Thursday, November 21, 2019

Managing Money During a Flip

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Help

Money management during any real estate investment venture is an essential skill. If this is your first time flipping a property it is probably more important on the first flip than any other as you need to fully realize how much things cost and how quickly those expenses can up. It is so simple for the budget on a house flip to get completely out of control. For this reason you need to take control of the financial situation from the very beginning.

Begin by establishing a realistic budget for the entire project. If you find yourself spending more money in one area than you had originally planned you need to either revisit the initial budget and plan for adding more money to the pot or you need to make cost lowering adjustments elsewhere along the way to recover the excess. You will need to have a firm idea of the projects you are going to tackle, big and small, as well as the costs involved in each project. Take a walk through a hardware store and get a firm grasp of today’s prices on the hardware, equipment, and supplies you will need to complete the job.

Use contractors when necessary but sparingly. There are times when it will cost much less to use a contractor on a project than to muddle through on your own. There are also times when local laws require a contractor. You need to use contractors for these times but you need to avoid paying the princely labor costs contractors charge for things that you could easily do yourself. You never want to spend a penny on a flip that you don’t need to spend and labor costs are a huge budget buster.

Get permits first and up front. Time is money when you are flipping a house and once you start the work that time is precious. Make sure you have all the permits you need and that they are paid for before you begin the project in order to save time and money after the project has commenced.

Then create a habit of accounting for every penny spent throughout the day at the end of every day. This becomes a good habit to have for your first and all subsequent flips. By doing this you will have a solid grasp of how much money you are spending as well as how quickly you are spending it. You will need money to spend on little things throughout the course of the project so if you are spending money too fast up front you may not have the money needed to take care of the small details that mean a lot when all is said and done.

One huge way to better manage your money during a house flip is to make a conscious decision and consistent effort to work according to your tastes. Chances are quite good, especially for a first flip that you will be working on a house for those who have less financial means than you may have. For this reason you need to keep your project within the budget of your buyers. This will save tons of money. In other words a lower income community cannot absorb the costs of granite, marble, and hardwoods in most situations so don’t go to that expense.

In order to turn a solid profit when flipping a house or doing any type of real estate investment you absolutely must have a firm grip on your money, where it is going, and what your plans are for the money. The less money you spend the more money, in many cases you stand to bring home in profit. Spend the money you need to spend in order to improve the value of the home but avoid luxury expenditures that aren’t necessary for the neighborhood or the home in question in order to maximize the potential profits you can bring home.

Lease to Own Property Investment

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Help

If you’ve dreamed of real estate riches along with dreaming of being in the position to help out those who have hit a few bumps in the road along the way but are generally good people fallen on hard times then you may want to consider a type of real estate investing in which you purchase properties and then work out a lease to own agreement with people who, for one reason or another, cannot get the financing to purchase their own properties right now.

This type of real estate investing is a great way to make money while helping out your fellow man and there are many other benefits to this type of arrangement as well. First of all, renters have no stake in a property. For this reason you will often find that renters have little regard for damage done to the property beyond how it affects their security deposit. Those who have hopes of someday owning the property however are much more inclined to take great care of the interior and exterior of the home they are renting. This means that chances are good that the value of the property will actually improve during their tenure whether they ultimately decide to purchase or not.

This also benefits you because these properties are often in high demand and will fill up more quickly then the average rental property should the sale of the house fall through for whatever reason. Common reasons for sales falling through are work related transfers, divorces, and an inability to get financing even with the money escrowed to go towards a down payment. The good news is that even if the sale falls through you can try again and the house isn’t likely to sit empty for very long.

The benefits to those leasing from you are many. First of all, you will be putting a predetermined and agreed upon sum of each months rent towards their down payment at the end of the (again) previously agreed upon amount of time. This allows them to save the money for the down payment without really consciously thinking about it each month. This agreement also allows them a little more leeway for making improvements, painting to taste, and decorating than your typical rental home.

