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The Biggest Mistakes First-Time House Flippers Make

House flipping is quite a popular investment strategy. The main idea is to buy a cheap property, do a complete renovation, and sell it for a higher price. Home flippers typically spend a lot of time searching for properties and negotiating prices. Once they get an affordable fixer-upper, they will manage the whole renovation process from start to finish. Experienced DIYers can also take part in flipping and save money in the process. 

With any home flipping project, things can quickly go wrong. As with other businesses, you need detailed planning, research, and excellent management skills. 

Home flipping newbies should be aware of the potential mistakes and adapt their strategy accordingly. In this post, we share the most common mistakes that first-time house flippers make. After reading these tips, you will understand how to avoid the biggest mistakes and have a successful business! 

Paying high prices

The goal of house flipping is to get a bargain and sell it for a higher price after remodeling. The whole project won’t be feasible if you pay too much for a property. Therefore, you shouldn’t spend more than 70% of the after-repair value minus the repair costs. 

Not being accurate with cost estimates

Before buying a property, make sure to visit it with your chosen contractor. They should provide a price estimate for the repairs. An accurate price estimate will determine whether the house flipping project will bring you profit.

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Flipped fixer-upper into a luxurious property (from CC and Mike)

Not understanding that house flipping is time-consuming

Before you even decide that you want to do house flipping, calculate whether it will be feasible for you. You need to find the right property, manage contractors, and schedule inspections. After the renovation is done, you will need to put effort into selling the property. The process can take a lot of time, so you might earn more money if you stick with your day job.

Stunning before and after of a flipped house (from Medium)
Stunning before and after of a flipped house (from Medium)

House with an awkward layout

Keep in mind that you can’t fix an awkward layout with cosmetic upgrades. Structural work can be pretty costly, so be sure to pick a property with a good layout. A proper home layout should be functional, and every room should have a purpose.

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Flipping properties requires investing, planning, and excellent managing skills (from Unsplash)

Not researching the market

As with every business, you need to research the market and understand the customers’ needs. This crucial step will help you decide what type of property to focus on. 

The best way to start researching the market is to explore the properties listed for sale in your specific area. Explore the price ranges and get to know more about the types of properties sold in the area and which ones are high in demand. 

Work closely with your real estate agent to understand the buyers’ preferences, as this will give you a clear idea of how to finish the home. Ensure that the house is cohesive with the other properties in the area. Although high-end finishes might sound appealing, they can make a flipped house less desirable in the eyes of potential buyers. If the other houses in the neighborhood don’t have luxurious features, you shouldn’t add any. 

However, keep in mind that the market conditions can drastically change. Your initial assumptions might be incorrect, so be sure to stay updated with local trends.

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Neutral finishes will appeal to any taste (from Unsplash)

Bold decor choices

One of the biggest mistakes house flippers make is following their personal taste and preferences. While you like bold and outstanding color choices, they might not appeal to buyers. A potential buyer should be able to project their style and personality onto the space. Therefore, the best solution is to opt for neutral materials and colors that appeal to everyone. 

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Researching the local property market provides useful insights (from Unsplash)
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Pick finishes that match the other houses in the neighborhood (from Unsplash)
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Design a home that matches the customers’ preferences (from Unsplash)
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You shouldn’t spend more than 70% of the after-repair value minus the repair costs (from Unsplash)
Kristina Shestakova
I write for decoist.

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