How to Make Money Flipping Houses? 12 Great Tips

How does Flipping properties work?

Flipping houses involves buying a property, renovating it, and selling it for a profit.

Some excellent tips on making money from flipping houses; however, it is not as easy as it seems. First, we will help you learn how to evaluate what a property is worth and the cost to flip it.

Flipping houses and making a tidy profit is possible; however, you must research and get the costing right. Consider the cost of any borrowing in your calculations.

How to research flip houses for profit in the UK:

Finding an excellent location to flip a property requires in-depth knowledge of the area you want to invest in.

Your research should include:

How many homes are selling for?

You should know the average sale price of homes in the location of your choice to identify projects that are perfect for flipping for a profit. It would help if you also researched several types of houses sold in your chosen location.

A two-bedroom flat may be cheaper, higher demand and less expensive than a 4-bedroom Victorian house with less demand.

Calculate the Supply & Demand Ratio One method of calculating how quickly homes are selling in a location is to calculate the “months of supply.” What is “Months of supply”? It is the number of months it would take to sell all the homes currently on the market in a specific location.

The month of supply is a fantastic way to work out if you are in a buyer’s or seller’s market for that location.

Months of supply is lower than six buyer’s market:

Months of supply is over six to determine the months of supply in your area. You will need to find out how many houses are currently on the market and the number of homes sold each month.

By way of example, if there are 20 houses on the market and five sell each month, there are four months of supply on the market.

Remember you will be on the buying and selling side in the same year. Therefore, you will probably want to focus on location with less than six months of supply, ideally. If not, your house might remain on the market longer than your finances permit.

Keep an eye on market trends. Once you know the market reasonably well within the location of interest, you should ascertain the potential value of houses over the next two years.

You should look forward to finding the market trend, speaking to local landlords and estate agents, and reading local newspapers and blogs, including economist reports and press releases.

For example, perhaps a new hospital is being built in a nearby area that will employ vast numbers of people. That may mean rental prices in the location are going up, which means prices are going up as well.

Having a good knowledge of the market in your area and a few surrounding places will help you find a good deal.

Things like taxes, school, employment, university, and convenience stores all influence end buyers. This would mean buying a house in a town with high employment opportunities.

Bad Locations vs. High-Demand Locations The crime rate may be an issue with the location. When it is time to sell, it might be hard to find buyers. However, this does not mean these areas are terrible investments.

Growing populations, substantial local investment, and diverse economies are necessary for flipping houses. When choosing a location within any market, house flippers should focus on those with a good school catchment area, access to transportation, and a reasonable employment rate.

Find the Right House to Flip

Here are some essential methods to find the right house to fix and flip:

Get Referrals The old saying not what you are but who you know is true when flipping houses. Sourcing houses to flip can be made more accessible by networking with landlords, estate agents, solicitors, and other property traders.

The strategy that works for me with great ROI is word-of-mouth referrals from people you know and already network with.

Property search portals: One source commonly used to find houses to flip is online property search portals like Rightmove, Zoopla, and others.

Search for houses listed incorrectly, in poor condition, or with a small number of bedrooms compared to square footage. For example, a 7,000-square-foot 3-bedroom home can most likely be converted into a 5-bedroom house, delivering a much higher sales price.

Advertising: In addition to using estate agents, you can also use advertising to find houses to flip. This is not easy since you are looking for undervalued homes. However, they are out there if you are willing to put the effort in.

Here are some popular ways investors advertise:

Bandit Signs If you have ever seen signs like “we buy houses”, it was probably in a good location for house flippers.

Bandit signs are used to find sellers who need to sell their houses quickly. Desperate house owners call on bandit signs motivated to sell, making this practice an inexpensive method of acquiring properties good for flipping.

Assess the Property and the Deal Once you find a house that seems to tick all the boxes for flipping, the next step is to schedule a viewing and check the property for flipping.

It might be a good idea to bring your builder with you. Together, you assess the cost of any work required to make the property ready for sale.

Be disciplined and do your homework

Golden 70% rule, the purpose of flipping houses is to sell the house for a price that is not only higher than the purchase price but more than the:

  • The purchase price
  • +Refurbishment costs
  • +Purchase, selling fees

Successful property flippers use the golden 70% rule to make money by flipping houses.

For example, you pay 70% of the expected After Repair Value (ARV). So, to calculate a house with an ARV of £250,000 that requires £25,000 in refurbishment, multiply the ARV by 0.70 (70%).

