MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Lori Madden, MANGROVE REALTY ASSOCIATES
Email: [email protected]

How to Choose the Right Property to Flip

by Lori Madden 07/12/2020

Photo by Jonny Lindner via Pixabay

Making a flip profitable starts with one straightforward requirement: find a great deal. These tips are straightforward but crucial if you want to nail your first flip or your tenth. 

1. Spread the Word that You're In The Market 

By this point you should have a rock star team nailed down--a few professionals you can trust to help you make your flip a success. But you also want to get the word out to family, friends, and any connections that keep an eye on the market for any reason. They'll be able to keep their eyes open for newly-listed properties that might be right up your alley. Some of the best deals are landed this way, well before homes even hit the MLS. 

2. Learn to Identify Big Issues 

As you gain experience, you'll develop an eye for projects that are going to be too extensive to take on--and how much the bigger projects will cost you. If at all possible, walk through the potential property with your contractor by your side; they'll be able to keep an eye out for major issues and give you an idea of what you're looking for.

A good rule of thumb? Always look at the roofline first: does it look stable? Weak? Awkwardly added-on? A roofline can reveal either structural integrity or burgeoning foundation issues. Other red flags include evidence of extensive water damage, additions that aren't up to code, and evidence of extensive termite damage. 

3. Don't Let Ugliness Put You Off 

When you purchase a property to flip, you're purchasing someone else's problem--something they don't want to deal with. That usually mean the property's going to be a train wreck in terms of curb appeal and interior finishes. That's what you want. Aesthetic upgrades are the easiest--and least expensive--to add. Find a structurally-sound home at a great price that just needs a facelift, and you're golden. 

4. Remember the 70% Rule 

Many pros use this formula to determine whether a home is worth your effort. What do you expect the market value of your home to be after your repairs and upgrades? Ideally, you should pay no more than 70% of that number, minus the cost of repairs you're putting into the home.

So for a home you expect to be worth $300,000 after you put $45,000 worth of repairs and upgrades into it, you'd pay no more than $165,000: 

$300,000 (retail value) x 0.70 = $210,000 - $45,000 (repair costs) = $165,000 

By spreading the word far and wide that you're looking, knowing what you're looking for, and having a method to run the numbers before you dive in, you'll set yourself up for success. Next step? Plan your renovations like the brilliant project manager you are. 

About the Author
Author

Lori Madden

As a Florida native growing up in Sarasota, I have seen my hometown grow from a sleepy coastal town to a highly sought-after destination along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. After working in Chicago for 5 years, I returned to Sarasota and saw it through a new lens and really began to appreciate what makes Sarasota so desirable, including temperatures that allow for year round outdoor activities including tennis (a personal favorite), golf, boating, kayaking, fishing, paddle boarding, or just relaxing and/or shelling on our pristine sandy shores, including Dr. Beach’s #1 beach in the United States for 2017, Siesta Key! Sarasota’s cultural amenities are many and diverse, appealing to a wide range of arts lovers. Downtown Sarasota has become a destination in itself, drawing many new developments for those who want to be within walking distance of Main Street's offerings and the picturesque bayfront and marina. Foodies will find an eclectic mix of locally owned and operated restaurants offering something for everyone, and there are now Farmers Markets every day of the week in various locations throughout Sarasota, but the Saturday morning Farmers Market in downtown Sarasota draws the biggest crowds. Since 1988, my passion has been selling real estate, representing both buyers and sellers. I have been recognized by my clients and customers for an uncompromising work ethic and dedication to helping them achieve their real estate goals. Relying on my experience as a real estate paralegal and being highly organized, I am able to help make the transition between contract and closing a smooth one for my clients. With an eye for interior and landscape design, I've been known to pitch in and help Sellers minimize and/or reorganize their belongings in order to stage their home to maximize its sale potential. I specialize in out of state buyers looking for their piece of paradise along the Gulf Coast and make it a priority to keep them up to date on our quickly changing local real estate market. I welcome the opportunity to share with you all Sarasota and her surrounding islands have to offer!