Opinion: You Shouldn’t Flip Houses While Working a 9-5 Job

by | BiggerPockets.com

If you’ve been following my weekly blog posts, you’ll know that I’m quite the contrarian when it comes to some of the popular topics. I’ve spoken about why you should never use leverage and only invest with cash. I’ve spoken about why I don’t necessarily believe in or like house hacking—and a ton of other stuff that I always get a lot of crap about in the comments section below. But I encourage you, and I welcome the criticism. I’m happy to respond to everyone. And again, in this article, I’m going to be a contrarian.

Have you heard of the saying “Jack of all trades, master of none”? I personally believe that real estate success takes hard work and sacrifice. I also don’t think that you can be in many places at the same time. Working a nine-to-five job and trying to have a successful real estate business—as in buying, fixing and flipping—in my opinion, is a recipe for disaster. If you want to have some sort of side hustle and if you want to make additional income, I don’t think that you should put your life savings into a fixer-upper property that you can just go and project manage on the weekend. As you probably know, when the cat leaves, the mice come out to play.

Relying on Shady Operators

I read not too long ago that the real estate industry is starting to have a big stigma because of shady operators. Real estate agents, for example, might not care about their clients, just the commission. So they tell them everything they want to hear to get that deal across the line. As for contractors, everyone’s got headaches with them including myself and I’ve done hundreds of deals. I’m still losing money to contractors. Property managers fall into the same category. A lot of these folks are the biggest scammers in the business because they come up with non-existent expenses, charge you for them, and never do the repairs because they weren’t needed in the first place. All kinds of folks could cause you to lose a lot of money.

Related: Opinion: Quitting Your Job & Living on Passive Income ISN’T Necessary for Financial Success

Now, imagine these three folks being responsible for your real estate endeavors. Meanwhile, you’re working a nine-to-five job where you’re busy, and then you’re trying to buy, fix, and flip a property. I just think you’re setting yourself up for disaster. You’ve got no flexibility because when the contractor calls, you’re in a meeting. It just won’t work. That’s just my opinion. I could be right, I could be wrong. I’ll let you guys be the judge of that.

What I think you should do is if you’re going to consider becoming a real estate investor and you truly want to achieve success within a five-year timeframe, you should quit your job. I know a lot of you are going to comment negatively on that, but in order to succeed, you need to take risks. I know quitting a job is a big risk and a sacrifice, but if you can devote most of your day to your real estate endeavors and you’re willing to work hard, I certainly think that you can succeed. However, it is going to require you quitting your job.

What’s the Worst That Could Happen?

You quit your job. You go and try real estate investing and you buy, fix, and flip properties. You commit to it wholeheartedly. That’s all you do every single day. You live, breathe, and dream real estate, and sometimes you fail. Then you come to realize that you weren’t supposed to be a successful real estate investor, and you don’t enjoy it. It requires too much money, time, and effort. Well, guess what? You can just go back to your nine-to-five. You might not have the same income, but you took a risk, it didn’t work out, and you have to start from scratch again. Remember, the number one regret that people in nursing homes have is not taking more risks.

In my opinion, we all end up in the same place. You’ve got nothing to lose as long as you put your mind to it. You can always go back to what you were doing before. I personally think if you’re going to give real estate a good crack that you need to devote most of your time to it. Then you will know if it’s meant for you and if you can turn it into a successful long-term business and retire at a young age.

So guys, once again, contrary to the popular belief, I think that if you’re going to be buying, fixing, and flipping (or any kind of real estate investing) that you should do it full-time. If you want to achieve financial freedom very quickly, you probably shouldn’t be working a nine-to-five. Again, that’s just my opinion.

I’m happy to hear your thoughts.

Please comment below.

About Author

Engelo Rumora

Engelo Rumora, the Real Estate Dingo and your favorite Australian, quit school at the age of 14 and played professional soccer at the age of 18. From there, he began to invest in real estate. He now owns real estate all over the world and has bought, renovated, and sold over 500 properties. He is currently in the process of launching an ICO that will “Decentralize The Real Estate Industry.” He’s also known for giving houses away to people in need and his crazy videos on YouTube. His life’s mission is to be remembered as someone who gave it his all and gave it all away.

