From similar experience, I pushed the envelope and used my money with hard money as a newbie, which has not worked out very well. When you use hard money, there is no room for error, mistakes, delays, market hickups, etc. My last flip I got caught holding a property for 6 months with $2K per month interest only payments going to the hard money at 15%. The market in my area just stopped and I could not find a retail buyer after the flip and the bank would not refinance for 6 months to get a loan to pay off the hard money and turn it into a rental. My advise is to start slow using your own money as it is much more forgiving as a beginner. Once you are more comfortable flipping and have a good team in place (i.e. contractors, realtors, lawyers, etc.) and your speed and predictability improves, then I would start using leverage to scale up your business.
price the hard money into your analysis. Leverage will improve your cash-on-cash return. Would recommend starting by JVing with an experienced and reputable flipper fhat will show you the ropes and get you 20% return on your half of the JV.
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