My First Purchase As a Flip

10 Replies

My name's Michael. I've been just getting started in the whole prospect of real estate investing only a few months now, so I'm very new and ambitious. 22, full time salesman at a furniture and flooring store in Massachusetts but I've only been here for a few months as well so the plan was wait until I've been here at least a year and save up that 3.5% to house hack a duplex in the area. Then an offer sort of fell in my lap.

I strongly believe in the notion of creating your own luck through mentioning what you're all about to everyone you come across. Sure enough a friend of the family is in the process of packing up their lives and moving to another part of the country to retire. They're selling several beautiful homes. One of these homes she is offering to me for well below its last estimated value. She directly told me to try to flip the house for it's actual worth and get my start in real estate.

So I'm here asking for any advice, thoughts, concerns, etc. And I'll share the details below.

I'm going to go into this co-signing with a family member. Personally I have good credit around 720-740 and pretty minimal debt considering most peoples circumstances. My expenses monthly are about $600 and I'm on track to be making 40-50k a year at my new line of work. Being a new line of work and being 100% commission, I can't use this as a source of income for a home, hence the co-signer.

The home is a lake-side property. 1.93 Acres of land, 1419sq.ft. single family home with 3 beds, 2 baths. Zillow last estimated the home value at $387,528. The yearly taxes for 2018 were $4,202 of a tax estimate of $386,600. It's a Ranch style home with a partial basement, forced air heating, built in the 60's. (I'm from the hill-towns this place is located in and that's not uncommon for it to be so old.)

There are homes in the area that come close in square footage and have sold recently for over $300,000 that are not lake-side and have less total property in terms of Acres. Other homes in the area, however have less property size but a higher square footage and have sold recently in the $200,000-$300,000 range. 

The Seller says the house may need a little TLC but "more time than money." And here's the kicker: She came out and made an offer to me for $150,000!!

I'm going to look at the house tomorrow in person with the co-signer. I'm planning on paying for an appraisal and inspection before we close or maybe even get into negotiations. I'm willing to put in the TLC and I understand that home purchases may be slow during the winter, which is coming, so I'm prepared for a good few months of holding costs.

So, thoughts? Just of this pretty minimal information could this be a lucky break? If so what could I expect to maybe profit off this? (The co-signer bringing the money only wants to be reimbursed for the amount he puts in and claims to want no profit for himself) How long might it take to sell it with and without repair work? What am I not considering?

I really appreciate any responses!

Take a look at the AVRs in the area.  If you're sitting on $150K without doing any/much work to it, another option would be to just put it on the retail market.  While you may be giving up potentially some additional cash by no selling a renovated house, you also aren't taking on the risk.  And there is oppty cost.  

if you can clear $150K with little work/time and use that money to invest in other things, it may not be a bad option. 

Either way, sounds like you're doing well.

First, congrats on making your own luck and taking action. That is half the battle! 

If it was me, I would purchase it with a 203k loan, renovate with the funds in the 203k (although you can't do the reapirs yourself with this loan I believe), use the house as your primary residence and either get roommates or use the extra rooms as Airbnb/VRBO to generate income (might be appealing as lake property) Take a line of credit on the property, being careful not to over leverage yourself, and use the line of credit to either get into flipping/wholesaling or find another cash flowing property and begin the Snowball effect rolling all your profits into REI and working towards financial freedom at a young age. Walking into built in equity or sweat equity is an excellent opportunity so be take time to research your options and good luck!

Sounds like a screaming deal, based on what you have told and not knowing the scope of work.  

If you are not in a huge hurry, you can do the work over the winter, and have it ready for sale by end of spring.   Renting out some of the rooms to college kids might be a great way to help offset costs (great idea). 

Get that inspection and determine how much of the work you can do yourself and how much you'll need to hire out.  Get the scope of work right, man, that was got me on my project.  

The trick is getting the financing lined up, but then dealing with contractors is a close second.   

Keep us apprised!

Thank you all very much! 

I'll definitely have to weigh out my options once I know the property and the numbers a bit better.

I would rather not use it as my primary residence as it's over an hour and a half away from work, but I'll weigh the option. Unfortunately there are no colleges even remotely close to the home, so renting it to students may also be tough. It's in a very rural area of western Mass. 

I would love to rent it out and take a line of credit on a new purchase of a primary residence for myself in a house-hack situation like a duplex or triplex, but again I'll have to see if that's feasible.

The only time line is that the co-signer is building a house with his wife in the spring and would like the ROI by then.

Updated almost 3 years ago

I think it depends on how much my cosigner is willing to put into the investment. Whether he'd be willing to do a full 25-30% where i could rent it out and take a line of equity for a new purchase, or if I need to go with an FHA or something with a lower down payment and have to flip it rather than keep it.

Hi @Michael Cinelli

     First off, congratulations on taking the first steps!

I assume you have seen the home now cine your post was a few days ago, What does your gut tell you about the home after seeing it? Did you take a contractor with you? What are your estimated repair costs?

If you're not going to live in the home, do you have the down payment and repairs being funded through your co-signer or are you prepared to pay for that?

Since it is a lake property, I agree with @Erik Stewart that using it as a vacation rental may be an option, but you would want to know what the zoning allows in the city/ area for vacation rentals. Where in MA is it? I am located in Amesbury, MA and could look up some information for you if it is near here. 

Janine Whittaker

REALTOR, Investor, Stager, Feng Shui Consultant

Hi @JaniceWhittaker 

Unfortunately the home almost couldnt get further from you in Mass. It's in Becket haha

Gut tells me it's going to be a good flip. It's going to cost about 10,000- 15,000 to repair after roof and flooring. I have a contact that quoted me on roof and I sell flooring in Worcester so I was able to quote myself there. 

Right now I'm working on getting an appraisal and inspection done but it's in pretty good shape having barely been lived in for the last 20 years. 

Rental properties in the area typically go 1200-1800 a month, maybe more being on the lake. I believe its be easier just to flip.

My co-signer is going to bring all the investment money, I simply need to do all the work and bring the numbers to propose to him before we start moving forward.