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Flipping 101


Jason and I flip properties together. We are currently on my 43rd flip, and the 12th one together.  I was on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition for 10 years where we did more than 220 homes.  I met my husband on that show when we were rebuilding homes for people in Louisiana who lost everything in Hurricane Katrina.  Jason was a singer and had never flipped a property before, but he was a quick convert after I showed him how fun it was, and how it can be a great money-making business for the two of us.  He has now surpassed me with his knowledge of fix-ups around the house. Now he does most of the home improvement and I come in at the end and do the décor and staging which I love!

What is Flipping?

Flipping is buying a property, fixing it up and selling it for a profit (you hope)! For that profit to be made, you want to be as speedy as possible.  The longer you hold on to a property, the more your monthly expensive are.  Take that into consideration.  It’s not just the buying price and the selling price.  What makes a flip successful is what you do in between that time.

Do you do the work yourself or do you hire a professional?

There are two types of people out there; the DIY types (Do It Yourself) and the HAP types (Hire A Professional.) When I do a flip, I kind of do a mixture of both.  I figure out time vs. cost.  Remember that time is money in a flip because the longer you own a flip, the less money you will make (think of the monthly expenses…you want to sell that property as fast as possible).  Plus you also have to take into consideration how much a professional would cost.

Is it risky?

It is definitely a risk, but you can reduce your risk by doing your homework and research before you purchase.

What is that homework/research?

We are all capable of accomplishing anything that we put our minds to. Part of the problem we face with home improvement and flipping stems from unfamiliarity. Once we are familiar with something, it makes it much easier to understand and therefore conquer.

Here are 3 ways to become more familiar and informed:

  1. Know your terminology. If you know the correct terms to use, you will reduce your risk of getting overcharged or taken advantage of from professional. And if you are going to DIY, you will also get to know about what you might attempt. To help get you comfortable with the terminology, I’ve put together a “Home Girl Dictionary”available to download on the Home & Family website.
  2. Know the home you are about to buy. You get an “inspection report” when you buy a home, so go for a tour with your inspector! Take a few hours to examine the home, much like you would your outfit before going out on a hot date. Look EVERYWHERE around the house – Ever wonder what those pipes are for? Where do they go? How about wiring? I want you to KNOW the house you are about to buy, so if anything ever does go wrong, you will know exactly how to pinpoint the problem. Plus, walking through your potential home flip will help prevent potential problems that may arise. Be observant to prevent future catastrophes. As you go through this list, jot down things that need your attention or need a little repair.
  3. Know the area that you want to flip in. A realtor can help with this but you want to make sure how much you can sell the home for when you are finished with the remodel.

Should you live in a flip while you are remodeling? Or not?

This is a GREAT question.  I’ve done both.  It is MUCH easier to NOT live there while you are fixing it up, but if you don’t have the money to afford two properties at once, you have to!  That’s what I’m doing right now.  It gets sooooo dirty!  And there are tools and materials everywhere! I do take precautions to keep things as clean as possible.  Here are a few ways to do that…

Use plastic and painter’s tape to cover paintings you’ve already hung, tie up curtains, lights, etc., and you can see that my front and back porch are full of tools.

Curb Appeal is important.  What is it and why is it so important?

Curb appeal is literally the appeal your home has from the curb.  If a potential buyer sees your home from the street, and it doesn’t look appealing, you are going to lose them as a buyer before they EVER enter your home.  Appeal to the most number of buyers by creating a clean, warm, welcoming environment that people WANT to enter.  Appeal to their emotions…and subconsciously; you will be appealing to their desire to want YOUR home rather than the dozen other homes for sale in your neighborhood.

Find properties that you can make a big difference in changing the curb appeal. Use paint, the weather, landscaping, etc. to help the front.  People will be looking for a big change.

Is staging the property important?

ABSOLUTELY!!!! This is where I come into the picture with our current flips.  Just remember…People buy with their heart, not their head. Appeal to the emotion that people want to feel in that home. For us flipping in Big Bear, which is a local mountain ski town, we want people to imagine taking their families there, spending holidays there, and enjoying a vacation with their loved ones. So we always include a beautiful dining area, inviting kitchen, cozy family room, fire place, a game area, gorgeous master bedrooms, cute kids rooms, and we always use local items to decorate.

Final thoughts/tip for Flippers!

Think Big…Start Small. Be realistic. Don’t bite off more than you can chew. Divide larger projects into several mini projects. Identify your own limitations ahead of time to avoid frustration. Consider this…if you start and complete a small project, it will give you the encouragement and the self-confidence to tackle larger projects. On the other hand, however, if you start a project that is too big, you may get frustrated and abandon it, leaving you feeling unfulfilled and discouraged.

Have you started your own home renovation? Share with us on Instagram and Twitter @paigehemmis 

If you missed the episode check it out by heading over to Home & Family!





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