Consider using a surveyor.

If in doubt, it may be worth instructing a surveyor; a survey may highlight potential problems with the house. Further, it will reduce your risk and give you a bargaining tool to beat down the price even further.

Funding for your property flip project

Learning how to finance and still make money flipping houses can be challenging for beginners. However, most high street lenders will not lend on dwellings in poor condition or to borrowers with a reliable, independent income or fix and flip experience.

However, there are other options, and these are:

Hard cash Lenders 

Hard cash lenders generally seem like small private investors who lend money to house flippers. One reason they are preferred above others is that they care more about the home’s “after-repair value” (ARV) than about the borrower’s experience or qualifications.

Property Crowdfunding Loans Crowdfunding seems to be growing for property funding, and there are several options available when using this option.

What to look for in a lender When flipping houses, you need to engage with the right lender for you. You need to consider three main things when looking for an appropriate lender:

  • The rate of interest and fees
  • how long the loan is for
  • The speed at which you can get the funds

How to raise finance for flipping property Now that you are aware of a few options for financing your fix and flip project, here is a quick overview of how these loans work.

To get a loan for a fix-and-flip project, you must complete a loan application and supply an overview of the project to the lender.

How much you can borrow:

Most lenders offer between 65% and 80% (this is changing due to COVID-19) of the home’s After-Repair Value (ARV). So, for example, if you are looking at homes with an ARV of £200,000, you will likely get a loan for around £140,000.

Fix-and-flip lenders usually lend for one to twelve months. This is because house flippers typically buy, renovate, and sell a house within one year.

For fix-and-flip lending, interest rates can range from 4.5% to 12.5%, depending on your credit score and the ARV of the house. You will also probably need to pay a setup fee, including a survey fee.

Putting together a team of trustworthy contractors

Even if you do not have a house lined up, offering to buy a meal from a general contractor in exchange for picking their brain can help educate you on the process.

To flip houses, you need an experienced, affordable contractor who will stick to your deadline and be easy to work with.

3 things to consider when choosing your contractor:

  • You need to be trustworthy.
  • They need to do quality work.
  • Their charges need to work with your budget.

You will probably need a few contractors for different jobs. For example, a skilled plumber, a qualified electrician, a plasterer, and a professional general contractor may all be required depending on the size and scope of the project.

Suppose you have ever had work done in your own home. In that case, you probably know that finding great, affordable contractors can be difficult.

One-man band contractor may be less expensive (or not) but might not be able to do the job to your satisfaction. On the other hand, good contractors are costly and very busy. Still, they can contribute to your goal of flipping houses for a profit.

Find the Right Contractor for the Job Consider getting referrals from other investors before choosing a contractor. Ask each tradesperson for referrals to the people they like to work with. For example, ask the plumber for a good electrician.

They tend to do many projects with different contractors. They can usually point you toward the best ones.

Here are some tips for working with contractors:

Contractors & DIY Keep in regular contact with your contractor; ask for task-by-task updates. Also, check in periodically to make sure work is getting done according to your specifications and schedule.

If you are going to do some of the work yourself, make sure to discuss your plan and routine with your contractor beforehand. This way, you will not interrupt their work.

Pay Your Contractors It is prudent to pay your contractor an initial deposit and another halfway through the project. The final payment is made after the project is finished and you have thoroughly checked the work.

Some investors pay contractors weekly; however, in my opinion, it is best to pay for what tasks they have completed. You do not want to pay your contractor all the money and not have the job completed.

Top Three Renovation Ideas to Maximise ROI

  • Houses with an open concept are attractive to buyers, but try not to focus on the current aesthetics of the house when you see it in person. Instead, it would be best if you were looking for a potential room for improvement.

The ROI on a new kitchen varies depending on the scope of the renovation. The benefit of a new kitchen is its ability to attract potential buyers, allowing you to sell the property quickly.

Selling the house fast Selling your newly renovated home is like selling any other house. The only difference is that time is money, especially when learning how to make money flipping houses.

The longer the house is on the market, the more it will cost you, which means less profit.

The best advice I can give to new house flippers is to take the first or second offer you get on each property. Time is all-important when flipping a house, and if you get an offer that gives you a profit, take it and move on.

Flipping houses FAQ

How do you make money from flipping a property?

Quite simply, if you buy a house for £150,000, spend £20,000 improving it, and sell it for £200,000, you have made a profit of £30,000. This might sound idealistic, but if everything goes well, it can be achieved in three to four months.

