Where to find a house to flip

10 Replies

Hi there,

I am getting into the real estate investing game, specifically house flipping. i am finding that my biggest problem is actually finding a house to flip. Any house that hits the MLS seems to be a horrible deal. people are trying to push the market with houses that are out of style by 25 years. Even if you can negotiate these sellers down it is not to a point where you could still be profitable on a flip. Does anyone have any insight on getting started in flipping and how to go about finding homes to flip? Any help and insight would be appreciated. Thank you.


What area and price range are you looking in?

Not easy buddy. Step 1. Hire a realtor or become one. Step 2. Have cash or access to it to buy (nobody will wait for financing)

Yvette, I am in the metro Detroit area and am looking at houses no greater than $200k before reno.

Seth, I have both of those. my wife is a real estate agent. She has an active license but does not practice. So we have access to the MLS and other tools. I also have cash to buy these houses with.



You could try to search for properties outside the MLS

In my market the sellers are doing the same here. The houses are in decent neighborhoods but are 30-50 years old and have never been updated and they list these properties at market value. I have almost completely abandoned the MLS and have spent more time and money in my direct mail and computer marketing campaigns. I would also get to know all the local REIA groups in your area. You can find that most of your local investors will have homes they are looking to Wholesale to you. Good luck.

This area is tough to find good flips.  I looked at one  the others day that had massive foundation issues but yet it was only 10k undervalue.  Also was so outdated and need upgrades to every room

good luck


I have flipped many houses. NONE of them were from the MLS. IMO that is not a great place to find deals priced where you can flip them. Here are some strategies that have been around fora long time, but are still effective.

I have had luck just driving neighborhoods.  I suggest lower income neighborhoods.  A high end neighborhood will not typically have distressed properties.

It will become very obvious which ones are distressed compared to others in the neighborhood.  Examples would be:

  • Most houses have lawns taken care of and one has a lot of weeds /higher grass
  • Newspapers piled up in driveway
  • It is boarded up - hard to find in some areas

Start building a network of bird dogs:

Have cards with your contact info as well as that you buy distressed houses and pay for referrals where you complete the transaction.

  • Mail man/lady
  • UPS / Fedex drivers
  • people you see in neighborhood

You are looking for a distressed property with a distressed owner...especially an out ofthe area owner.

There are many services where you an look up owner of record info.

Joseph is right on with suggesting going to local real estate groups.  Check Meetup.com.  You will always have buyers and sellers at those meetings

I hope this helps...good luck with your search!

Most of the homes I've purchased have been from MLS. I buy lower end. Usually $50,000 and under. The last few I purchased have been HUD, Usually they will accept offers @80% of list...in my experience. I have also purchased from the courthouse steps. I haven't done well with homesearch, auction, or hubzu as of yet. Good Luck

Well you arent the only one doing it , there is plenty of competition.  You just about have to be the first one there . I find mine the good old fashion way , driving , looking and talking . 


If your looking for a house to rehab, that is what I seem to get from your post then put the word out to wholesalers while you learn to do what wholesalers do. I know a couple of rehab guys that never look for property unless it falls into their lap, they get the properties they do from wholesalers assigning their contracts to them and look at the MLS stuff only for that occasional deal that shows up.

Free eBook from BiggerPockets!

Ultimate Beginner's Guide Book Cover

Join BiggerPockets and get The Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Real Estate Investing for FREE - read by more than 100,000 people - AND get exclusive real estate investing tips, tricks and techniques delivered straight to your inbox twice weekly!

  • Actionable advice for getting started,
  • Discover the 10 Most Lucrative Real Estate Niches,
  • Learn how to get started with or without money,
  • Explore Real-Life Strategies for Building Wealth,
  • And a LOT more.

Lock We hate spam just as much as you

Create Lasting Wealth Through Real Estate

Join the millions of people achieving financial freedom through the power of real estate investing

Start here