4 Things to Know when Flipping a Home for the First Time

Home Improvement

Taking an old house, delousing it, washing it up, and feeding it until you’ve nursed it back to health should be considered an art form. (Alright, maybe that would be jumping the shark a bit, but still, it’s quite a feat to do that.)

Of course, add to this recipe a certain spice called ‘putting the thing back again on the real estate map and selling it’ – and you have yourself a delicious dish called house flipping. Not for those faint of heart, certainly.

Here’s the thing – refurbishing a shabby house can take weeks, months, and even years at times, but the joy of being able to turn a borderline uninhabitable spot of bother into a beautiful dream home is surely worth the effort. Plus, you can make a big buck doing it, too.

In this article, we’re going to talk about the ancient art of flipping a home and what NOT to do if you mean to succeed in this tough, but massively rewarding business venture. As you will see, many things on things that make pro home flippers, well, pros, are no-brainers, so you shouldn’t worry about not being able to wrap your head around the suggestions below. 

1) Make Sure You Have All the Necessary Permits

Imagine embarking on a cross-country trip down Route 66, but without a driver’s license.

According to Murphy’s law, your super fun trip is going to be cut short sooner or later by a traffic warden, who probably isn’t going to be too amused by your enthusiasm.

You see, attempting to flip a house without acquiring all the necessary permits is a roughly similar situation. (Just much worse one, of course, because if you build something you shouldn’t have without a permit, you’re going to have to take it down, as well.) 

So, in order to ensure you don’t fall victim to a horrible destiny of a permitless and licenseless house flipper, make sure to get all the papers you need from the authorities before you start working.

2) Be Careful About Overdoing the Design

One of the biggest pitfalls of flipping a house (whether for the first time or tenth time) would be overdoing the designing part of the deal.

The problem here is that over-customizing the house you intend to sell can alienate some of the potential buyers who simply don’t like the new style. So, to avoid losing a part of your buying audience, make sure to make the house pretty, but not too cheeky or extraordinary. Also, take good care of all of the safety systems in your house including the fire ducts and HVAC systems and ventilation openings, because failing to do so can devalue your property into oblivion.

You can do this, but it’s better left for more experienced flippers who know how to get a reaction from their buyers by tailoring the property to their taste. This, however, is a pro move, so don’t attempt it unless you’re confident it will work.

3) Be Meticulous About Fixing the Details

While concentrating to fix the big gaping hole in the wall should be one of your priorities as a home flipper, it’s also true that you shouldn’t disregard the smaller, seemingly unimportant issues, either.

For example, if there’s a door handle that’s seen better days and you can fix it without over-encumbering your budget too much, by all means, do so. 

The thing is, details like this tend to leave a big impression on the potential homebuyers, so disregarding this small 20$ issue can quickly snowball into a $1,500 devaluation, which you can’t afford to lose just like that.

To avoid scoring negative points on silly details, make sure to pay attention to details of your new house, because if you don’t – you run the risk of ruining any positive effect you’ve just made by investing big bucks into some of the larger repairs.

4) Dedicate Some Time to Landscaping

The house you’re working on is not just a living room with a larder that needs to get a new wallpaper and an odd-looking knob fixed. 

In fact, a house consists of everything within the building itself + any secondary smaller buildings such as stool shacks or garages that need to be taken into consideration. This would also be the category where patios and driveways fall into, so if the house you’re working on has some of these problems, you need to pay extra attention to fix it all up for the next customer. 

You can improve the looks of the area surrounding your house by setting up a stone walkway, patio, or a wooden porch. This will make the entire area assume a special sort of air when you present it to your potential customers.

All things considered, taking care of the house you’re trying to sell as well as of the surrounding area will take patience, creativity, and some money, so you need to arm yourself with all of these three in order to succeed.