Flipping a House: How to Find Houses to Flip

By: ROS Team November 25, 2021

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Have you heard the term “flipping houses” and are curious about it?  Or you are already in the real estate business and are looking for more ideas? Either way, it is worth knowing that house flipping is increasing in popularity and on the rise across the nation.

The idea is as simple: buy a property, renovate it, and sell it for profit. Sounds cool? Well, here is a bit more information about house flipping and how to find houses to flip.

how to find houses to flip

What is House Flipping?

When an investor buys a property for the sole purpose of selling it for profit, the idea is known as house flipping. Although the idea is to sell the home quickly, it can take anywhere from a few months to a year.

House Flipping has Two Underlying Principles:

1. A real estate investor purchases a property in poor condition and expects it to sell it after making the necessary repairs and renovations for a considerable profit. If the renovation is executed right, it is likely to generate a good profit.

2. An investor buys a house where home values are rapidly increasing. It does not require any renovation and they sell the property at a higher price to earn a profit.

renovation of a house

Is Flipping a House Worth the Effort?

The idea of flipping a house may look simple but the execution is not. It requires market insight to find the right home for flipping and, if renovations are required, the ability to make improvements that don’t eat into your budget and, in some cases, your profit. Otherwise, you run the risk of the project turning into a disaster and you end up losing money.

But you are here to make a profit, so here are some of the best ways to do it.

  • Know the Market

When flipping a house, the secret is to understand the market. You must find the right market for you based on your budget.  Neighborhoods are ranked from Class A to Class D. Class A neighborhoods are the wealthiest, which means expensive real estate.

Class B neighborhoods are ones that are primarily populated by members of the stable middle class while Class C neighborhoods are composed of working-class people. Class D neighborhoods are typically those with the lowest income earners.

It is quite risky to flip a house in Class A while Class B and Class C tend to be the best markets. It’s best to start with homes located in B and C neighborhoods for your first house flipping project and gradually work toward other neighborhood types as you gain experience.

flipping a house

  • Fix your Budget and Plan Accordingly

Having a basic plan for flipping a house is necessary to help ensure your project is a success. You’ll need to establish a budget, create a timeline, and know your vision.

Start with making cosmetic updates like updating a bathroom or kitchen with new paint or flooring.  Also, consider updating the basics like light fixtures and faucets. Don’t worry about making larger structural or mechanical changes at the start. You may compensate for the low-profit margin by taking on more short term projects as you go.

  • Keep your Funds Ready

Flipping a house is a fast-track project. Once your offer is accepted, you don’t want unnecessary delays because of funds. You need to get your allocated budget ready.

The interest rates for home loans obtained for house flipping are usually higher than a traditional mortgage, but the upside of that is you won’t have to pay any installments.  Don’t forget to consider interest rates in your cost.

estimate a house loan

  • Find a House to Flip

This is the most crucial stage of the whole process of home flipping. It is a make or breaks for you so you need to be intelligent and patient. The primary goal is to find a property that’s not only below the market value but also able to pay at least two times the total closing costs and yield a profit.

The best approach for finding a house to flip is to work with a realtor. It is the most common as well as the most trusted option. Another option is to reach out to wholesale investors. You can also score a decent property to flip by getting in touch with sellers who are selling on their own.

  • Buy the House

Although experienced investors look for houses that require heavy renovations,  you, as a first-time buyer, should consider buying a property that only requires basic repairs.

Make sure that you inspect the property before buying it. It is always better to hire professionals for home inspections because you might skip a major defect that a professional would notice immediately. It’s worth the investment to go with professionals, especially if you are new to the house flipping game.

first time house buyer

  • Complete Renovations

Your job starts now. The interest you pay on the mortgage is directly proportional to the time it takes for you to complete renovations and resell the property. The key is to get the renovation done in the least possible time.

Sell the House

Now comes the time to reap the benefit of your endeavors. How you price your home is very significant when you plan to flip a house. You do not only have to worry about the renovation cost but also the closing costs.  Remember, the rule of thumb is to walk away with a profit that’s double the closing costs.

Given the complexities of selling a flipped house, you need the services of an experienced realtor. Apart from handling legal aspects of the property, a realtor will provide valuable insight into how to best price the home.

Final Words

You now know how to find houses to flip.  It’s probably not a good idea to complete your first flip on your own. Consider hiring experienced professionals such as inspectors, realtors, and appraisers to make things run smoother.