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Old 02-21-2010, 08:41 AM  
travelover
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Some people have told me I could volunteer for Habitat for Humanity or Rebuilding Together. I thought that was a great idea. Have any of you ever volunteered for either of these? Are they willing to train you and teach you, or would the unexperienced be hauling supplies, and that sort of thing?

In a few weeks I'm going to start taking those painting/tiling/etc classes at the Home Depot. I figure it's a good start and I'll take notes. ... In the meantime, I'm still searching around for what the best type of schooling would be!

-R
I've worked for Habitat both in building new and rehabbing older houses. Most of the volunteers are unskilled and training is provided. As you gain experience you can assist the professionals that do more complex things like wiring, plumbing, furnaces, etc and learn even more. Eventually you may be asked to take on the task of supervising the less skilled volunteers.

You might be disappointed in the rehabbing work on some of the grander homes as Habitat does not have the time or money to refinish fine architectural details. Most homes get a vinyl siding slapped on the outside, carpet on the inside with inexpensive cabinetry, windows and appliances.

Overall I recommend the experience, but it is not like an episode of "This Old House".


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Old 02-21-2010, 09:39 AM  
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Hi TrueSouthernPeach:

I've never flipped a house to try to make money, but my wife and I have moved around a lot. In the 45 years we've been married, we've bought and fixed up more than 20 houses in different states.

As I read your posts, I see that you are concentrating on learning about construction methods. That's good. You'll need to know as much as possible. But buying and selling property is a business venture and the basics of a business are what will mainly determine the difference between success and bankrupcy.

The principal reasons a business fails revolves around issues like adequate capital, cash flow, market knowledge and cost control. To buy and sell (for a profit) you must have adequate funds for the initial purchase, the necessary improvements, the selling costs and enough reserve funds to pay the 'carrying' costs of the house (mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, etc.). If you do not have these funds yourself, you will need to have investors (to participate in the profit/loss) or lenders (who will need to be convinced that you have other assets they can take if your venture fails). Do not minimize the difficulty of getting someone to invest in you and your venture.

OK assuming you've got the money, you now need to have a good knowledge of your local real estate market. You seen to want to focus on restoring older houses. This is an excellent idea IF YOU FOCUS ON A NEIGHBORHOOD THAT IS IMPROVING. You want an area where people with money are moving IN rather than one where they are moving out or even one that is stable. What you are trying to do is buy low and sell high and that is influenced by the location more than any work you do on one house. I'm not familar with Nashville, but my wife always says we should look for areas where the bars are starting to sell microbrews. The advice you got about getting your real estate license was good advice.

OK you've got the money and found a few up-and-coming areas. Now you are out looking at houses. Only one thing to remember: DO NOT FALL IN LOVE WITH ANY HOUSE! Remember, this is a business you are not going to live there. You need specific knowledge about the condition of the basics of the house (furnace, roof, foundation, mold, etc, etc, etc.) and you want to buy it ONLY IF THE PRICE IS LOW. There'll always be another house. Before you make an offer, be certain you have a conservative estimate (time and money) of what it will take to put the house in salable condition. YOU WILL ESTIMATE TOO LOW which is why you'll need extra reserve funds. Also, the more you plan to do yourself, the longer it will take.

OK now you've bought the house. Remember, you are fixing it up to sell, not for yourself. Do not put your personality into the house. This is a another area where real estate experience can help you. Also be careful about trying to restore 'authentic' details unless other houses for sale in the area have done this.

I didn't address project cost control which is what I did for a living. It's to big a topic. The key principal is to know what you are going to spend and to make sure that is all you spend.

I know all this may sound like a downer, but if flipping were easy everyone would do it. That doesn't mean you shouldn't try. Just do a good job of getting knowledge, have adequate funding and check everything out before you jump.



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Old 02-21-2010, 10:25 AM  
Wuzzat?
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I like the idea of doing honest work
In business, the more deception you use the better you'll do, financially.
And you are least likely to get caught. Of 23,000 prisoners in MD only 39 are there for fraud, and yet I'm sure the number of people defrauded every day is way more than the number of people victimized by other wrongdoing.
Car dealers, trusted by only 7% of people [nurses get the max score of 85%] mix lies with truth and supposedly this is an optimum strategy.
Does 40%/yr [for car makers] sound like a good profit to you?

You should decide ahead of time how you will handle the temptation, so that you recognize this slippery slope before you take the first step onto it.

Certainly, my last realtor was an arrogant & fairly wealthy "crook".

http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=sociopath+ceo+dsm-iv&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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Old 02-21-2010, 03:23 PM  
Bud Cline
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OK let me understand this.

You want to "flip" houses for a living. (All of those flipper-folks are highly respected and upstanding members of society)

You are twenty-one years old.
You are under educated and have no desire to continue your education beyond high school.
You have no money.
You have no real skills to speak of.
You have no carpentry-like experience.
You aren't willing to volunteer and serve as a go-fer.
You have no financial exposure.
You have no real estate experience.
You have a father that is too busy to help you.
You want to be schooled by Home Depot.
You do have a desire.

I know....why don't you run for president next time around.

I personally think your goal is admirable but you are very naive. Go to work out in the field for a builder or re-modeller for four or five years then see where you are with this idea after that.

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Old 02-21-2010, 04:32 PM  
travelover
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Geesh, we're getting kinda harsh here, don'tcha think? Am I the only one who was ever 21?

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Old 02-21-2010, 04:43 PM  
Wuzzat?
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Amazon.com: How I Turned $1,000 into Three Million in Real Estate in My Spare Time (9780671201258): William Nickerson: Books
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Old 02-21-2010, 05:12 PM  
Bud Cline
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Not harsh at all.....just a dose of reality. Sucks, don't it?

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Old 02-21-2010, 08:35 PM  
TrueSouthernPeach
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I don't plan on doing this over night... I wasn't planning on actually, physically getting started until at least 4 or 5 years from now... Until then, I was going to study, work, and just learn as much as I can.

And yes I am willing to volunteer as a go-fer, I would be happy to get as much experience as I can... It was just a question. I would love to continue my education if it has to do with helping me with my goal. My dad is too busy because he has a lot of problems to deal with right now... And I said home depot is just a good start... I figured it was better than just watching TV on a Saturday afternoon... You took everything I said wrong. I simply wanted advice for someone who is absolutely just starting out... And I got a lot of great advice on here and other places.

If it doesn't work out, then it doesn't work out. But... I really want to give it a try. Who knows, maybe I will get into that kind of work and it won't work out... But at least I will leave with maybe a better idea of what to do with my life, and knowledge on how to do my own personal home improvement someday.

-R

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Old 02-21-2010, 09:04 PM  
Wuzzat?
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But at least I will leave with maybe a better idea of what to do with my lfe,
This isn't the best link for this, but Dr. Burton seems to say that action will follow from your sense of purpose.
". . .a felt sense of meaning and purpose is the root out of which grow stalks of action and commitment."
from
Science and religion share a sense of purpose - Church of the Churchless

Good luck.

Post back when you can.
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Old 02-21-2010, 10:02 PM  
TrueSouthernPeach
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Thank you for the links Wuzzat? I appreciate everyone's help... I will check out the links a bit more tomorrow morning.

I also appreciate constructive criticism. I understand what you are saying... It does feel overwhelming for me at times. I know this is a long process and that I don't have what it takes now. I am surrounded by 'reality' everyday... I know it will be hard. However, I think a lot of the people who have accomplished great things in life, or even just their dreams did at one time 'dream out of their league', so to speak... I know I have a lot to learn.

-R



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