1st Property Flip. Inexperience and Looking for Guidance. TY.

5 Replies

Hello all, 

I've done some due diligence on the site but when trying to find the right information when there is so much and then when I do and the fact that it's usually an individual or a small group of individual's opinion makes it difficult to take the first step into the "game". I figured that I'd start a discussion to funnel people with ideas about my specific situation. 

This would be me and my family's first time flipping a house. I'm only looking to spend $40,000 at the most and am looking at properties in Jacksonville, FL. I've been looking at properties around the price of $15,000-20,000.

They are in horrible neighborhoods but I feel like that is the safest way to start out as far as debt. Please let me know what you think. Again, I may have no idea what I'm talking about, don't

I've made an Excel worksheet and am trying to become fully aware of where I will be and how to get a certain goal out of it. 

Let me know if you think I'm going at this totally wrong or if you have any pointers after reading my perspective. 

I have 4 scenarios in the Excel sheet. 

Scenario 1 (20%, Ins, Low)
Scenario 2 (5%, Ins, Low)
Scenario 3 (20%, Ins, High
Scenario 4 (5%, Ins, High)

 20% being 20% down payment, Insurance being ~$100 to have the house insured, Low being low repair fee (~$5000) and High being high repair fee ($10,000) I have these 4 scenarios to figure initial investment and then have the variable/monthly in the columns following. 

(These repair figures are just estimates based on the neighborhood and eyeing solely photos, which I know is not accurate but that's why I'm trying to give it four scenarios and then if it goes above the High fixing price, then move to another property or adjust the numbers)

The two costs that I know of now are insurance and mortgage. Is there anything else you would add to this for me to get a better, more realistic understanding? 

Almost any house you purchase for under $40k is going to require a lot of rehab!
Not sure what Jacksonville is like, but here in Indy, any house I buy under $50k I’m probably looking at rehab costs between $30-60k, to do it right.
Putting lipstick on a pig does you no good as it will just mask major issues that will haunt you in the end.
Please do your due diligence on the local comps to see if there’s any money in the deal.
How are you financing? Cash? Loan?

I think that starting out in "horrible" neighborhoods is a bad idea. Renovating will be difficult, selling will be difficult, and theft/vandalism could be a serious and costly problem. You say that you want to buy a $20k house and, at the high level, add $10k in renovation. What type of end product are you expecting? $10k doesn't go very far and I expect that you would easily have to double or triple that to make a $20k property livable. My suggestion would be to take your $40k and leverage that to purchase and renovations a slightly higher end property. Better neighborhood and better schools make for a much easier first flip.

@Michael Menard

I wrote this BP blog post that addresses some of the purchase, sale, and holding costs that you may not be including in your analysis: 


Furthermore, the cheaper the house the more you'll need to put into it, with your estimates being hugely under what they will actually be.

You should really read the BP/Jscott book on estimating rehab costs to get a better understanding of the costs involved in a renovation, and then input those costs into either your own spreadsheet, or the one I use when first going through a property:


I figured that my estimates would be largely lower than reality but didn't know where to start and thought I'd throw a number out and ask for advice rather than not. I appreciate the feedback so far, thank you. 

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