5 Simple Ways to Flip Houses With No Money

by | BiggerPockets.com

One of the biggest stumbling blocks for new real estate investors is how to come up with the cash to fund the property they want to buy.

They see all the posts and articles on being able to do it. Maybe they’ve even gotten their hands on an old copy of a Carelton Sheets “No Money Down” VCR tape…

But they still don’t believe it.

No can do. “It’s impossible” they say.

I used to think that way too – that is until I read a few books that completely changed how I thought. Once I did that, it all changed for me and believe it or not – the money started flowing to me…and still does to this day. So much so that right now I have money from investors just sitting on the sidelines waiting to be used.

But it was not always that way. No way.

To turn it around, it wasn’t all that complicated or all that hard to do – it just took a few slight changes in how I thought in combination with some serious action.

5 Simple Ways to Flip Houses With No Money

1. Flip Houses With No Money Thinking

Nope, this one is not a traditional source like “hard money lender” or “banker” or “call Brandon Turner or Josh Dorkin for a loan”…its actually far more important (sorry, guys!).

It’s actually a bit more, well…DEEP.

On a purely philosophical level, think of this…

The iPhone or Droid or whatever device you’re reading this blog post on, the couch you’re sitting on right now with your laptop, the Starbucks where you’re waiting in line for that big morning latte, the hotel lobby you’re standing in as you thumb through your emails….all of those things were created by a single thought.

All those things were “just ideas” until someone made them come to reality.

Electricity was just a crazy idea by Edison (and Tesla)…the first mass-produced car…the iPhone…Starbucks…that couch…your real estate investing career…they were all thoughts FIRST, then they became things.

But they all started with a single idea.

When it comes to success in real estate investing or something specific like raising the money to buy a house flip, it all starts with how you think. If you think:

“There is no way a rookie like me can walk up to someone and ask them for money to flip a house!”

You’ve lost the boxing match before you even stepped into the ring…

I used to think that same way and I couldn’t ever raise a dime. Then I did some heavy lifting on the mental side of my game, so to speak. I read Think and Grow Rich, The Strangest Secret, The Magic of Thinking Big and then of course, The Secret.

After and during all that reading, I realized why I couldn’t raise any money. It was simple actually.

I couldn’t do it because I thought I couldn’t do it.

“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right”

-Henry Ford

It was then that I decided to change the way I thought. The key word there by the way is “decided”. Which comes from the Latin root “decidere” which means “to cut off” – (didn’t think you’d get a Latin language lesson out of this post did you?)

Instead I decided to think differently and I came to the realization of this:

“Money is everywhere – you just need to go get it!”

It is actually true. Money is everywhere and it’s in all the places where you are probably not even looking. Some places may be right under your nose and you just didn’t realize it.

How to Think When You Go Get The Money

Although money is everywhere, that doesn’t mean it just “comes to you” magically.

Don’t forget the last half of that phrase above: “…you just need to go get it!”

But before you even think about going to do any of the five steps below, you have to get your mind in the right spot and THINK abundance.

And there is abundance everywhere in the world – it’s there, you just have to go after it with an abundance mindset.

I saw this one day:

“It’s as easy to raise $1,000 as it is to raise $1,000,000”

If you think abundance, think of this: you raise a million dollars using the exact same techniques you would to raise $1,000 from your next door neighbor.

The million dollar deal may be slightly more complicated (definitely) – but it’s the same mindset used in both cases. In both cases, you are using an abundance mindset to get you what you need. And in both cases, you present your pitch as an “opportunity” for them. If you approach each proposition from a perspective of abundance, you’ll be successful in both ventures.

Whether it’s $100,000 you’re looking to raise for your next house flip or $1,000,000 for a large multiplex, combine #1 here with these remaining four ways below. When you do, you’ll be on your way to what you really want.

Reality Check

OK, so the first one in the list isn’t really a “way’ to flip houses with no money…or is it?

It is the first and most important how to flip houses with no money strategies there is because if you haven’t mastered that one, then the remaining four below simply won’t work!

But now that you have #1, it’s now time to do the “go out and get it’ part of the equation.

5 Simple Ways to Flip Houses With No Money – The Rest of The List

As we’ve said here many times, making personal contacts and doing lots of networking is the key to finding financing for your house flips.  As previously mentioned, both play a large role when first learning how to flip houses. And when seeking financing to do your first house flip, there are several places where you can meet the kinds of individuals and organizations that can help you to finance your house flipping projects.

Some of the best places in my experience are REIA meetings, Chambers of Commerce meetings and Networking Groups.

You can also just find this money where you least expect it and its oftentimes right under your nose.

So here is the rest of the list:

2. Private Money Lenders

Private money lenders are regular people with money who want to get a good rate of return on that money. Oftentimes, they don’t even actively look for opportunities for investment – but they know a good deal when they see one. And if you present it right, they’ll be willing to use money in the bank, 401Ks from a previous employer, equity in their home or IRAs to finance your real estate investments.

Not many people know that 401Ks and IRAs, which are typically invested in the stock market – can be placed into “self-directed” accounts to be used for real estate investment purposes. The more you know about this, the better – but a quick Google search will show you how.

Best of all with these kinds of lenders, you set the rules and rates instead of a bank or any other kind of lender. If you offer a large enough interest rate and a measure of security even the most hardened, conservative investor will take notice of what you can offer.

These people can be anyone you know from friends and family to business associates like:

  • Your doctor or your dentist
  • Your attorney
  • Someone in your neighborhood who has a successful business
  • Someone in your neighborhood who has a big corporate job or just left one
  • Anyone you know who invests in the stock market

3. Partners

Partnering is a great way to flip houses with no money. A real estate investing partner could be your business partner, anyone from the list above, a co-worker, a business associate, a contractor or another real estate investor.

