Real Estate Tips |8 min read

How to Flip Houses Like on Home Renovation Shows: 15 Tips

So, you want to learn how to flip houses like they do on home makeover shows. You know you have the ideas and inspiration, the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial mindset needed to succeed.

There’s only one problem: you don’t even know where to begin. You have no idea of what you should do to emulate the steps they take on the silver screen. That’s ok. Rest assured; we will walk you through the key practices you should emulate in your own fixer-upper houses.

Main Takeaways:

  • You can emulate popular home renovation shows by maintaining that same assertive, tirelessly go-getter approach to finding the perfect house.
  • Focus on having timelessly modern facilities, like the home’s bathroom, kitchen, and even surrounding neighborhood.
  • You should also work with contractors, hard money lenders, professional stagers, and other experts to get optimal results.

15 Pro-Inspired Tips from Home Renovation Shows

If you follow the expert tips below, you’ll be ahead of the game. You’ll be better prepared for success.

Tip 1: Don’t Do the Renovations Yourself

Many times, the money you save by doing all the renovations yourself isn’t worth the lost resources that go down the drain.

After all, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. When you do the repairs yourself, you will funnel your time into that house instead of new deals you could pursue. Furthermore, if you do your flip right, you could earn more money than the contractor costs you lose.

As hard money lenders in Maryland, we’ve seen this mistake happen repeatedly. That’s why it’s a good idea to simply hire a professional.

Tip 2: The Find Should Be Your #1 Priority

You can’t create exceptional fixer-upper houses without having exceptional houses as your foundation. So, this is where you need to be an assertive go-getter. Don’t settle for anything less than the perfect fit.

You shouldn’t leave any stone unturned in your search. Knock on doors, cold call, network, and just generally be on the ground, always on the lookout. As a rule of thumb, if you really want to be thorough, you should aim to talk to 50 people a day.

This may seem like a lot of work. However, you could think of it another way: all that work you would usually do in months or even years, you are speed-running for maximum efficiency.

Tip 3: Work with Designers

It can be beneficial to work with designers with a trained eye for style and usability. They can search for materials that look luxurious at a lower cost. This way, your home will be up-to-date and modern, like on home makeover shows.

Tip 4: Flip Lower-End Properties

Lower-end properties (such as around $500,000 ones) can be better buys as flipper-upper houses. After all, they can be faster to fix and sell with less risk involved. Because they’re smaller, you can finish it quickly enough that the market is less likely to change drastically. In particular, this is true when the market is stable or going down.

Tip 5: Finance Your Deal

There are countless costs to fixer-upper houses, from hiring plumbers and painters to buying your targeted home in the first place. Unfortunately, unless you’re swimming in money, it will be challenging to pay for it all upfront.

So, it’s imperative to find a way to fund your flip. An ideal way to finance your project can be hard money loans. These loans are designed especially for fast-paced, urgent situations like house flips. Unlike traditional loans, you can get these loans within weeks and pay them off quickly.

Home makeover shows commonly feature hard money loans. In fact, HGTV’s “Flip or Flop” host, Tarek El Moussa, has singled out hard money loans as his primary funding source. Since becoming more seasoned in the industry, he dropped other ways of funding and started relying exclusively on hard money loans for each flip.

Tip 6: Find the Right Contractors

It can take a lot of trial and error to find a good contractor network. Just like any profession, there are good and bad apples alike. You may have to test out different contractors’ approaches to see which ones mesh with you. Furthermore, once you finally find the right fit, you can come back to them over and over again.

To shorten this process, you can go with exceptionally experienced contractors. By this, we mean ones with built-in, reliable resumes, who have already done countless fixer-upper houses with proof to show for it.

Tip 7: Get On Your Feet

It might seem glaringly obvious, but it bears being said: to learn how to flip houses, you must actually do that. You can’t be all talk and no action.

Many times, we have seen people come by with the best possible ideas. However, they undermine themselves because they can’t get past the talking stage. There’s always a distraction on the table—work, family, and other curveballs.

Still, as long as your plans stay a “what-if” conversation, nothing more will come of them. You must actually put those plans in motion for them to become reality like home makeover shows on TV.

Tip 8: Prioritize the Neighborhood

As they say, location, location, location! You could have the best deal in the world, but if it’s in a declining neighborhood, there might not be demand for it. Instead, be sure to seek out neighborhoods on the rise.

Tip 9: Don’t Get Too Attached

With all the hard work fixer-upper houses require, it’s no wonder you might become invested in the results. What’s more, you may be tempted to apply your own personal touch, likes, and dislikes to the homes. It’s crucial to remember that your fixer-upper houses aren’t your houses. You are setting up a potential buyer’s perfect home, not yours.

Tip 10: Avoid Fads

Fads may practically print money now, but they will look passe later. So, make sure any “modern” touches you add are timeless and always in style. For instance, stainless steel appliances look sleek and modern. Not only that, but they will likely stay that way for years in the future. Picks like this strike a perfect balance. Another option is to take inspiration from top celebrity house flippers, like Diane Keaton.

Tip 11: Focus on Bathrooms and Kitchens

As you’ve likely seen in home renovation shows, the bathroom and kitchen are everything. Prospective buyers often zoom in on these two facilities when choosing a home. These two types of rooms can make or break your project’s overall value. Because of that, you should emphasize these features in your fixer-upper houses.

Tip 12: Don’t Overdo It

You might find yourself in hot water if you mismatch your project’s budget and your neighborhood’s value. For instance, you shouldn’t create $500,000-value houses in a neighborhood with houses averaging $350,000. If you do this, your fixer-upper houses could be left unsold on the market for longer. Or, worse, you could overspend so much on renovations that you drown in debt. Instead, try to do your home remodels on a budget.

Tip 13: Invest in Professional Staging

Anyone can set up halfway decent stagings by themselves, but professional stagers make a good impression for a living. They know all the little touches that transform your project from just another house to a home they can imagine living in. Even better, they can make it look more like a home renovation show. Needless to say, they can take your home to the next level.

Tip 14: Focus on Marketing

People can’t buy your fixer-upper houses if they don’t know it’s been redone to start with. So, marketing is clearly a must.

However, in these times, just spreading the word isn’t enough. The real estate market is saturated to the brim. You must present your fixer-upper houses so that they stand out from the crowd. Social media, such as Instagram and LinkedIn, are crucial for your success. Also, it’s important to send flyers, go to local meetings, and generally market to the nearby community.

Tip 15: Don’t Celebrate Until You’re at the Finish Line

It can be tempting to start celebrating when you get that long-awaited offer. Still, you shouldn’t be so quick to party. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns.

A bank could turn down your buyer’s loan. Or, the buyer could be forced to back out at the last minute. Factors out of anyone’s control could change the situation at the last minute. So, don’t celebrate until the money is sitting securely in your bank.

Fund Fixer-Upper Houses with MHML

You can make your fixer-upper houses more like your favorite home makeover shows if you follow certain best practices. Simple things like being careful in finding the right destination home, picking the right neighborhood, and focusing on timeless renovations can make all the difference.

As we emphasized earlier, hard money loans are a big trick in home makeover shows’ arsenals. Luckily, hard money loans aren’t just for high-level, celebrity investors. You, too, can leverage hard money loans for your own fixer-upper houses. As you learn the ropes of how to flip houses, hard money loans can be your starting foundation. We can give you the funds you need to launch your home purchase, renovations, and other non-negotiable stages. Contact us to make someday happen today.

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