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What You Need to Know Before You Start Flipping Houses

Hopping on the HGTV bandwagon of flipping houses? Check out these tips and tricks about what you need to know before you start flipping houses.

With HGTV showing people just how lucrative—and fun—the house flipping business can be, more and more people have jumped on the bandwagon. If you’re one of those people who loves the idea, then we’ve got what you need to know before you start flipping houses. From making sure you have the right size dumpster to researching the market, we’ve got the tips and tricks you need for a successful flip. Check them out and get started!

Inspect Before You Buy

Before you buy that property you always drive past on your way home, make sure to inspect it first. A lot of first-time flippers make the mistake of buying a property without making sure it’s actually a project they can take on. Inspections are absolutely necessary to ensuring the condition of the property is something you’ll be able to handle. They’ll also help you create an accurate budget before you apply for financing.

Make a Business Plan

A business plan can make or break your project. From planning and logistics to administrative organization, your business plan will help keep you on track. You’ll need to make sure you really think this through, especially if you plan on flipping more than one house: your business plan will help keep all your different properties on track. Plus, once you’re more confident in your business plan, adapting to unpredictable circumstances will become easier.

Grow Your Network

This is one of the most important things you can do for your house flipping business. You have to realize before you start flipping that you’ll need to have a pretty big network—from electricians and carpenters to investors and realtors. Without a solid network, you’ll struggle to get things off the ground. When you partner with experienced people, you’ll find more leads on properties and service providers. Keep in mind that your network will expand as you grow your business.

Understand the Real Estate Market

Remember that you need to do some research on the local real estate market before you purchase a house. This research doesn’t have to involve something as in-depth as scouting. However, if the property is outside the area you’re most familiar with, talk to local homeowners and other real estate investors to get more beneficial information.

Consider the Small Details

Finally, once you actually buy a house, you need to make sure you don’t forget about those smaller details. For example, one of the things a lot of first-time flippers forget is to obtain the right size dumpster—where else are you going to put all the renovation debris? You’ll also want to make sure you purchase enough siding and other materials so that you’ll have extra. There are tons of small details to consider, so be sure to plan thoroughly—don’t rush, especially if it’s your first experience flipping a house. It’ll all be perfect if you take it slowly!

Don’t Make Unnecessary Improvements

Understand now that you can’t—and shouldn’t—include every single improvement you want to make on the house in your flipping timeline. Especially when it comes to your first project, you need to make sure you only fix what’s necessary—over-improving a property won’t necessarily give you the desired return on investment. Remember, you’re not renovating the house to make it your dream home. You’re creating a blank slate for someone else to create their dream home.

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Karen LeBlanc

Karen LeBlanc is a travel host and writer with a popular travel show, The Design Tourist, and a companion lifestyle blog. As a widely published travel journalist and content creator, Karen is a member of the North American Travel Journalists Association. She also serves as the Design and Travel editor of the national lifestyle magazine, LaPalme. Karen believes that every destination has a story to tell through its local art, architecture, culture, and craft. This immersive creative exploration begins with authentic accommodations where the narrative of place unfolds through art, accessories, accouterments, furnishings, fixtures, and food. 

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