Also, you're sometimes at the mercy of the real estate market's temperature. Here is everything you need to know about how to start flipping houses as a new house flipper.
Should you flip or micro-flip?
Micro-flipping is a faster process than the full renovation flip and offers a quick turnaround. If you don't have a team, it might be an ideal way to get into flipping. According to Rocket Mortgage, micro-flipping is buying houses under market value and reselling them quickly for a higher price. There is no renovating involved.
One benefit of a micro-flip is that you can do it all from the comfort of your home. Most micro-flipping happens online. That's good and bad news for those interested in doing it as a business. Sites like Zillow and Redfin are major players in the micro-flipping biz, which means stiff competition for a newbie in real estate investing (via FortuneBuilders). Still, it's not impossible, and if you enjoy the idea of closely watching real estate market trends, micro-flipping might work. However, if the renovation process gets you excited and you aren't in a hurry, you're likely to make more money with a complete renovation or remodel flip. Buyers love clean, newly renovated houses.
You need a business plan
Flipping houses is a business. Just like any business, going into it without a plan is unwise. The U.S.Small Business Administrationwrites that a business plan isn't as hard as it sounds. It's a tool to help you outline and project a few years ahead for your business. Business plans help keep you on track, allow you to reach your milestones, and even assist you as you seek funding. A business plan helps possible investors and lenders see you're serious and you know what you're doing.
You have ideas and goals in mind. A written plan gets those thoughts in order and helps you and your team see where you're headed and the end goal. It can also show what's lacking and missing areas. In your business plan for flipping houses, state your summary first, which explains what it is you're doing (viaRehab Financial Group). Next, the mission statement should explain why you're doing it. Include a CMA (Comparative Market Analysis), the project timeframe, and your financial strategies and projections.
Build your team
Unless you can do electric, painting, drywall, plumbing, and take care of all the legalities, you need a team. Even if you can do it all, you'll flip the house quicker with support. A team usually consists of a real estate agent, an attorney, a CPA, an insurance agent, and a general contractor who chooses everyone to assist with the renovation. You can also hire individuals as needed. For example, rather than having a contractor, you can hire an electrician, a plumber, and a drywaller. That part depends on how much you do on your own and how comfortable you are as your own contractor.TRUiCrecommends going the general contractor route and mentions that a good general contractor is essential to a house flip. They can mean the difference between a profit and a loss. Think of it this way. Are you working another job? Do you have a family? Without a general contractor on your team, it's all on you, and you will be married to the flip project.
In the same way, everyone on your team is essential. It can be tempting to save some money by doing the home searching without a realtor, hiring each individual to do the renovations, and figuring out your finances and tax issues on your own rather than hiring a CPA. However, this method will probably take twice as long. Although it might seem like you're saving money, you could spend more if you make mistakes and miss deadlines.
Consider becoming an LLC
LLC stands for limited liability company. As a business, an LLC protects your personal assets should someone decide to file a claim against you. An LLC isn't necessary if you're doing a one-time flip as more of a hobby. However, it's essential to protect yourself if flipping is becoming a business for you.
An LLC isn't required to run a business, but there are many benefits to having one.LegalZoomexplains that an LLC protects you from being personally liable should your business be sued. When unprotected, anything you own is at risk. Banks are less likely to give a loan to a business that isn't an LLC. They like to see that your business is protected. An LLC protects the name of your business. Once you're an LLC, no one else can use that business name.
There are several steps to forming an LLC (viaTRUiC). First, select the state of operation, then come up with a name for your business. After that, you need to hire a registered agent service, such as LegalZoom. These services will walk you through each step and handle the legalities, such as filing with the state, creating an operating agreement, and getting your EIN (Employer Identification Number) to help file taxes. Simply put, an LLC gives small business owners peace of mind.
