Rookie in NJ looking for Advice

5 Replies

Just starting out here in northern NJ. I have one buy and hold property and now I'm looking to flip the next purchase. I received an approval for $75,000 HELOC  at 5.6% for the first year. Now to find a house to flip!  I'm afraid of using all the HELOC money to purchase, I may not have enough to flip. I do have a low interest home improvement credit card at 7% and I have up to 17k to use on that line of credit and about 5k saved.

I'm afraid I'm going to max myself out... afraid I'll buy too low and too much work will be needed... or buy too high and not have enough to finish. I'm looking at 3BR 1Bath homes.. the issues are what's hidden.. for example - wells and septic systems in my neck of the woods (although my husband install septic systems for a living)..

I feel like I've been waiting for this day forever. Should I just go with my gut, do my research and start?! Or hold off and save more money.. I have always gone with the thought process of, "If you wait to have enough time and money, you'll never have enough time or money." So you just need to go for it!!.... 

Any advice/success stories would be awesome to hear!!! 

All for now,


@Alicia N Ragonese

Consider some different paths:

Buy an investment property with leverage if you can find a bank/banker that would back you. As an example, you'd maybe spend half your HELOC and cash on hand as down payment and then have the rest of your HELOC as money for rehab. Not sure if you can swing this from a couple angles. Some banks might think there's too much risk.

With where you are, calculate holding costs.  Consider using cash flow (job, from other rental) to fund the rehab.  Means you'd have to be lean and mean! - And, you'd also have to be doing much yourself which is better at this point for you.

In general, at least in my market I'm in a bit of 'hunker down' type of conservative mode.  Prices are inflated and there's less opportunity.  There's still opportunity but make sure you're diligent about running your numbers.  Too many first timers getting in and many of them won't make it past the valley of death in terms of scaling.  That said, what are fixer houses going for in your market?  What are they renting for?

Great to hear that you're making moves @Alicia N Ragonese ! 75K is definitely enough to purchase a flip property if that's your desire though don't presume it's a good idea to use all or even any of it. For sure when you say the word "hidden", wells and septic shouldn't be your biggest fears. Opening up walls can cost you tens of thousands of unexpected dollars. Make sure you're knowledgable and comfortable about everything flipping entails before diving in. And yes, you're right, that does not mean study for 3 years, that's probably a month or two (depending on how you use your time) of learning. If there are particular properties or questions that you have feel free to shoot me a PM and I'll do what I can to help you out. Good luck!

Thank you all! I have one buy and hold property right now. It's going well, but I'm not too interested in have a bunch of properties at this point in time, I'm just not too into it. I, myself am a real estate agent and so is my mother, so we have a pretty good idea of the area and the pricing. My father (although not a license contractor) has built my home and my uncle is a licensed contractor. My husband is also handy so we will definitely be doing the work ourselves.

I agree sometimes it's not the septic and wells that are costly but it's whats within the wall. My parents have also thought about flipping houses, so I'm wondering if I could get them to fund some of the money as well.

I'm going to research areas and houses for the next two months or so - we also have to watch "lake dues" out here, they can be brutal. I'm looking in the Northern Passaic, Sussex and Morris counties of NJ.

I'll keep you all updated. Hopefully I can quite my full time job in a year or two and just work in real estate which has always been my dream... I'm the benefits holder for the family so I'm not able just to stop and go all in until we're making what I am currently making a year. Wish I started this when I was 23 and living at home!!