Another big benefit to those leasing to own is that it gives them a certain amount of time, typically two years, to get their affairs in order and work on improving credit, saving money, and taking other positive steps towards their dreams of home ownership. They also get the opportunity to see how they like living in the home in question. Many homeowners would love to have had a two-year trial on their homes before making the final commitment. They have an opportunity to learn about many of their neighbors, the local schools, the local commute, shopping, and entertainment among other things. These things are all great knowledge for those leasing to see and enjoy first hand before making the absolute commitment to purchase the property. It also happens to keep money filling your pockets month after month with excess paid to go to the down payment reverting to you if after two years (or the agreed upon time frame) they decide not to make the purchase.

Some have a difficult time making the decision to go the lease to own route when it comes to real estate investing. They feel, for whatever reason that it is taking advantage of some people and that is something you’ll have to wrestle with on your own. Truthfully speaking it is a service that many people wish was offered much more often than it is and can be a huge help to those who are experiencing a bit of a rough patch but otherwise have always been on time with payments and are, at the core, good people who deserve a break. You can quell the feelings of taking advantage by offering a fair price on an arrangement that has the potential to be mutually beneficial.

How to Maximize Profits on a House Flip

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Help

When it comes to real estate investing a house flip is a great way to go. It’s also a rather bold move for many who are considering this as a first time real estate investment. At the same time you can minimize the risk while maximizing the profit potential by following a few guidelines.

1) Have an inspection. For whatever reason there are many people who enter into a property flip situation without ever having a valid and complete inspection of the property made. This means you could be doing work that will need to be undone at some later point in the process. You want to avoid this situation if at all possible and it is easily done (in most cases) by having a thorough inspection. There will almost always however be some unanticipated surprises along the way.
2) Establish a budget and stick with it. Most people flipping houses plan a budget. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, very few actually stick to the budget they originally established. It is a good idea to leave a little wiggle room in your budget for unexpected emergencies but be firm on the spending limits for specific projects. If you go over on those projects eliminate something elsewhere in order to save money.
3) Consider the target buyer when making adjustments. You must understand when purchasing a house to flip that you are buying the house for someone else and you need to make adjustments, changes, and improvements according to what your target market demands, expects, and can afford to absorb the costs of you adding. It doesn’t matter how beautiful you’ve made the house if no one that is willing to live in the neighborhood can afford your asking price when all is said and done.
4) Remember that this is a business situation and don’t refuse to consider offers that will net you a profit just because the profit isn’t as good as you’d like. A house sitting empty on the market accrues carrying costs and is ripe for all manner of disasters. You want to get in and out as quickly as possible so that you can free up your investment to move on to the next project. Entertain all offers seriously even if they aren’t what you were hoping for. You never know when one might be the best you’re going to get.
5) Don’t take it personally. Once again a home is a very personal thing to most people. While you may have worked very hard selecting colors, materials, flooring, etc. not everyone is going to share your tastes. Do not alienate potential buyers by attaching personal emotions into the mix and getting angry because they do not appreciate your hard work. I hate to add this but it happens a lot more than you might think when flipping houses.
6) Spend as little money as possible while making bold changes. This is the best way to maximize your profits. You want the changes to be visible and effective. Don’t overlook the value of curb appeal you need to put serious effort into improving the exterior of the home as well as the interior because this is what people will see first and the change that will invite them to take a look at what you’ve done inside.

Little changes make a big improvement in the value (especially the perceived value) of a home. Make the necessary changes and sell the house as quickly as possible in order to bring in the best possible profits.

How to Flip a House

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Help

If you haven’t seen the many shows on television advertising and explaining how to flip a house this should help you find yourself well on your way to real estate investing riches through the process of flipping houses. While there are some negative connotations attached to flipping houses because of shoddy deals and shoddy workmanship in the past, you can create a positive reputation by doing things the right way if you follow the advice mentioned below.