Choose your neighborhood
You've probably already been thinking about this step of the process. Where do you want to flip houses? Not every area will bring the same ROI (Return on Investment).Rock Realtymentions two places to look when searching for homes to flip: rebounding neighborhoods and new housing clusters. Rebounding neighborhoods are areas that are more established and have older homes. When many homes begin renovating and buyers notice, it's a rebounding area. As a flipper, you can swoop in, renovate one yourself, and then sell it. New housing clusters show potential when looking for a house to flip because the older ones around the new homes could be renovated and sold.
You may want to stay in your own city or town where you're familiar with the neighborhoods, but you could also venture out to other areas if the potential is better. Keep an eye on up-and-coming places and towns that are suddenly booming or trying to attract more people. You don't want to invest in a flip in an undesirable neighborhood. Do some networking with real estate agents, or better yet, add one to your team. They can alert you about houses on the market that offer great value for a flip. You can also become a "farmer." Farming is the term used in the real estate industry to describe how some real estate agents farm an area with postcards and mailings so that future sellers remember their names. As a real estate investor, you can do the same thing.
Obtain financing and buy a house
You'll need financing for your first flip unless you're paying cash. There are more costs to flipping than just buying the house. There are the renovation costs, homeowner's insurance, and possibly the cost of utilities. It's challenging to work with no electricity or running water. Explore a few places before deciding on a lender and ensure you get the best deal.
There are four types of lenders for houses, including private, hard money, fintech services, and crowdfunding sites, perRocket Mortgage. Private lenders include banks, financial companies, and credit unions. Hard money lenders require real property as collateral, fintech services are app-based lenders, and crowdfunding sites are cloud-based services where a home buyer can seek funds from investors. Though private lenders are what most people are familiar with, it may not be your best option for a short-term loan to flip a house. That's why shopping around is so important. Understand your finances before considering a loan to flip a house. Get out of as much debt as possible before taking on any more debt.
Fix major issues first
Now it's time to flip. Painting and staging are fun, but you'll first need to fix structural, electrical, or plumbing issues.Axiom Powerpoints out that when flipping a house, other than changing a light fixture or doing other minor electrical repairs, you need a permit and an electrician to complete the electrical work. Some signs the home may have significant electrical issues are buzzing outlets and switches, flickering lights, burning smells, charred outlets, or breakers and fuses that go out often. Drains that keep clogging or multiple drain clogs, low water pressure, discolored water, or an unpleasant odor in the house are all signs of plumbing problems (via HELP Plumbing). Call the licensed plumber on your team or hire one to fix any plumbing issues.
Structural damages compromise the interior and exterior of a home. When the damage is bad enough, the structure could possibly fail to support the house (viaForst Consulting Group). Nothing else matters without a sound structure. A home can also have drywall issues, especially if there has been water damage. Walls won't look smooth if sheetrock isn't mudded and sanded properly. If there is a lot of drywall to replace, consider it one of the top priorities. Get the house safe and sound, and then start the next steps.
Choose your flooring
Once the structure is sound, it's time to replace the flooring if necessary. You need flooring that is current, easy to maintain, and not too difficult to install. If you're wondering which flooring that might be,Parterre Flooring Systemsexplains that out of all the types of flooring today, vinyl is a consistent winner in the popularity contest. On top of that, it's easy to maintain. Vinyl flooring is highly durable, thanks to its surface that resists stains and scratches (viaAmerica's Floor Source). It's easy and cost-effective to install, and you can plan for it to last up to 20 years.
However, you don't have to choose vinyl. You may live in an area where ceramic tile or carpet is more suitable. A loft in the city will have a different vibe than a suburban home. Each requires its own style of flooring. Regardless of location, vinyl floors are an excellent option if you aren't sure what to pick. Remember to ensure the floors are installed correctly, kept clean, and ready to handle plenty of foot traffic.
Keep in mind when flipping a house that colors should remain neutral. You might like the thought of an unusually colored floor, like purple carpet in the bedrooms. However, many potential buyers will not. Neutral-colored flooring helps potential buyers to envision their own lives in the home (via Frederick Real Estate Online).
