If you’re an HGTV fan, you’ve probably seen tons of shows about how to flip a house. “Flipping a house” refers to the process of buying a property and then turning around and selling the home for more than you paid for it. The key features to “flipping” are 1) the owner lists it again shortly after buying it and 2) the house usually requires a lot of repairs before it can be sold for a profit.
So if there’s a property that’s caught your eye and you’re considering doing a flip, what should you look out for? Here’s a few things to keep in mind as you prepare to flip a house.
Electrical and Plumbing Systems
Houses will already come with intact electrical and plumbing systems—for the most part—but just because it’s intact doesn’t mean it’s in great shape. Many houses that are prime candidates for flipping are older and/or rundown. If that is the case, these fundamental systems will probably need a touchup job.
The good side of doing work to the plumbing and electrical systems is that you can usually put this on the house listing. And also bear in mind that prospective buyers are likely to ask about and inspect electrical or plumbing work, especially once they realize the property is a flip sale. It’s a much better idea to do the work beforehand on your own time than having to pay to get something done during buying and negotiations.
Curb appeal is more important than ever when you’re trying to flip a home. Many home buyers may be suspicious of flipped properties and automatically dismiss one once they find out it’s flipped. You won’t always be able to combat this bias, but you can help by sprucing up the exterior as much as possible.
Landscaping is key to making a home exterior attractive. Clear out any weeds, tree stumps, and dead or dying plants. Tree stump removal is especially important. Stump removal can make your property safer by keeping obstruction out of the way.
Roof and Gutters
One of the things home buyers are most concerned about is the age of the roof. Although a lot depends on the material of the roof, roofs may need to be replaced as often as every 15 years. For older houses especially, you should check up on the age and condition of the roof before you flip the property. If the property was in disrepair when you bought it, chances are fairly good that the roof may need a touchup job if not an outright replacement.
Flipping a house can be an exciting adventure and earn you a lot of cash. But be careful not to cut corners and try to get things done the cheapest way possible.
Read this next: What’s Happening with Home Prices?