1) Find a suitable house in a suitable location. This is probably the most important aspect of flipping a house. There is no way a flip could be successful if you do not get an absolutely great deal on a house that is in good shape, needing only cosmetic repairs and touches, that also happens to be in a neighborhood where houses move and will get the price you are setting as your goal. While it seems like a little more than a mouthful each of these things is important to the success of your flip.
2) Have an inspection. This is also essential because your inspection should clue you in to any unforeseen problems that may arise. You can either adjust your bid in order to cover the costs of those repairs or you can pull out of the project all together if discovered and unanticipated repairs would eliminate the profit you potential you need in order to make the house flip worth your time.
3) Decide what must be done. It is best to salvage as much of the original structure as possible and make mostly cosmetic repairs to the house. The goal of a flip is to spend little and make a lot. Plan projects that can be completed quickly (carrying costs are the bane of the house flipper) and with little expense. Flooring, paint, and fixtures are a great way to make a large impact without spending too much money.
4) Get the work done. Whether you are doing the work yourself or hiring experts you need to get the work done as quickly as possible in order to maximize your profits. Plan projects to move quickly and avoid projects that rely on the entire property being useless while they are being performed as they risk putting other projects behind if they are delayed for some reason.
5) Be flexible with the price. If you stick to your budget you should be able to go with your original target asking price. You do not want to price the property more than the neighborhood will be able to support and you definitely want to avoid turning off potential buyers by turning down a fair offer too quickly. It is better to take a lower offer and sell the house quickly than hold out for a larger offer that never comes (all the while paying costly carrying costs).

Flipping a house is a trying ordeal and during the middle it is likely you will decide that you aren’t asking for nearly enough money out of the deal. The hours are long and the work is difficult but if you stick to it and don’t get greedy you will find that the profits can be quite attractive by real estate investing standards and fairly quick to come. While the work is difficult the payoff is wonderful.

House Flip Successes

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Help

Everyone who decides to flip a house has dreams of being the one to bring home the big one. You know that really huge success story about how you made more money in three months of working on a house than you and your wife combined made last year. The sad truth is that very few flippers ever have a flip that good and those that do often do not manage to do so on their very first flip. If you don’t have those dreams it’s glad to see that you have your feet firmly planted in the sometimes harsh soils of reality.

Flipping houses is one form of real estate investing that has received a lot of media attention in the last few years and is currently the source of many interesting television shows that play on do it yourself channels on television. If you haven’t managed to watch any of these shows you may be in a much better position to tackle your first flip than many who see these shows and get a false sense of confidence when it comes to bringing in a substantial profit by flipping houses. While the profits exist and are much better than most people would envision, the average first timer doesn’t fare on the higher end of the profit scales all too often.

In fact, most first time flippers make rather slim profits when the tremendous amount of work that goes into flipping a property is considered. One thing you will want to do when flipping your own property is take care not to get too greedy in the asking price. If you can make ten thousand or more on your flip after all expenses are paid (including taxes, realtors, and any fees) then you are doing exceptionally well and should be congratulated. It is those who decide to go for fifty thousand rather than being content with ten that find themselves alienating a good portion of the population that may have been interested in purchasing the property from the very beginning.

In order to make your flip a success you need to be negotiable on the price when all is said and done. This is where many people loose potential buyers and find themselves sitting on the market month after month until they find themselves in a situation where they must sell or risk loosing the house and in this situation they are often in a position that they actually loose money rather than profiting.

Success stories, when it comes to flipping houses are widely available though many of them are just as widely exaggerated. Be cautious in your optimism when it comes to flipping houses but plan for profits and you will find that you are much more likely to get them than if you enter into the house flipping and real estate investing process without a proper plan at your disposal.

Turn your house flip into a success story by spending as much time in the planning process as you spend in the entire labor process that is involved and necessary when it comes to flipping houses. If you do this and budget carefully while sticking to your budget religiously you will find that you are in a much better position to have the success you are hoping to have.

House Flip Sob Stories

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Help

What you don’t see on many of the television shows about flipping houses are the many sad tales of promising flips gone wrong. These epic tales of woe are often the precursors to financial hardships for quite some time as those who fail at their property flips work on recovering from their heavy losses and moving on with their lives. Some are hit harder than others but the snowball effect of a bad flip are often not even hinted out on the prime time televisions shows that are so proud of the many success stories that arise because of serious and studious efforts in the house flipping arena.

If you are planning to flip a house for a real estate investment you really need to take a step back and decide that you are absolutely not going to be one of the house flip sob stories that are rumored about in Internet chat rooms. In fact, you want to be listed among the success stories. Unfortunately that takes a great deal of proper planning that is almost never shown on these television shows. In fact, to put forth your best effort you need to devote as much time to studying and planning properties, prices, and home values in your area before you even begin to search for your first property to flip as you need to invest in the entire process of actually working on your first flip. In other words, months worth of planning need to go into your first property pick in order to lower the risk of failure and to greatly improve the odds of success.