Paint and add final touches
Finally, the repairs are complete, and your team can make the home look beautiful. Choose neutral paint shades when flipping houses.Asset Based Lendingrecommends bright whites or grays as a neutral, modern color choice. You can also paint brick walls, doors, and cabinets. You may need to clean the walls before painting, depending on the home's condition or how much dust has been flying during repairs. When choosing a paint sheen, semi-gloss is for high-traffic areas and places with moisture, such as the kitchen or bathroom (viaMission Painting). Satin paints are a happy medium with a velvety finish. They work well for family rooms and bedrooms. Save the high glosses for cabinets, doors, trim, and molding.
Final touches on your newly flipped home can include towel bars, faucets, and light fixtures. Choose metals and colors that are current. Brass, brushed metals, and matte black are sought-after fittings (viaG.J. Gardner. Homes).
Painting and final touches are a part of the process that many flippers might feel comfortable completing. Depending on your skill level and budget, you can choose whether you have a painter on your team or if that's something you can knock out on your own. You won't need much more than a drill and some screws for most accessories. Walk through the house and imagine yourself as a buyer. Ask yourself if you feel you could live there and what you would want in a new home. That should help you visualize the colors and little touches that are needed.
Market the home
You did it! You flipped the house, and it's time to sell. Will you list it as a "for sale by owner" or have a real estate agent on your team who can list it? Don't be tempted to forego a real estate agent to save on commission costs. Real estate agents know the housing market and all the ins and outs of marketing your home. Selling a home in a reasonable amount of time isn't as easy as it looks.
Agents are experts in the field, understand all the lingo, and can help secure excellent deals with their negotiation skills, perRealtor.com. They often have plenty of connections from constant networking. Also, agents adhere to a strict code of ethics, and in many states, they study and take a test about ethics every two years. A real estate agent is on your side and prepared to do battle for you to find a buyer. Don't take on the stress of going at that alone. It could mean the difference between a one-week sale or one year.
Consider getting listed as a "coming soon" home to generate excitement (via Houseopedia). Knowing the home has been flipped often creates interest, even if it's just nosey neighbors. The more traffic, the better. Open houses are also effective ways to show the house and let people know what you've done to it.
Invest your earnings
Mee Ko Dong/Shutterstock
After selling your first flip, you have a decision to make. Are you going to invest the profits into another flip?New Silverwrites that the average range for return on investment for flippers is 10 to 20 percent. So, for example, assuming an ROI of 15 percent on a $100,000 house flip, there would be a gain of $15,000. Many things make a difference in those numbers, including the house location, the selling price, and how much you owe the bank as the house flipper.
If there is a large enough profit, and the goal is to continue flipping homes as a business, then investing the money into another home is wise after you pay off the first one. It begs the question, how many homes can one flip in a year? Of course, there are lots of moving parts that make every situation different. Still, there are no legal limits to how many you can flip. However, if all goes well, a flipper can realistically renovate around two to seven homes a year (viaFlipping Prosperity). Factors like having a team, ample budget, and a decent housing inventory can affect these numbers.
In conclusion, flipping houses isn't easy. It's a risk but sometimes worth it. It may be an excellent investment choice if you've done your homework, can get the financing, and are willing to share profits with a team.
How do I start flipping houses with no experience? ›
Frequently Asked Questions
- Find a property.
- Negotiate the price.
- Go through due diligence.
- Get funding.
- Fix the place up.
- List it.
- Receive bids.
