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Flipping Houses for Profit: Shifting Market Affects Beginners

By Jeanette Fisher

If you want to get started flipping houses, you need to know what you're doing. Over the past few years, escalating home prices made it easy for new investors to make money fixing and flipping. However, as experienced house flippers know, a buyer's market makes it harder for you to sell a home once you've fixed it up. A buyer's market also makes it easier for you to find a house to fix and flip.

In haste to make up for what they view as lost money-making opportunities, many beginning real estate investors jump into the flipping houses business without proper preparation. Some get lucky and make a profit on their first flip. However, with the recent market shifts, it would be better for you to really get a firm grip on the reality of fixing and flipping houses before you make a costly mistake.

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Six Tips for Beginning House Flippers

1. You must know what a house will sell for once you fix it up. Prepare yourself with research and get to know your chosen real estate market.

2. You must know how much repairs and upgrades will cost. Learn how to estimate the costs of materials and labor.

3. You must know how to get the best financing for your situation. Will you use rehab financing, your own money, or an investment property loan? Talk to a loan officer and explore your options.

4. You must know how to do the work or know who you will hire to make repairs. You also will want to make changes that your future buyers desire. Learn which colors, patterns, and features bring top dollar without spending more money.

5. You must have a plan of action so you can begin making repairs immediately. A house that sits after closing costs money daily for the mortgage and utilities.

6. You must know how to sell the house to a qualified buyer.

The best way to determine which house will make money is to make a spread sheet of many houses. Go to your local home improvement store and get prices for all the materials needed. Compare the purchase price, materials, labor, and expected sales price. Add in your holding costs, closing costs, and unexpected costs fund. Determine which houses offer the best profit and make many offers.

When you first start out in your flipping houses business, you'll want to look for houses needing only cosmetic work. Look for houses that just need cleaning up, painting, and new flooring. Use your imagination when viewing these homes. Try to visualize the finished house as you look at structural features and the surrounding homes.

Fixing and flipping houses can be much more than a way to make money. You can also help improve neighborhoods. Besides, turning a doghouse into a buyer's dream home is fun!

Copyright © 2006 Jeanette J. Fisher

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Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars: The Real Way to Make Money Flipping Houses!