Deciding to purchase a new flip is a big decision, even if you've done it a dozen times before. No matter how perfect a house looks for your next flip, a thorough appraisal is an absolute must. Every property you buy is your personal responsibility while you rehabilitate it and then it's yours until a new buyer comes along and falls in love with your work. With this in mind, it's important to have the full picture on the state of every house you buy, and the pre-existing appraisal information often just isn't enough. From the old foundation to the new wiring, any flipper considering buying property needs to be aware of every possible factor when assessing its real value and deciding how much it will really cost to renovate. While this process is vital for any real estate purchase, it is especially pertinent when dealing with run-down houses ripe for remodeling. However, for a variety of very understandable but still challenging reasons, most of the important details aren't readily available, for a variety of very understandable but still challenging reasons. Since you can't count on the current owner to give you the full run-down of everything wrong with a house you want to buy, it falls on your shoulders to do the research and, if necessary, hire your own inspector to answer all the right questions before making the final purchase or deciding to move on to better opportunities.
However, for a variety of very understandable but still challenging reasons, most of the important details aren't readily available, for a variety of very understandable but still challenging reasons. Since you can't count on the current owner to give you the full run-down of everything wrong with a house you want to buy, it falls on your shoulders to do the research and, if necessary, hire your own inspector to answer all the right questions before making the final purchase or deciding to move on to better opportunities.
The Important Information
Beyond curb appeal and even aesthetic room design, the property you are buying has an overall maintenance health that represents how much you work will need to be done before the house is reasonably livable again. Most of the factors that contribute to a building's true health are not apparent during a property viewing and may not even become evident until you have been in residence for a few months. When considering a new property, make sure to check on these items:
While most people can acknowledge that this information is useful to have when looking into property value, it's not commonly shared on real estate sites or even between realtors within the business. Postings for each property, for the most part, only mention positive things about the building without bothering to add full-disclosure information. Of course, sellers don't want to scare away customers by mentioning the leaky pipes, but you might be surprised how many sellers haven't bothered to learn these details about their own property. Even sources that claim to have all the information on a location will often have empty data fields or be terribly out of date.
How to Complete Your Data
When you're really serious about buying a house, as long as it meets your structural standards, the best route is simply to clear a private inspection with the owner and go through the house yourself with your own inspector present. While this still won't catch 100% of the potential issues, you'll be a lot more certain of the true status of the building. With this information in hand, you have a much better idea of the flip's prospect and of the property's real value. If the structure is intact, the pipes are solid and the wiring is new, the flip is probably a worthwhile investment and you're good to go.
There's no need to get stuck with a property that's worse off than it looked on your first walkthrough. No one wants to realize halfway through a project that the electricals need to be completely redone or that every pipe in the building is about to crumble into dust and your own inspection can make sure that doesn't happen. With every flip you target, you will always want detailed and up-to-date information before making the final decision to purchase or pass. Of course, even if you find some hidden problems, you might be able to get a bargain if you're willing to take them on as part of the renovation.
For more helpful information on finding a profitable flip, contact us today!
Professional house flippers are an independent minded community. Everyone has their own preference for properties to flip, favorite contractors to work with, and personal vision for renovations. With this incredible diversity between styles and methods, it's no wonder there are dozens of unique tips and tricks for choosing, renovating, and selling flips out there but some are stranger than others. While you may all go through the process differently, from property selection to the final touches, every flipper finds themselves at the final stage with all other home sellers: the housing market. Selling your flip is the last hurdle to overcome and sometimes it's harder than you think it should be, given how much work and creativity you've already put in. That said, nothing sells a flip better than beautiful pictures, which look best with some cozy furniture to help buyers imagine themselves living in the space.
"But furniture is expensive," you say, "and I'll only have to move it out for the buyer anyway."
This is exactly the point! Buying furniture to stage a flip isn't as crazy as it sounds because you don't have to leave it with the house. This trick works especially well if you tend to work on properties that are all in the same region, say, no more than a two-hour drive from the city you primarily live in. This trick even works if you tend to live in your flips during renovations because it makes them look nice and clean instead of actually lived-in. Here's how it works:
The Furniture Staging Scheme
For this trick, all you need is a set of nice-looking but fairly generic furniture and a self-storage locker. While you're renovating, store the furniture in the locker and make sure it's climate-controlled enough not to damage your furniture investment. Work on the home and even live in it if you want, with no obligation to use nice things that will stage well later on.
Then, when you're ready to take the promotional pictures, move all the renovation supplies and your personal stuff out, store it in the locker, and bring out the staging furniture. Snap the pictures and leave the furniture in place for viewings and just in case buyers want follow-up detail shots. Then, when you're signing the paperwork, move the staging furniture back into the storage locker for the next project. Rinse, repeat.
What You'll Need
You know your style best, and this should inform the kind of staging furniture you buy, but the set will need to include a few housing basics. Ikea, Walmart, and other discount furniture venues are your friend here because the items don't need to be sturdy, just attractive. You probably want to include:
Finally, don't forget the usual staging-trick accessories like wooden spoons and hot-pads for the kitchen, a toothbrush for the bathroom, throw rugs, picture frames, curtains, and a book or two for flavor. These are all easily stored in a single box along with your furniture. As long as you choose universal materials like wrought iron, the items will look good in any flip you want to sell in the future.
Flipping old houses into something any family would love to live in is a unique combination of skill and art. While you may be a pro at selection, design, and renovation, selling is almost always the final slow-down. With this awesome little trick, you can spend a thousand or two on cheap furniture once and significantly boost the ease with which you sell every flip after that. For more intriguing and helpful advice for selling your next flip, contact us today!