There's nothing new about buying a house that needs a little fixing up and turning right around to sell it for profit. Doing it in a short time-frame, however, has become a lucrative business. It's known as "flipping" a house, and some ambitious flippers even take on homes that need more than a little fixing, entirely renovating houses that are on the verge of being condemned if the profit potential is high enough. Though it sounds simple, making money flipping homes isn't as easy as buy-fix-sell. It's best to do your homework and know how to flip a house, so your investment doesn't flop.

Let Go of Emotional Attachment

One of the first rules of how to flip a house is to remember that flipping is a business. Making money flipping homes is only possible if you can turn the house around quickly, but if you are determined to make it a showplace and won't consider the first few realistic offers, any money you do finally make on a sale will be offset by unnecessary renovations and the time you spent holding onto the property.

Get Out Your Calculator

Before making an offer on a house, you need to calculate whether the possible profit is enough to make it worth it, another area where you cannot afford to be emotionally attached. You may fall in love with a home's potential and have grand plans for improvements, but you have to be able to walk away if the scenario doesn't work out on paper. 

Decide what kind of ROI you want/need to see. Set a limit on how much you'll spend on renovating the house. Do a thorough inspection of the home and take notes on all of the necessary repairs, saving the aesthetic extras for last to ensure you won't go over budget. Bring along a contractor, if possible, to help give you a realistic idea of repair costs. Then, put it all down on paper. Remember to include the costs of utilities, insurance, and property taxes as well as borrowing money and selling the house. If you won't get the return you need, move on to the next opportunity.

Know What is Selling

Knowing how to flip a house means knowing what buyers are looking for. Multiple family dwellings can be just as good investments as single family homes if duplexes and four-plexes are hot real estate tickets. Take note of the types of homes that sell quickly and aim to find flipping properties that are similar but may need a little work to become to make them a match. Just be sure that the math makes sense, and the renovations and repairs will result in a house that meets your ROI goal.

Don't Chintz on the Contracting

There is nothing wrong with doing as much of the work as you can, such as cleaning and painting but, unless you are a contractor by trade, it makes better sense to leave the window replacement, plumbing repairs, and rewiring to the professionals. Also, find affordable contractors who do quality work. They may be few and far between, but contractors who are cheap but do sub-par work will only cost you more money in the long run. 

Don't Give Up Your Day Job

Until you know how to flip a house, you'll need a source of income while you work on flipping houses in Idaho. It takes time to make repairs, get inspections, and get a home sold. At first, you may only make $10,000 or less after 3 or 4 months--and that money will come at the end, not in a nice, steady stream throughout the process. Keep on working full time while you work on building your flipping business.

Finding the right home to flip can be hard, and you may need some help. 

The team at Stewart Realty knows homes and they know Southwest Idaho real estate. To find out more about real estate in the Boise Region give Jeff Stewart at Stewart Realty a call to set up your personal real estate search, a personal tour of the area and find some great homes that fit your needs and budget.

Compose Your Personal MLS Search With Us: or

Jeff Stewart, Broker/Owner 208-602-1993 or