Flipping out of Town/state properties

9 Replies

Hi All- 

So it is extremely difficult to find great flips in my area so I am forced to look elsewhere. I have spotted some good opportunities and even bought one as the numbers were attractive. In my enthusiasm, I overlooked an important element about getting a reliable, trustworthy and affordable local rehab crew. I am in no position to travel to the property due to personal obligations and its simply too far.

I have tried to work with contractors via face time and other remote methods. I am finding the process extremely frustrating as some of the contractors show up, provide an estimate but disappear afterwards. I was looking to do the project with one general contractor but am founding that it is easier to find individual local tradesmen (Hvac, plumber etc). I still prefer to work with someone a  reliable GC who can be my eyes and ears on the ground. This property is a condo that needs rehabbing (kitchen, bathroom, flooring, paint, hvac etc) down to lighting/plumbing fixtures.

 I know some seasoned flippers claim to flip properties remotely throughout the country, any suggestions? Thank you all in advance.

@Jacob Beg Did you happen to use a real estate agent? If you did, they should be able to help you find a few CG's to contact/interview.  Or did you use a local lender?  Ask them if they have any local contacts.  That's where I would start. Best of luck, hope you get some help!  Where did you buy?

@Lara White Thanks for the input. I purchased it through courthouse foreclosure so no agent or lender involved. This is in PG county, MD. even if I find a GC (which I am struggling to, there is the issue of overseeing the works to ensure competent delivery of agreed work. I wonder how others are addressing the issue of overseeing the contractors work. 

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@Lara White No problem in picking up workmen and contractor from outside the Home Depot. I’ve done that myself locally. I was speaking of picking contractors and overseeing the works when the property is out of state. 

Congrats on expanding your business. I use a simple Podio management system that allows me to communicate with contractors daily. They are responsible for submitting progress, materials receipts and held to strict schedules for completion. This business is project management and it helps to know the basics. When available you should use a system that helps you stay in control, on budget and on time to help your success.  

@Patrick Jackson great suggestion. And how do you go by picking the out of state contractor and ensuring that the work that is being claimed as completed is indeed completed and to an acceptable quality. 

In a local rehab project, I can oversee the process, progress and delivery of the agreed works. How do you ensure all of this from afar. In my case, I haven’t even seen the property other than detailed videos and pictures. So it appears to me that to avoid any issues or potentially being ripped off by someone you need an overseer who reports back to the owner. 

I wonder how others are dealing with these issues. Some have claimed to flip 100’s of out of state properties, I am struggling with one out of state project as I just don’t have the time to travel hundreds of miles. 

Understood completely. With the system I use I have one responsible person to make sure all aspects of the project are detailed and reported. They don’t have to have any major skills. Just be organized and dependable. In terms of the contractors…. document, document, document. Work for pay. I’m very careful on advanced draws. There are a lot of contractors that “cascade” projects and last project out suffers.  I make sure in my contracts I have clauses that manage completion dates. If they don’t agree then they are not my contractors. 

Too much of a headache. I´ḿ doing one right now. I dont see me doing it again. Its hard enough if its local. Too many moving parts and you have to depend on people where many are not proven. If you already have a GC you know will get it done and they have a proven track record delivering quality work, then its doable. Trying to find one to do your out of town project is like playing roulette, hoping the number lands on 10.  

@Mark Cruse I hear you on this one. 
Finding the right guy is half the battle. I keep hearing some investors flipping properties all over the country. I am seriously thinking about turning my "flip" project into a rental without spending a bigger sum required for flipping. The GC quotes are all over the place too so have to figure out whether its reflective of local supply and demand or a product of GC's knowledge that you will be doing all this from afar.