If you don't have enough cash to flip a house without financial help or have the cash but want to limit your risk, there are several ways to get funding. A hard money lender, private lender, or real estate crowdfunding site can help you achieve your house-flipping dreams.What is the 70% rule in flipping houses? ›
The 70% rule helps home flippers determine the maximum price they should pay for an investment property. Basically, they should spend no more than 70% of the home's after-repair value minus the costs of renovating the property.How much money do I need to begin flipping houses? ›
Flipping a house could require several hundred thousand dollars or almost no upfront money of your own at all. Everything from location, to condition, to your credit score can impact how much money is needed to flip a house. And no two flips are exactly alike, which means the cost changes from project to project.How many houses can you flip in a year? ›
It depends on your finances, time management, and the availability of homes in your area. The average real estate investor flips 2 to 7 homes a year. You may flip more or less – depending on your capabilities, experience and time availability.Is 2022 a good year to start flipping houses? ›
323,465 homes were flipped in 2021, the most homes flipped in a single year since 2006 and a 26% increase from 2020. Enthusiasm for home flipping grew in the first quarter of 2022. 114,706 homes were flipped, up nearly 7% from the previous quarter.How much does an average house flipper make? ›
As of late 2021, the average profit per flip across the nation was $68,847. If an average house flipper completes only one deal per year, then it's comparable to around a $69,000 per year annual salary.Can you flip a house with 10k? ›
If you only have $10,000 dollars to invest in a real estate flip, you are going to have to get creative and find a way to provide value to someone that does have the money to flip a house. As most real estate flips usually take at least $100,000 of capital if not substantially more to complete.Is it better to flip or rent? ›
For short-term investors hoping to make money quickly, flipping and renting is probably the better option. However, if you need a regular income and have more time and money to invest, you could consider buying a rental property.What is Micro flipping? ›
What Is Micro-Flipping? Micro-flipping is a type of short-term real estate investment that involves buying properties in need of renovations and reselling them quickly for a profit, usually without improvements.
How hard is it to flip houses? ›
Renovating and flipping houses is a time-consuming venture. It can take months to find and buy the right property. Once you own the house, you'll need to invest time to fix it up. If you have a day job, time spent on demolition and construction can translate into lost evenings and weekends.Can you flip a house in a month? ›
While it's not possible to flip a house using the traditional fix and flip method, in just one month. There is one type of active real estate investing that does allow for a one-month investment timeline, which is wholesaling real estate.Is house flipping a good career? ›
Property flipping, or house flipping as some people call it, can be a lucrative way to earn money in real estate—if it's done right. Since it requires a sizable investment of your own money, becoming a property flipper can also be a risk that doesn't always reap rewards.What is a good return on a flip? ›
An ROI of about 28% is very reasonable. But the real money in house flipping is made with multiple flips per year.What is a good profit on a house flip? ›
How much profit should you make on a flip? On average, a rehabber shoots for a 10 to 20% profit of the After Repair Value, but it varies depending on the market and the specific project risks. A 10% profit would be on the lower end, and a 20% profit would be considered a 'home-run' by most rehabber's standards.Can you get rich flipping houses? ›
You could make $1 million a year flipping houses, but it is not as simple as it may seem. To run an operation large enough to flip low-margin houses, you will need a team and a lot of help. There are many costs involved that eat into that profit.Can flipping houses be a full time job? ›
Some people are eventually able to earn all of their income by flipping houses full-time. However, if you are hoping to make this your way of life, it may take you some time to get started. While you are waiting for your house flipping business to get going, you may need other sources of income.How do you find houses to flip? ›
The key to finding them for your house flip is to work with a realtor who has the inside track on these real estate listings and new rehab homes on the market. You can find them by doing specific internet searches for REO real estate agents and brokers within a specific geographic area.Is flipping houses a hobby? ›
Flipping houses can be a profitable business or hobby, but there is a learning curve to getting started. If you're thinking about investing in house flipping, there are seven steps to getting started on the right foot.Do most house flippers lose money? ›
There's just one problem: lots of people are losing money. An analysis RealtyTrac ran for Money showed that 12% of flips sold at break-even or at a loss before all expenses. In 28% of flips, the gross profit was less than 20% of the purchase price.
Who is the most successful house flipper? ›
Ellen Degeneres may be the most well-known celebrity house flipper, with several successful flips under her belt. But her most lucrative flip came in July 2014, when she sold LA's famed Brody House to Sean Parker for $55 million, $15 million more than she paid just six months prior.What's the best state to flip houses? ›
Utah and Tennessee establish themselves as the best places to flip houses in terms of low remodeling costs. New Hampshire meanwhile has the lowest rental vacancy rate. West Virginia boasts the highest homeownership rate in the US and the lowest housing costs.How long does a house flip take? ›
The Renovation: 45 – 90 Days
The key to getting a renovation done quickly is to have an organized crew ready, and on-hand. With the right resources and connections to good workmen who know how to efficiently complete what you want, the required rehab can be completed quickly.
