Any Advice/Tips for First Live in Flip?

15 Replies

My girlfriend and I will finally be looking to buy our first place in the Fall and we want to do a live in flip for our first place! We believe this will be our best opportunity to get into real estate and open up a couple of paths to go from there. We wanted to ask the BP community for any advice/tips on 1. finding the right property to do this, 2. What to focus on renovation wise when moving in, and 3. any other general advice on how to do this successfully. We plan on using every advantage we can as first time home buyers (FHA 203k loan.) Any help would be greatly appreciated! We are located in Maryland, just North of D.C.

Originally posted by @Alex McLean :

My girlfriend and I will finally be looking to buy our first place in the Fall and we want to do a live in flip for our first place! We believe this will be our best opportunity to get into real estate and open up a couple of paths to go from there. We wanted to ask the BP community for any advice/tips on 1. finding the right property to do this, 2. What to focus on renovation wise when moving in, and 3. any other general advice on how to do this successfully. We plan on using every advantage we can as first time home buyers (FHA 203k loan.) Any help would be greatly appreciated! We are located in Maryland, just North of D.C.

 Don't breathe the dust.

@Alex McLean First tip is to be aware it will be virtually impossible to get an offer accepted using a 203k loan in any desireable high demand part of our market. DC, Silver Spring, Rockville, Bethesda, PG County next to DC, Fairfax County, Arlington, Alexandria are all essentially untouchable with a 203k loan.

Russell Brazil, Real Estate Agent in Maryland (#648402), Virginia (#0225219736), District of Columbia (#SP98375353), and Massachusetts (#9​0​5​2​3​4​6)
(301) 893-4635

@Russell Brazil Thank you for the tip! We were thinking further north than Rockville anyway to get any type of decent price on a property. But good to keep in mind that it might be difficult to obtain a 203k loan in the area.

Originally posted by @Alex McLean :

@Russell Brazil Thank you for the tip! We were thinking further north than Rockville anyway to get any type of decent price on a property. But good to keep in mind that it might be difficult to obtain a 203k loan in the area.

 Gaithersburg, Germantown, Damascus, Frederick are all areas where you can successfully use it.

Russell Brazil, Real Estate Agent in Maryland (#648402), Virginia (#0225219736), District of Columbia (#SP98375353), and Massachusetts (#9​0​5​2​3​4​6)
(301) 893-4635

I remember a cheap house in Potomac people wouldnt even enter due to mold.  Wonder if anyone bought it.

It’s almost been two years since I bought my current live in flip and I’m hunting for my next. We have an advantage being an owner occupants with the ability to get the ‘first look’ with many different type foreclosures. Not sure what your market looks like but here the occasional HUD or Fannie Home Path foreclosure still pops up from time to time. Good luck!

@Alex McLean Hey Alex, first make sure you guys check the lead status of the house to start with. 

Also, to answer your questions:

  1. Finding the right property to do this: I'd suggest you continue to look on the MLS
  2. What to focus on renovation wise when moving in: 
    • An area where appreciation is strong
    • Look for value-add | Meaning an addition to the existing structure or a bathroom or finish the basement
    • Ensure that your finishes in the house is suitable for the market and sale price you are hoping to get
    • Watch your budget 
  3. Any other general advice on how to do this successfully: Add 20% to your budget

Hope this helps you guys. Goodluck. Thanks! - Ola

Hi Alex,

My husband and I did our first flip as a live in.  Look for a house where YOU can finish the basement,  that in the clincher to being able to add massive value,  while not having to live in a work zone.  Also, consider opening the dining room to get the open concept, and doing the same with the entry to the kitchen.  Conversely, can you add a bed or bath?  I love adding one of each to the basement.  Do your own landscaping,  people love curb and yard appeal.  And lastly,  find a good app to get food delivered when your kitchen is down!  + don't do kitchen and bathroom at once if you don't have to.  Good luck!

@Alex McLean  

Great choice! I did this with my wife for my first "deal". My biggest advice is to do any major demo and work (taking out a wall, replacing/repainting cabinets, refinishing or replacing floors). As far as finding the property, a good realtor is worth their weight in gold! Feel free to message me anytime with questions/concerns, happy to help if I can.

@Katherine Kesselring Arredondo Thank you for the advice! We will definitely look for something that we can add that type of big value to.

@Grant Rothenburger Thanks for the tip! I will definitely be reaching out soon with some questions for you having gone through the same process yourself. We would like to try and get as much right on the first swing as possible. Thanks again!

@Alex McLean , before you buy the property, find out who is going to do the work.  Also, if you get connected with a good contractor that works with flippers, you may be able to work in a 203K loan, have the work done in 6 months and live in the property until you are ready to sell.

Most important advice you'll ever hear... "BUY LOW!!  Wealth in REI is made at time of purchase."

NEVER GET EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO PROPERTIES!! It's either a deal, or not... A home is a stack of wood, metal, and other synthetic and raw materials... It's not a puppy!! The numbers are the numbers, don't get emotionally attached to properties & try to talk yourself into bad deals, or you will go broke.

Good luck!!

Originally posted by @Jeff Filali :

Most important advice you'll ever hear... "BUY LOW!!  Wealth in REI is made at time of purchase."

NEVER GET EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED TO PROPERTIES!! It's either a deal, or not... A home is a stack of wood, metal, and other synthetic and raw materials... It's not a puppy!! The numbers are the numbers, don't get emotionally attached to properties & try to talk yourself into bad deals, or you will go broke.

Good luck!!

 Yeah, but I really like those granite toilets, tho...

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.