13 Comments

  1. Erika Ebbin

    Engelo,
    Thanks for the article. I completely agree with you on one thing and that is, this is your opinion which we are all entitled to but one thing I have learned in life is that our opinions can never be used as a blanket answer to everyone and their situations. We all have to navigate our lives in a way that suits us best. Your situation when you decided to become a real estate investor I’m sure may not compare to many Americans and others around the world ie. a job that pays more than enough and are able to save six months to a years worth of pay so that you can quit and pursue your goals. In addition to the many other examples (single parents, working parents of small children, in school, flat broke…the list goes on) So while your experience, your finances and your situation are specific to you, your opinion of how a person should devote their endeavors will probably not apply to everyone else.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks for your comment Erika.

      I have always used blanket statements in all of my blogs.

      I don’t like fluffy and “feel good” titles.

      It’s about making folks “stop and think”.

      I never say that my way is the best but I am happy sharing my opinion in a passionate way.

      Too many folks succumb to a story that they sell themselves on and then never change their ways.

      I hope that my video’s and blogs can inspire a positive change.

      Much success

  2. Dave Rav

    Engelo, another great article. I really enjoy your strong, unwaivering stance on opinions you have. Also refreshing is your “go-against the grain” attitude to popular investment techniques, such as house hacking. After all, who wants to live WITH their tenants; I won’t even attempt living down the street from them for privacy and business separation reasons!!!

    However, I must DISAGREE with your stance here on flipping homes while working 9-5.

    For many REIs, they have no choice. This is their only option if they want to do flips (maybe not for other investing methods).

    In addition, I am living proof it can be done. Matter of fact, I completed (successfully) two flips while working full time. Not going to say it was easy, but I got it done. And made money too, in addition to learning quite a bit.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks for your comment Dave and continued support.

      Just imagine how much quicker you could have flipped those houses if you committed all of your time just to flipping 🙂

      Also, you could have maybe flipped 2 at the same time and made more profit.

      Well done on your success and keep the dream alive.

  3. Sheldon krause

    I think if you don’t have much money in reserve or much experience, you should not quit your job. Especially if people depend on you to eat. What I suggest is find a partner so if you can’t be there, you can spread the responsibilities. When you have created something that works and built a reserve of cash, then you can think about quitting.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Gabriela,

      Nothing comes without risk or sacrifice.

      The worst that could happen is you fail in real estate and have to go back to a 9-5.

      Whenever I do something I’m “all in”.

      I was once told “If you’re in, you’re in and if you’re out, you’re out”

      I wish you much success

  4. Debora L Griffin

    I think going all in after quitting your job brings a certain amount of HAVE TO!!! To the table. You HAVE TO make it work because you have no job to fall back on for your daily living expenses. That may be the edge that some people need.

    I am not one of those.

    I am finding success because I know no one is depending on me. It is allowing me to make some long term decisions regardless of what is happening in our daily life because, I don’t have to worry about daily expenses.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Debora,

      In my opinion the worst that could happen is you fail and then have to go back to a 9-5.

      Most folks have regrets of not taking more risk throughout their life.

      Personally, I’d never want to live with the “What if”.

      Thanks again

  5. Pamela Scott

    I agree with you. Having to depend and trust a contractor and his crew to do the job while you are at work would make me nervous and on edge. You have to be to on the job site or hire a project manager, if you have to keep your 9-5 job.

  6. Stacee Evans

    Thank you for speaking out and and sharing an opinion that is different from the norm. This is probably great advice for some, but may not work for everyone and either way does give me something to think about. You make some great points that I did not think of before.

    • Engelo Rumora

      Thanks Stacee,

      I do my best to make people “stop and think”.

      It’s not about sugar coated fluffy fairytale blogs lol

      Those scenarios don’t exist in the real world.

      My content is reality based on my experience.

      I’m not saying that I’m right but I am keeping it “real”.

      Much success

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