The idea is simple, you ask the partner for the money to sustain the flip, you do all the work and then you give them 50% of the profits. You invest your time and they invest their money.

When you approach it with enthusiasm and abundance, this kind of real estate investing arrangement is a true win-win for everyone.

4. Hard Money Lenders

A lot of people don’t like hard money lenders, I do however. Most of the ones I know I’ve met at REIA meetings and they are willing to lend you money on your flips for a higher than average interest rate. If you can negotiate the interest rate and still turn a nice profit, especially if it’s your first flip or investment, then why not do it?

You may not make a mint off your first flip, but you’ll garner much-needed experience and momentum – further reinforcing your newly minted “abundance” mindset.

Later on, you may be able to negotiate better terms with the hard money lender to make you more, but the key is to get your first one going ASAP – just as long as you adhere to the house flipping rules.

5. Traditional Banking

Yes, banks do in fact lend money…sometimes even to real estate investors! This fact probably could have been included in last week’s post.

If you have a good relationship with a banker or just with your bank, you may be able to find a workable loan to flip a house or fund your investment. You may need to combine different sources of money from the above list to qualify for the loan, but it is possible.

Remember back to our first one on the list here: think abundance

If you walk into a bank thinking “there’s no way they’ll ever give me a loan” – same deal as before…you’ve already lost.

Although traditional bank loans are more time-consuming and challenging to acquire, it’s definitely an option if you have a solid business plan and you are confident in your ability to turn a nice profit.

What do you think? Is #1 on this list the real way to flip houses with no money? What other strategies or “Jedi mind tricks” have you come up with to psyche yourself up to be successful?

Please leave a comment below and let me know!

Photo: magro_kr

About Author

Mike LaCava

Michael LaCava is a full time real estate investor, house flipping coach and the President of Hold Em Realty located in Wareham, MA. He runs the website House Flipping School to teach new real estate investors how to flip houses and is the author of "How to Flip a House in 5 Simple Steps".


  1. I would add that, to begin, you need some successes.

    Then, the easiest way to find money to do flips is simply talking!

    When you’re out there, talking enthusiastically about the successes you’ve had from doing deals (and who isn’t enthusiastic about their successes??), people are attracted to your story and want to become involved in future deals. Everyone wants to make extra money and, when they know you’re successful, they want to join in for a piece of your profits.

    It’s easy because you’re not selling anything. As Michael pointed out here, you’re offering them an “opportunity” – an opportunity to share in the profits from your future deals. Abundance!

    Great post, Michael.

    • “to begin, you need some successes”
      You are skipping hardest part – BEGINNING if you have no experience. And what if first deal did not went profitable?

      • Hi Mike – Karen says it well. You need to educate yourself first and working with a coach or mentor is a great way along with partnering with them as well. You have to create your experience. Me, Karen and most every other investor started that way. TAKE ACTION !!!
        BTW my very first deal I bought without an education and bought into the frenzy run up in 2005. Lost money on my first deal in a partnership. NO EXCUSES.

  2. Thanks for hint:
    Open Lenders.xls
    Add Brandon Turner
    Add Josh Dorkin
    Save. Close.

    For sure It is true that Private Money Lenders maybe your prime source. I did it when opened my non real estate business. The thing is you have to come with investment package like I saw yesterday night on biggerpockets youtube channel http://youtu.be/1kHWoxs3Qr0 it was interview with Greg Brister.
    Another problem that getting money without track record..

    • Agreed it is harder to get money without a track record. But you have to start somewhere and if your mind says you will not get money then you won’t. Change your mind set.
      Problems are opportunities to solve a situation in your favor. They never end so try to look at it from a different perspective Mike and it might help you.

  3. Mike-

    This is an article every new investor needs to read. Folks think that just because they can’t write the check, they can’t be cash buyers. Not true! You just need a source of cash and you did a very good job of sorting this out for everyone. The most important thing is to have that source of cash lined up before you go out and start making offers and need it.


    • Good point Karen and agreed. I get this question asked a lot and I say to do both at the same time. Market for deals and market for money. If you happen to get a real deal first then you will find money quickly for sure and if you get the money first it is certainly a motivator to get the word out you have cash and ready to buy. The deals will follow you.

  4. This article was powerful. I must admit, I have worked with some of the most powerful companies in the world. I have been a valuable resource. It’s my time to soar like an eagle. Thank you for the inspiration and motivation.

  5. Michael Dorovich on

    ‘Although money is everywhere, that doesn’t mean it just “comes to you” magically.’

    Are you sure? That’s not what I heard in The Secret… all you have to do is picture the car
    and it will arrive!

      • Although money is everywhere, that doesn’t mean it just “comes to you” magically.
        I like the Secret book but I believe in more than just thinking or dreaming of something and it appears. That is only half of it. The other half is you actually have to develop a plan and take action.
        goals without action are just dreams.

        Thanks for reading!

  6. Sorry for the delayed response. I can definitely agree that having an “abundance mindset” in some part will determine how effective you are and your success in REI. In my experience in life, I’ve referred to this subject as ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ and it can relate to any business you pursue. Good article

  7. Step one is soooo vital. When started spending more time reading books like The Master Key- I noticed a marked change in my outlook. Another thing that helps is to sleep on it. That lets our supercomputer between our ears spend all night thinking up a solution. In fact, that’s how I discovered BiggerPockets! Thanks so much for this post.

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