The second thing you need to do when planning your first flip and avoiding a sad tale and a sob story is to be realistic and avoid great expectations. With your first flip you are darned lucky to turn a profit at all. If you are expecting to make more money on your first flip than you made last year as a full time employee you might need to make other plans. The first flip rarely goes as expected.

Third, you need to set aside at least twice as much money (preferably three times as much) as you think you will need for the work on the property in order to cover the actual costs that will be needed. There are inevitably tools, permits, supplies, and labor that wasn’t counted on in the initial budget figures as well as the tendency to seriously underestimate the cost of the materials that will be needed in order to get the job done. If you don’t have that much or can’t spend that much and walk away without a loss then the property you are considering might not be the best property for your first flip.

Finally you need to plan everything. Every day needs to be fully planned before you show up to work on the property and you need to have all the materials you will need on hand from lunch to drinks, to tools and supplies. Trips to the hardware store, lunch breaks, and coffee runs quickly kill a day and any productivity that may have been made during that day. Avoid these costly delays by proper planning and you will discover that you have a real estate investing success story worth writing home about.

House Flip Boot Camp

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Help

If you are anything like millions of Americans you have probably caught countless shows on cable television that boast the serious profits that can be made by flipping houses. This is a very true statement, serious money can be made when one goes about flipping the correct way, however, serious money can be much more easily lost when a house flip goes wrong. If you are hoping to find your way to fortune through real estate investing you need to pull yourself up by the bootstraps and understand a few house flip basics.

The first thing you need to understand is that the ultimate goal in a venture such as this is to make as much money as possible in as little time as possible. This means several things to the wise investor not the least of which is that you must always have a complete inspection performed before you make any sort of financial commitment to the house. A good inspection can help you identify work that must be done, whether or not there is any structural damage, or whether there are any unexpected problems such as signs of termites or water damage behind the walls.

These are very important things to know and should have a significant impact on your offer on the property as they will have a direct effect on how much you will need to invest in making the property sellable and whether or not the property will even be profitable when you consider how much money will be needed to get it in minimal selling condition and how much you can reasonably expect to sell the house for after that.

Once you have the inspection done it is a good idea to take into account all the things that will need to be done to improve the property and the things that must be done in order to get the property in sellable condition along with permits that are needed, inspections that are needed, and jobs that require licensed contractors in order to meet local code requirements. Each of these will take a significant amount of investment in order to accomplish and that should also reflect in your offering price.

Far too few would be house flippers manage to take in the big picture when making plans and this is where they end up missing out on the bigger profits that can be made by successfully flipping houses for the lowest possible investment with the highest possible return on their investments. When making your plans you will want to go with changes that are cost effective.

Avoid making significant structural changes to the house unless you have a licensed contractor sign off on the wisdom and safety of those changes, as they can be very costly as well as dangerous to the stability of the property. At the same time you should salvage as much as possible within the existing structure. Flooring and paint are almost always required in a house flip but you do not always need new cabinets in the kitchen or bathroom fixtures. Chances are new doors and hardware in the kitchen would be a great fix for drab and tired cabinetry while greatly impacting the overall look of the kitchen without robbing you of some serious profits (doors cost significantly less than making new cabinets and can add the appearance of custom cabinetry).

The biggest idea to walk away from house flip boot camp with is the idea that the most visual impact you can have on the home for the least amount of money the better. In other words you don’t want to purchase a home that needs new heating or air conditioning as they are not visual changes and are quite expensive. Find a house to flip that needs minor cosmetic repairs and a little dose of style and imagination and you will be able to maximize your profit. That is what real estate investing is all about after all.

Funding Your Flip

July 21, 2014 by  
Filed under Special Help

Real estate investments are quite expensive. Not only do you need the money to purchase the property you will be flipping but you will also need money for the improvements, repairs, and renovations that need to be made along the way. Unfortunately, the real estate business is a tricky business and there aren’t very many traditional lenders that are willing to go full out in support of your real estate investment business venture.

