House Hunting for A Flip
**UPDATED 3/15/2017 – Check out the end for what wound up happening with our second flip. (I’ll give you a hint, we didn’t wind up buying something to flip!)
In order to talk about my next flip I think it’s only right to talk about my last flip — which also happened to be my first flip.
I also shouldn’t just be saying “me” — this was definitely a “we” type thing.
I purchased a house for my boyfriend and I to flip in March of 2015. And we did just that. The short story is the flip took us about triple our original timeline which put us into a really bad time of year to try and sell. So only after a few weeks on the market we decided to rent our pristinely renovated home out to a stranger… with kids. And you know what? It was the Best. Decision. Ever.
Fast forward one year and two months later and we finally sold it and we made a pretty penny on the flip and collected rental income along the way.
After 2 days on the spring market we sold the house and were able to negotiate a later closing date so we could keep our tenant in there longer and collect more in rent! Why not make as much as possible off the place while we have a good tenant, right? – Emphasis on the word good there. If we had a tenant who was wrecking the place I would have wanted to close in a week. We worked so hard on that house it was difficult to even make the decision to rent it to a complete stranger who may not even take care of it, so we lucked out.
Just the two of us renovated almost every aspect of that house. We hired out the serious stuff like plumbing and electrical, but we installed the windows, replaced the pitched roofs, spread 18 tons of dirt by ourselves in one weekend, refinished the hardwood floors, tiled the kitchen backsplash, painted the entire interior and exterior, installed a vinyl soffit ceiling on the porch, replaced the flooring and so many more fun things like that. That house is as move in ready as it gets.
Because I quit my corporate job to pursue my dreams of flipping houses I had nothing to do when the house went up for sale and while we were renting it out over the winter. So I started going on jobs with my boyfriend. What’s he do you ask? He’s a contractor. Carpenter mainly, but he has so many talents I personally wouldn’t classify him as just that. I’ve learned so much being out in the field with him that is invaluable to flipping houses that I wouldn’t change the way that first flip played out — even though it wound up being a 14 month long process.
So now that I talked your ear off about the last flip, what are we looking for now in a flip?
Since we’ve already looked at 9 houses as of the time I wrote this post we know we need to stay away from houses with foundation problems. Houses with foundation problems usually wind up going for some ridiculously low number, but that’s because of the unknowns with it. The problem could cost $3,000 to fix or $30,000. And at this stage of the game, we’re not willing to take that risk- we’re still newbies at this after all.
We’ve also learned that we we need to stay away from houses where it looks like a handy-man-mr.-fix-it-all-know-it-all-homeowner lived there for 20 years. These are the absolute worst houses to buy, THE WORST. This is the guy who refuses to pay for any service or maintenance on the house that should be done by qualified professionals because he thinks he can look it up online and do it himself.
Check out these handy-man-mr.-fix-it-all-know-it-all-homeowner fixes!
Lastly, we’re looking to shorten our commute. Our first flip was a 28 minute drive and doing a half hour commute each way sucks, especially after you just spent 11 hours on top of roof and just want to get home, shower and sleep. And the absolute worst part about a longer commute is when you forget one specific tool back at the house (which unfortunately happens a lot) and have to drive an hour just to fetch them — and top it off with forgetting multiple tools in one day, and the day is just fucked my friend.
Houses close by that are within our budget are quite difficult to find. I live in an area where a lot of land can come with the house which really shoots the price up.
We haven’t found the one yet so we’ll keep looking until we run out of houses to look at… and that could happen at the rate we’ve been looking. But I am thinking positive and hoping something comes up that’s within our budget and is nearby. I know if one does, we’ll have to jump on it.
It’s really funny to go back and look at these blog posts. This was written just over one year ago from the time I am updating and so much has already changed. The biggest thing to change is that we wound up buying a house for us to live in instead of flip! Even though finding a house for ourselves was the last thing on our minds, it’s just what happened.
I mentioned above that we wanted to find a house with less of a commute. Well Main Street House is 5 minutes and 37 seconds away (roughly.) But that’s not the major thing that lead us to buy a house for ourselves. This particular house also has a 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom apartment above the garage which we just finished renovating (check out the before and after pictures here) and are in the process of renting out.
It also has an attic that we are in the process of converting into a master bedroom and master bathroom! I’m excited for this because the three bedrooms the home currently has are all about equal size and TINY.
We plan on eventually making the house a rental unit as well and even splitting the garage into two separate bays and renting each of them out as well.
The future looks bright.