Between reality TV, and watching celebrities and even local entrepreneurs flip million dollar property deals for big bucks, it can be tempting to try your own hand at it. What are the real pros and cons, and what might be better options?
The Appeal of Property Flipping
It has become very trendy to flip properties. We see it on TV, in magazines, on social media and down the street. If celeb A-Listers are doing it, despite making millions of dollars in sports and film, then that says something.
The money is an obvious attraction. When house flippers can make more in one deal than Google employees, lawyers and doctors make in a whole year of 100 hour work weeks, it can be frustrating and appealing.
Plus, those doing it seem to have more extra time and are more relaxed, and enjoy great lifestyles.
In spite of the perks, obviously there is a reason not everyone is doing this for a living, right?
For a start, it is far more complex than they show in a couple of sentences and photos, an hour-long seminar or an episode on HGTV.
To successfully flip a property and not lose everything, you’ve got to get great at finding the deals, negotiating them, structuring the financing, renovating, managing, and remarketing. Each of these areas can be a whole career by itself. Each often requires a whole team to do very well.
Without a great handle of all the parts, it can be high risk. You may be putting your own credit and savings on the line. You probably don’t have strong and proven contractor contacts and preferred pricing with all the vendors you need. You probably don’t have all the data you need to know exactly how to polish and remarket it for a swift and profitable exit and the most value.
What they don’t tell you on TV is that if you blow it on one of those first deals you can be in real trouble. Many new aspiring investors buy what they think is a deal, get mired down in the rehab, max out their credit cards, and then don’t have the credit or cash to finish the job. Then it can’t be rented or resold for much.
That provides a lot of inventory for other more experienced and better-funded investors.
So, yes, there are investors out there every day doing multiple deals a month, making an average of $60,000 to over $100,000 per deal in some markets. Though, if you aren’t well prepared it can be one of your biggest regrets.
Have Someone Else Do it for You
No matter how much you make right now, there are clearly financial advantages of getting into real estate. You might love your career, and would do it regardless of the money. Yet, you have bills, people who are going to count on you, and you can’t guarantee you can work trading your time for money at this forever. Real estate offers a lot of perks, including many potential tax advantages. Yet, trying to fix and flip properties on nights and weekends yourself, just might not be a good fit. It may be exciting, but there is a big difference between flexing your creative skills as a hobby and doing it for profit.
The best alternative to take advantage of all the benefits, without the extra time commitment and risk of the steep learning curve is to simply partner with others who have already mastered it and have the teams and connections and systems to do it consistently and profitably.
You can team up with your peers and the pros, invest a portion of your capital, and get the rewards while letting someone else do all the hard work.
Types of Deals That Can be Done
If big deals get you excited, then there are more ways to participate than just trying to find a beat up home down the street.
There are many opportunities for renovating and flipping properties, including:
- Repurposing entire apartment and condo buildings
- Taking over failed builder projects and communities
- Rebuilding luxury homes in areas that have been hit by wildfire or earthquakes
- Renovating and repurposing commercial real estate like self-storage, office, retail and warehouse space
Flipping multi-million dollar properties can be appealing and highly profitable. Aside from the fact it can return far more than you can hope to make in just about any job, it comes with many other perks as well. Though taking the DIY route just isn’t practical or the smartest strategy for everyone. Fortunately, there are other options. Do make sure you have real estate working hard for you in your portfolio. Just make sure you are leveraging the smart strategies and approaches to kick that risk to the curb and can invest with confidence.