Money Fixing and Flipping Houses
Jeanette Joy Fisher
If you're considering investing in real estate
by fixing and flipping houses, you'll want to
know what type of property to buy. Many real
estate investors make millions turning ugly
houses into dollhouses. On the other hand, some
inexperienced investors lose money buying houses
that don't turn a profit. Following are three
tips that will help you find the perfect fixer.
1. Learn Your Real Estate Market
Your first task - exploring your market - helps
you know a bargain house when you see one. Look
at houses for sale in the area. Keep track of
sales and how long the houses take to sell.
Ask about the terms of these sales because this
helps you understand how sellers market their
property. For instance, if a seller paid closing
costs for the buyer, did the price rise from
the listed price accordingly? Or, did the seller
come down on the price and pay the buyer's costs,
too. Examine the sales that sell quickly. What
home features and financing options prompted
the fast sale?
Also, look at model homes. Buyer often chose
resale homes because they can't wait for a new
home to be finished. But, these buyers like
the amenities found in newer homes. When you
transform your fixer, you'll know what buyers
desire and you'll make informed makeover choices.
2. Know What Makes a Good Real Estate "Fixer"
When you first start out in your real estate
"fixer" enterprise, you'll want to
look for houses needing only cosmetic work.
Look for houses that just need cleaning up,
painting, and new flooring. Don't be afraid
of stinky houses that show horribly; look for
fixers with peeling paint, holes in the wall,
stained carpeting, and trash in the yard. Remember,
these houses won't look good to most buyers,
but investors see them as gold mines. You need
to use your imagination when viewing theses
homes. Try to visualize the finished product.
3. Know What Houses Don't Turn Profits
If the house is stained with cat urine, the
sub-flooring or concrete foundation may need
replacing. Dog urine cleans up easier. If the
walls have too many cracks and bumps, you may
need to hang new sheet rock or hire a professional
plaster refinisher. Look for signs of plumbing
problems such as water stains under sinks and
If you are new to real estate investing, always
remember your limitations. Use caution when
considering houses needing structural repairs.
Some rehabbers replace walls, plumbing, structural
beams, sub-flooring, and electrical systems,
but they acquired those skills after years of
experience or pay a professional.
If you find a house with structural problems,
obtain estimates from reliable contractors to
do the work. Experience teaches you how to do
more over time. Until then, rely on experienced
contractors to do the repairs. Take professional
estimates into account before deciding whether
or not to purchase an investment property.
Why would anyone want to do this? How much
does the average investor make? Most real estate
investors only make offers on houses in which
they expect to make at least $30,000; in some
markets, you can make much more than this.
Summary: You can make a fortune fixing ugly
houses. Learn your market. Know when "ugly"
means bad that can be good, and when stinky
Copyright (c) 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher.
All rights reserved.
For more information about finding, financing,
fixing and flipping houses, visit Jeanette Fisher's
Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars. Learn about
decorating to attract buyers. Professor Fisher
teaches Design Psychology college courses and
professional real estate seminars. She is the
author of Home Staging, credit for buying real
estate, and other books. http://www.doghousetodollhousefordollars.com