There are no laws in the United States that limit the number of houses that you can sell each year. A quick internet search will result in a long list of people stating that they can sell 20 homes or more each year.Do I need a degree to flip houses? ›
You don't need a college degree to flip a house. This is because knowing the fundamentals of flipping a house is a different world from mastering the art of doing so. Although it is recommended that you get a real estate license, you can still be successful at what you do without one.What is a house flipper called? ›
A flipper house is a home that a real estate investor, known as a "flipper," buys in its original condition at as low a price as possible. The flipper does not intend to live in it; they want to renovate and then quickly sell, or "flip," it to a new buyer at a profit.Is house flipping ethical? ›
Flipping houses is perfectly legal as long as there is no fraud involved. There are plenty of actions out that are legal, but may be unethical. Law and ethics can be two very different things.How do you flip a 10k? ›
- Flip Stuff For Money.
- Invest In Real Estate.
- Invest In Cryptocurrency.
- Start An Online Business.
- Start A Side Hustle.
- Invest In Stocks.
- Invest In Debt.
- Use A Robo-Advisor.
You can choose to either do 70% of the job for less money, or to do everything for the max amount of money. As of Luxury Flipper, there are a total of 60 jobs to complete (with all DLC).How do I start a flipping business? ›
- Step 1: Write a business plan. ...
- Step 2: Grow your network. ...
- Step 3: Choose a business entity. ...
- Step 4: Obtain an EIN, insurance, permits, and licenses. ...
- Step 5: Find suppliers and contractors. ...
- Step 6: Assemble a team. ...
- Step 7: Obtain financing. ...
- Step 8: Source your deal.
What can you do with 50k? ›
- Invest With a Robo Advisor. One of the easiest ways to start investing is with a robo advisor. ...
- Individual Stocks. Individual stocks represent an investment in a single company. ...
- Real Estate. ...
- Individual Bonds. ...
- Mutual Funds. ...
- ETFs. ...
- CDs. ...
- Invest in Your Retirement.
Owners of rental real estate properties get to deduct a non-cash expense called depreciation. House flippers, on the other hand, do not. That's because in a property flipping business, houses are not considered an investment property, but rather inventory, and inventory is not depreciated.Is flipping houses passive income? ›
Active income is money that you earn in exchange for the work that you perform. That includes your salary from work, as well as the profits you make flipping houses. Flipping is considered active income, regardless of whether you are doing the physical labor of stripping floors.
A con artist buys a property with the intent to re-sell it an artificially inflated price for a considerable profit, even though they only make minor improvements to it.Is it possible to flip a house in one day? ›
With little capital and plenty of motivation, real estate investors can flip properties within a matter of days, pocketing a profit without any sweat equity or extensive work involved.What is Astro flipping? ›
Astro Flipping is simply selling multiple properties to 1 investor. It is not trying to turn 1 property at a time into several deals its a relationship with 1 investor that you do multiple deals with.What is the fastest way to make money in real estate? ›
- 7 Fastest Ways to Make Money in Real Estate. ...
- Renovation Flipping. ...
- Airbnb and Vacation Rentals. ...
- Long-Term Rentals. ...
- Contract Flipping. ...
- Lease to Buy. ...
- Commercial Property Rentals. ...
- Buying Land.
The speed at which you flip a house has a big impact on how much money you end up making in the deal. Simply put, the shorter it takes, the more money you are likely to make, provided you complete high quality renovations. As a very broad rule of thumb you could say: 3-6 Months – Highly experienced house flippers.How soon can you sell a flip? ›
Cosmetic changes can take 30 days or less, but most fix and flips need much more than cosmetic changes. If you're making structural changes, you'll need permits, plus the contractors to do the work. 1 – 3 months to sell the property – Once you rehab the property, it's time to sell it. This takes time too.What is the 2% rule in real estate? ›
The 2% rule states that the monthly rent for an investment property should be equal to or no less than 2% of the purchase price. Here's an example of the 2% rule for a home with the purchase price of $150,000: $150,000 x 0.02 = $3,000.
