7 Things Not to Do When Flipping Houses | Cross River Real Estate


Mold, wood rot, warped floors, a dated bathroom — these problems might seem a nightmare to the average home buyer, but to a seasoned flipper, a house full of flaws could mean profits.

With the housing market improving after the 2008 crash, house flippers — and reality TV shows about house flippers — are back. From “Flipping San Diego” to “Flipping Boston,” the nationwide trend of buying a house at less than market value, spending some money to fix it up and reselling it at a higher price is once again a lucrative way to turn a profit.

Seasoned house-flippers Kim Williams and Maria Powell spent time with “Nightline” in and out of various fixer-uppers in a Charlotte, N.C., neighborhood — flips in North Carolina have increased by 14 percent in the past year, with flippers averaging a profit of $50,000 per property.

The duo talked about a few of the do’s and don’ts of flipping they have learned over the years.

1. Don’t Go Over Budget When Buying the Home
Both Williams and Powell say it’s important to stay within your budget and purchase “at the right price” from the start. Additional costs can come later in upgrades to the house or contractor costs. So don’t get attached to a house when you walk in.

“It’s not emotional,” Powell said.

2. Don’t Ignore the Upgrades You Really Should Make
Some properties need only the bare minimum, Powell said, such as putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls or adding carpets. But if the bathroom needs new plumbing or if the kitchen needs new appliances, Powell said flippers would get more on their returns if they spent the money to make those necessary upgrades.

“I think sometimes people don’t see the things they could do to bring the money back,” she said. “If you do the minimum, there are some properties you should do that [for], but if the neighborhood will carry a higher price point, then you want the best use of the property.”

3. Don’t Buy a Home Without Getting It Inspected First
A few cracks in the foundation or a leaky window could be easy fixes or major problems, so both Powell and Williams said getting an inspection before purchasing a home, even if you have already put in an offer, is very important before going to closing.

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