Checklist for a first flip

7 Replies

Hi everyone! My first post, so thanks in advance for the insight!

After years of reading, studying, talking, etc., I vowed to jump in the pool in 2015. Best way to learn is to do... my goal is to undertake a flip project. I have met with an agent who is sending me potential projects every day. I have been working to secure funding so that when the right project comes available I am ready to pounce. 

But how to proceed from here... my thought is I should go and look at some potential properties to get a feel for what they are like and to begin an analysis of its' potential. Early on I would not care so much about getting the property, but more so going through the exercise of evaluating its profitability. Does this make sense? And if I go look at a property, what is my best strategy to estimate expenses? Speak to my contractor contacts and ask for estimates? Get someone to come and look with me (I dont want to waste anyone's time, and is it realistic to have a contractor come and look at every house I look at?)

I want to take this next step forward, so any input is greatly appreciated!


Get J Scott's book "The Book on Estimating Rehabs" here on Bigger Pockets. Learning how to estimate repairs during a walk through will help you obtain better and more realistic rehab numbers. I'm reading his book and love it. It is a lot of what I already know, but he puts it in a perspective that helps me see better and calculate better the actual rehab costs.

yeah J. Scott's book(s) are the best resource for that, as well as a host of other items. 

I try to discourage "Paralysis by Analysis" but read J Scott's book and you will be as ready to go as you ever will be.

I would grab both of J Scott's books if you don't already have them - "The book on flipping houses" and "The book on estimating rehab costs" - I read a lot of rehabbing books before these two and I learned more in these two books than all the others combined.

OK - thanks! Sounds like I am headed to the library... or Thought I had read enough to move forward but I will take your advice. Thank you very much.

@Bryan Satter    If you do a couple flips with this contractor I am sure they will not mind showing up with you on site each time.  Think HGTV's Flip or Flop how 'Izzy" shows up at each property to do his walk thru.

But for the first one I would it would be harder to find a contractor willing to do this unless it was a friend.

Home Depot is a great source for 'free estimates' as well.  All material is has price tags right on it.  Also as mentioned on the Podcasts show up early 7-8 am in the morning and talk to some contractors... "Hey long does it usually take you to put down 1000 sqft of hardwood" 

- Jim 

@Bryan Satter

You could take a contractor with you to look at properties to help you ball park rehab costs if you have one you trust. Normally they are going to charge you for their time. The main thing you have to do is be conservative in your ARV, pay close attention to your rehab budget and add a contingency fund, and know your holding costs and profits you'd like to make. The more you make these calculations the easier and less daunting it becomes!

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