This means you are going to have to either fund a good portion of the expenses yourself or you are going to have to find some other means of financing your house flip. First things first, the less you pay in interest the more money you bring home. You do not want to max out your credit cards in search of profits from a house flip if it can be avoided. Merchant accounts aren’t much better but they can help you keep better track of exactly how much money you are spending on the flip and some will even give you 90 days same as cash (this is great if you can complete the process within 90 days).

It should be said that these aren’t methods that are endorsed by the writer but they are definitely possibilities when it comes to funding your house flip. The best-case scenario is that you would have the money to play with and assume no real risk in the house flipping process but very few people trying to get started in real estate investing have that luxury.

That being said, one way that is extremely risky (especially if you are nearing retirement age) is to cash out your retirement funds. This is not attractive for many reasons not the least of which are the facts that there are hefty penalties for doing this and you are risking your retirement security. It is an option however if you are in a bind for your flip. If your flip is successful it’s water under the bridge, the money can be returned or reinvested and the profit from your flip can then help fund subsequent flips or other types of real estate investments.

If you discuss things carefully with your family and decide that you are all willing to take the risk you can also risk your home by taking out a second mortgage for the funds. Again this is not the preferred method because the assumed risk is great for the security of your family. It is very important that everyone involved be aware that flipping houses is a risky investment. Not only is it risky because you aren’t experienced but the real estate market is fickle. Your house could sit for several months requiring costly carrying costs before it sells.

Forming a partnership is another way to share the risks and help lighten the burden when it comes to flipping houses. Keep in mind that this is a stressful business venture and should be treated as a business venture. For this reason a volatile or fledgling friendship may not be the best risk for a venture such as this. If you do choose a partnership you need to carefully discuss the type of financial and labor investment that is expected of each partner and the share of profit that each partner expects to receive as well. You should also consider carefully whether you are willing to risk the friendship for the sake of profits or would you rather go with a partnership that isn’t a close friend (most real estate investment groups have people willing to help with the financial side and assume the risk for the lion’s share of the profits).

Banks will typically fund a portion of the property costs if you can come up with an adequate down payment and show them a well thought out business plan. Do not rely on banks however if you have poor credit, lack a business plan, or do not have a sizable chunk of your own money to invest in the venture.

Multiple Streams of Income in Real Estate Investments

July 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Special Help

It doesn’t really matter what kind of investing you are participating in, it’s almost always a wise idea to have multiple streams of income in order to maximize your profits while spreading your risks. Even within the confines of real estate investing there are different types of investing that can help you spread your risks when markets meet turbulent times and this is a very good safety net for those who do not want to feel as though they are gambling away their investments on a real estate market that is fickle on its best days.

You really have two course of action when it comes to bringing in multiple streams of income when building your financial portfolio. The first is to spread your real estate wealth and investments across several different types of real estate investments. There are a few types that come immediately to mind. First there are rental properties. You have two options even with these. You can either choose to rent properties outright to families, students, singles, and the elderly in your town or you can offer a lease or rent to own situation for those who have struggled in the past but still have the dream of home ownership.

Other options for bringing in multiple streams of income through real estate is to have a few rental properties and couple those with a few flips in the works, perhaps a commercial property or two, and a pre-construction deal or vacation condo in the pipelines. One thing is certain you should always be on the lookout for your next real estate investment if you really want to make good money in this business while having a little added security. Rentals are passive income for the most part, especially if you have a solid property manager taking care of the details and the other investments are often icing on the cake.

If you want a truly diversified portfolio however, it is a good plan to include a few investments that aren’t related to real estate investing. While I firmly believe that real estate investing is the way to go for most people there is much money that can be made in other fields and it would be pointless to discuss multiple streams of income without mentioning a few that were unrelated to real estate investing. Retirement plans are a great option and you can now invest in a retirement plan of your own even if you are self-employed. It is definitely worth considering as yet another stream of income, even if it is income that you will need to wait a while to receive. Franchise businesses are often great money makers for those who need more immediate results from their investments efforts, and stocks and bonds are also great long term investment strategies.

The truth is that there are many things you can do to create even more streams of income to add to your real estate investments. From making money online through affiliate marketing, blogs, and direct sales you can also tackle brick and mortar businesses, though these tend to be just as time consuming as real estate. The point is that you want to bring in money from different avenues and real estate investing is one of many different routes to explore when deciding on your investment future and establishing those multiple streams of income.