Every week the question comes up; “how do I find a house to flip?” While there are more than just a few ways, this week I’m sharing some of the ways that have proven to work best for me. Both when I was just starting out and during the several pivots I’ve made as the market has changed over the last several years.
Narrow Your Area
When you’re searching over a larger area it can be easier to miss properties that could be a great flip project. If you’ve narrowed the area you’re looking at you’ll be prepared to act quickly if need be. You can choose a variety of criteria to make this choice. Maybe it’s a matter early on of just knowing the areas you absolutely don’t want to flip in. Or is there a distance or time for travel that is your limit. You’ll want to take all of these into consideration when you’re determining the area. If none of these are a factor and the most important element is the price then go with that. Once you know the areas that have the pricing that matches your target then go all in learning about those areas.
Research the Area
There are many tools that can be used to research areas of interest. When you’ve found those neighborhoods start looking at the listing and sale activity in the area. Active listings will tell you how many houses are for sale. Pending listings are another good indication as to whether or not buyers are interested in this area. If there’s nothing active but there are pending listings be sure to take a look at the number of days those houses were on the market. The lower the number the better.
Drive the Neighborhood
Even as I typed this it sounds so 15 years ago but it’s still something I do to this day. There is nothing like actually looking at an area on your own. After you’ve identified the areas you want to buy in, take the time to look at them through a buyers perspective. Houses can vary greatly from block to block so check the differences for yourself. Are there some that have larger lots? Are there some blocks that may be preferred and therefore support a higher price? In our market there are homes that are closer to a creek that draw a premium price. That’s key to know when you are looking at comparable sales data. The more familiar you are with an area and the characteristics that can impact the sales price the quicker you will be able to act when a house becomes available.
Are Other Flips Happening There?
If an area is good for flipping then there are likely other houses being renovated or that have been recently renovated. If you can find those they will be a strong indication of the potential in that neighborhood. One of my tips early on when I began house flipping full-time was to try to figure out what areas other flippers were working in. It takes a bit of research and not everyone is willing to share where they’re working but it’s great insight and can help you become with neighborhoods you may not otherwise consider.
Check the Basics
There are some core criteria when analyzing areas that would apply if you were a buyer purchasing a home of your own. When you include these into your purchase process you are able to appeal to buyers in the same way.
Criteria to keep in mind include:
- School System
- Access to Transportation
- Low Crime Rates
- Job Market
- Proximity to Local Businesses
- Growth of the Area
Enlist a Realtor
Working with a professional is always a good idea. Especially when you are newer to the flipping market. Talk to a realtor about finding homes to flip. They may have areas that they’re familiar with or knowledge of properties that may not even be listed yet. They’ll also be able to direct you towards the types of renovations buyers are looking for and which improvements will get the most return on your flip.
It’s okay to meet with a few agents and even ask for referrals. You’ll want to make sure that you’re comfortable with their style and the way they work with their clients.
Connect with a Real Estate Investment Group
While the idea of spending an evening networking may not be at the top of your list it absolutely should be. You’ll meet people there that you will have little chance to meet anywhere else. In the case of finding properties, you’ll want to try and connect with wholesalers. These are people who are working directly with buyers to buy their properties. But wholesalers are not flippers and that’s where the opportunity is for you. Wholesalers are typically looking for buyers to add to their lists and if you want to know when they have properties available this is one of the best ways.
And of all the tips I can share to find a flip the most important one is to get started. Action is the absolute cure when it comes to finding a flip. If you don’t take some type of action it’s a guarantee you won’t find a house to flip. And if you want success sooner get started with more than one of these strategies today. Your future self will thank you for it.
Ready to take that next step when it comes to flipping?
That’s why I’ve got additional resources to help you get the information you need to move forward on creating your flipping life.
Make sure you have the Fixer Upper Checklist so you know which areas are key to added value in a home.
There are several videos available on finding houses, renovations, and funding on the Threshold Homes YouTube Channel. Check out your favorite flipping topics and new videos weekly.
You can’t close a successful and profitable flip unless you start. What is your biggest challenge with getting started house flipping? Let me know. It may be an area I’ve also had questions about myself. I’m here to help so drop me a DM.
Want to buy a property and renovate it?
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