Can you flip houses as a side job? ›
Flipping houses part-time can be a great way to generate extra income on the side while you have a full-time job. It can also allow you to 'dip your toe in the water' to see if flipping houses is for you before you quit your full-time job.How much do house flippers make per flip? ›
It is common for experienced house flippers to achieve a return on investment that ranges from 10-20%, after factoring in all the expenses involved when flipping a house. If you assume a 15% return, that would mean a net profit margin of: $100,000 House Flip = $15,000.Can you flip houses without experience? ›
Although it is not required to become a house flipper, having a real estate license can still be beneficial if you are looking to make money in real estate. Some of the specific benefits available to house flippers with a real estate license include: 1. Access to the Multiple Listing Service.Can you flip a house with 10k? ›
If you only have $10,000 dollars to invest in a real estate flip, you are going to have to get creative and find a way to provide value to someone that does have the money to flip a house. As most real estate flips usually take at least $100,000 of capital if not substantially more to complete.Is it still profitable to flip houses? ›
Done the right way, a house flip can be a great investment and incredibly profitable. In a short amount of time, you can make smart renovations and sell the house for much more than you paid for it. But a house flip can just as easily go the opposite direction if it's done the wrong way.What is Micro flipping? ›
What Is Micro-Flipping? Micro-flipping is a type of short-term real estate investment that involves buying properties in need of renovations and reselling them quickly for a profit, usually without improvements.How hard is it to become a house flipper? ›
For many people, becoming a house flipper requires a lot of research, hard work, and patience. Switching careers or taking up a side business can be daunting, especially when that new career is entirely dependant on your skills and savviness.How many jobs are in house flipper? ›
You can choose to either do 70% of the job for less money, or to do everything for the max amount of money. As of Luxury Flipper, there are a total of 60 jobs to complete (with all DLC).How much does the average house flipper make? ›
As of late 2021, the average profit per flip across the nation was $68,847. If an average house flipper completes only one deal per year, then it's comparable to around a $69,000 per year annual salary.Is flipping houses a good career? ›
Property flipping, or house flipping as some people call it, can be a lucrative way to earn money in real estate—if it's done right. Since it requires a sizable investment of your own money, becoming a property flipper can also be a risk that doesn't always reap rewards.
How do you flip a 10k? ›
- Flip Stuff For Money.
- Invest In Real Estate.
- Invest In Cryptocurrency.
- Start An Online Business.
- Start A Side Hustle.
- Invest In Stocks.
- Invest In Debt.
- Use A Robo-Advisor.
On average nationwide, house flipping generated a gross profit of $65,000 in 2021, on par with gross profit in 2017. But return on investment has shrunk to 31% from 51% over the same period. Gross flipping profit rose to $67,000 in the first quarter of 2022 but return on investment continued to decline to just 26%.Is it better to flip or rent? ›
For short-term investors hoping to make money quickly, flipping and renting is probably the better option. However, if you need a regular income and have more time and money to invest, you could consider buying a rental property.What's the best state to flip houses? ›
Utah and Tennessee establish themselves as the best places to flip houses in terms of low remodeling costs. New Hampshire meanwhile has the lowest rental vacancy rate. West Virginia boasts the highest homeownership rate in the US and the lowest housing costs.How long does the average house flip take? ›
As a very broad rule of thumb you could say: 3-6 Months – Highly experienced house flippers. 6-12 Months – Reasonably experienced house flippers. 12-18 Months – Inexperienced home flippers.Can you be a full time house flipper? ›
Find a new part- or even full-time job.
Some people start house-flipping and eventually move into it full-time, while others use it as a secondary income to earn more money towards vacations, savings or their retirement fund.
- Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
- Missoula, Montana.
- Rapid City, South Dakota.
- Billings, Montana.
- Peoria, Arizona.