However, you need to factor in many costs and fees and a few variables that might not work as you wish.

It would be best to have a keen eye on what a house could sell for in a particular location. It is of no use buying a three-bedroom semi for £150,000 if £20,000 spent doing it up will not increase its value any more than the £20,000 spent.

Some properties in certain locations will always stay stagnant; stay away from these areas.

On the other hand, the desirability of the location is why properties that are perfect for flipping are so few and far between.

What are the risks and rewards of flipping a property?

Any house purchase involves risk, especially if you intend to flip the house. Flipping a house is risky because you are attempting to leverage healthy profit quickly. Financial and time factors are a challenging combination when so much is out of your control.

How to Flip a House with No Money?

Flipping houses without money will involve using other people’s money. For example, a lender offers a loan for you to purchase the property, and you repay them the initial loan amount plus interest. However, UK banks and lenders rarely offer funding to cover both the property and refurbishment costs.

How to improve the value of a property before flipping

This needs to be assessed before buying a house. You will need to evaluate to see how and if you can improve the value of the property.

Speaking to various contractors, estate agents, and interior designers, including architects, will give you a good insight into what is cost-effective. The cost and specifications of comparable properties in the area on Rightmove or Zoopla may also give you some ideas.

So, what work does the property need? Externally, the garden might need tidying or some decking. Fascia replacement can enhance the external visual appeal of the house, too.

Inside, the house might need rewiring or re-plumbing, and you might need to fit a new kitchen or bathroom. These things all add value to your project.

Is Flipping a house a good investment?

Flipping houses in the UK may sound simple, but it is not as easy as it looks. Let us be real: A house flip can either be a money-making exercise or a financial disaster. So, ensure you have good people who can help and advise you.

Find a good, ambitious estate agent to sell your house.

A house flip can be an excellent opportunity to make a quick profit. Provided you make innovative renovations, you can sell the house for much more than you paid for it. But it can quickly go wrong and cost you thousands if mistakes are made.

You must engage an excellent, ambitious estate agent who will work hard to promote and sell your property fast and at a reasonable price. You must sell the property as quickly as possible to move on to a new project.

Rental Properties

Sometimes, you can pick up a bargain that a landlord is offloading. For example, rental properties can be in a poor state after tenants leave, and the landlord just needs to sell the residential property.

Rental properties can be sought through property auctions or by joining the British Landlord association Facebook page “Insider property deals”. 

If you can buy directly from the landlord, you might be able to negotiate a deal on the entire or part of the landlord’s property portfolio.

As the property market cools residential property, commercial property is coming on the market as landlords become desperate to sell. 

Property owners, in some cases, get fed up when a tenant stops paying rent and chooses to sell. If the tenant defaults on the rent, then the property owner struggles with mortgage payments.

You should always request to buy with vacant possession; don’t take the headache of evicting the tenant.

Evicting a residential tenant is no longer straightforward. 

Investors often start off by buying and flipping the property, but they can change their plan if the return on investment is decent.

It is best to flip the property as intended and move to the next project unless you have compelling reasons. The legislation for rental properties is a headache. Some landlords are already selling, so factor this in if you opt to rent. 

Investment property is a long-term investment. You will have to bring the property to a reasonable standard, so it is fully compliant for letting. So, factor in the renovation cost to sell or rent. Work and standards when letting or selling are not the same, nor are the renovation costs.

If you choose to rent, then check the rental market in the area and consider the void period before you can let the property. You will be liable for council tax for the void periods. 

The real estate market for renting and selling can be considerably different in any given area. In some areas, it is easy to let but exceedingly difficult to sell. A typical example is Grimsby. 

Finally, if you choose to rent, ensure it is a buy-to-let mortgage if you have one. If you require consent to rent from your bank, they may request a higher monthly repayment. 

Buy-to-let property usually means a slightly higher repayment. But, in some cases, not all. 

Property Developer 

When you look for a good property to flip, one consideration is whether the property offered to you has development potential. If it does, you will attract a property developer, which should make it even easier to sell the property. 

Properties with a decent amount of land always have some potential, which makes it an ideal flip project.

Source: The British Landlords Association

Author: Amanda Goldsmith [email protected]

The British Landlords Association is a free national landlords association; join us today for £69.95 

Members who require legal advice can contact Landlord Advice UK or the BLA legal team.

Date: 10th of January 2024

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