I want to be a House Flipper.

Discussion in 'General Home Improvement Discussion' started by TrueSouthernPeach, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Feb 17, 2010 #1

    TrueSouthernPeach

    TrueSouthernPeach

    TrueSouthernPeach

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    Hello,

    I'm a 21 year old female who would love to do house flipping. No, I am not interested because of shows I see on TV (Though I do like to watch them once in a while) I am interested because I love to work with my hands. I love the thought of doing something meaningful and my heart breaks when I see what was once a beautiful old house in shambles. I wouldn't want this to be a hobby, I would want it to be what I do... I'm ready to get the ball rolling in any way possible, but I have a few teeny, tiny little problems:

    Though my father and his father have extensive knowledge on home improvement, and major renovations... My grandfather has passed on and my father is a very busy person. I need to learn everything about house flipping. From how to even do the work, to how to buy, sell, and everything in between... I know there are books out there, and classes at some places, but I would like to get more 'hands on' experience, I am just not sure how.

    I don't have much money. I'm a cashier, and I am currently saving as much money as I can so my fiance' and I can move into an apartment closer to where he goes to school. My plan is to get a better job and try my best to save up as much money as I can while renting. I am not sure if this is the best idea, though. I have even thought about just living at my parents house a while longer (they wouldn't mind at all) and saving up enough money so I can skip renting and get right into a house to renovate... But I am not sure if that is doable.

    I have been really interested in fixing up old houses for a long time now, but I could never think of a way to really get into it. The reason I don't go to college is because my passions are old-fashioned simple things like baking, gardening, and just doing things with my hands. I like the idea of doing honest work as opposed to sitting in front of a computer for a living, or being a cashier! I also work my best when I'm alone, I prefer it actually. I would also NOT be doing this just for the money. For me, I absolutely love old houses and love the thought of making them beautiful. I know it would be a lot of stress/work, but I am prepared to deal with it in any way I can to accomplish my dream.

    Basically what I'm asking is: How do I get started? How can I learn/teach myself all of the complicated skills of house flipping? What is the best way to do it financially? What can I do to prepare myself mentally and even physically while I save money? Please don't discourage me because I'm a girl. My family and fiance' have already told me that this is not something I should get into. However, I am deeply, and truly interested in this kind of work.

    Thank you for taking the time to read this!

    -R
     
  2. Feb 17, 2010 #2

    crackur

    crackur

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    I haven't flipped any houses but I can tell you by just remodeling my own, you will need to read alot.

    And then read some more
     
  3. Feb 17, 2010 #3

    Doorguy4ya

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    it can be a very trying business. My Father in Law did several houses several years ago, just to make few extra bucks and he ended up barely braking even.

    first off....you'll probably want to get your real state license. This will teach you all the fees, cost, and other licenses you'll need. It will also give you access to the best deals on the market, since your objective is to buy really low.

    secondly...I would either a) have a licensed contractor ready to do the work (such as your dad) or study to get your contractors license as well. there are several agency that can help you do this in a manner of weeks. (such as american contractors exam services)

    if its something you really want to do, take the time and study the housing market along with remodeling. I can tell you from my experience if you arent very meticulous, its not the job for you. It will also stress you out at times meeting deadlines, getting bids from contractors, getting contractors to do the work right, and selling the house to where you're making a good profit.
     
  4. Feb 17, 2010 #4

    Doorguy4ya

    Doorguy4ya

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    P.S ...If its something you really, really want to do. Dont let anyone discourage you, but simply get all of your ducks (real estate license, contractors license, business license) in a row. Show them you are serious by taking the time to do it right.
     
  5. Feb 17, 2010 #5

    TrueSouthernPeach

    TrueSouthernPeach

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    Thank you both for the replies!

    Crackur - I would love to learn as much as possible. What are the best books you would recommend?

    Doorguy4ya - I have been warned that this can be a risky business, which is why I want to know as much as I can before I jump right in. As for getting a real estate license, I actually thought about that a lot when I was in my early teens and that would be a great idea.

    I think getting a contractors license would be a great idea as well. My father is getting older and I don't think he would want to do the back-breaking work like he used to. However I would like to still learn from him or even just have him around so I don't make a huge mistake!

    I have been reading and it seems like you can also specialize in restoring historical properties (Which I am most interested in) Can you get a contractors license in a certain area? Or would it be a separate kind of deal?

    I would like to do as much of the hard work myself as possible to cut down on costs, and because I am perfectionist at everything I do, I know I would be very meticulous not just with the work, but with studying the housing market.

    One more thing... Not sure if this is a rumor, but I have heard that the Government will sell foreclosed houses for a dollar if they aren't sold within 6 months. Is this for real? I haven't been able to find out too much about it online.

    Thanks again!

    -R
     
  6. Feb 17, 2010 #6

    TrueSouthernPeach

    TrueSouthernPeach

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    Doorguy4ya - Thanks! I really appreciate the support. I really want to do this right. I just don't know where to start. Thank you for helping me!
     
  7. Feb 17, 2010 #7

    TrueSouthernPeach

    TrueSouthernPeach

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    (my other longer reply hasn't shown up yet, BTW!)
     
  8. Feb 17, 2010 #8

    oldognewtrick

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    True, I can understand how you feel seeing older houses wasting away. I really appreciate seeing people fix up and revitalize older, aging neighborhoods. If you want to pursue this, go to work for a contractor who does remodel work and see what all is involved before you loose a lot of time and a lot of money.

    Just my :2cents:
     
  9. Feb 17, 2010 #9

    TrueSouthernPeach

    TrueSouthernPeach

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    Hi Oldog... Thank you for your reply.

    I also live in the Nashville area. I was first inspired to do this when I went to Bell Buckle and I was so amazed at the houses down there. I began photographing every old house I came across in Bell Buckle, Murfreesboro, Old Hickory Village, and other places in Middle TN. It was then I started thinking of ways I could get involved with that kind of thing. Infact, I even went into an abandoned old house, took pictures, and pretty much just dreamed about fixing the old place up. I even went so far as to see who owned it, and it turns out another house flipper purchased it (for much, much more than I thought it would have been) and is in the process of restoring it. I wish I could have spoken with him more!

    -R
     
  10. Feb 21, 2010 #10

    TrueSouthernPeach

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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
     
  11. Feb 21, 2010 #11

    travelover

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    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".
     
  12. Feb 21, 2010 #12

    Con65

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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.
     
  13. Feb 21, 2010 #13

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    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".

    [ame=http://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=sociopath+ceo+dsm-iv&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8]sociopath ceo dsm-iv - Google Search[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2010
  14. Feb 21, 2010 #14

    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.
     
  15. Feb 21, 2010 #15

    travelover

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    Geesh, we're getting kinda harsh here, don'tcha think? :hide: Am I the only one who was ever 21?
     
  16. Feb 21, 2010 #16
  17. Feb 22, 2010 #17

    Bud Cline

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    Not harsh at all.....just a dose of reality. Sucks, don't it?:)
     
  18. Feb 22, 2010 #18

    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
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  19. Feb 22, 2010 #19

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

    Wuzzat?

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2010
  20. Feb 22, 2010 #20

    TrueSouthernPeach

    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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