I have fix and flipped over 110 homes in the last 15 years and although it is not easy to flip houses, it is a lot of fun. You can make a lot of money flipping once you have developed a system and learned the business. I love to flip, but fix and flipping is only part of my real estate business. I also have 16 long-term rentals, I am a Realtor, and I created this blog. While you can make a lot of money flipping homes, it takes hard work, education about the costs, and money. The television shows can make flipping look easy, but they leave out many of the most important parts of the business. I average about $30,000 in profit on each flip I do.
How much money can you make on a single fix and flip?
How much money you make on a fix and flip varies with each deal and how much the house is worth. I have lost $10,000 on a flip and have made up to $100,000 on a fix and flip. My goal on each fix and flip is to make at least $25,000 in profit. I have hit some home runs and had some huge mishaps when flipping. There is a lot of risk involved when you fix and flip a home. If I do not have at least $25,000 in profit potential, I usually will not make the deal. The more expensive a house is, the more money I hope to make because of the increased risk and cost.
For more information on my rentals and flips, check out my resources page here.
The more expensive a fix and flip the more money you should make
The more the houses cost, the more you should make on each fix and flip because all the costs increase. The more expensive a house, the more interest you must pay, the more repairs you must make, the more holding costs you have, and the more commissions you pay. Because of the increased risk on a more expensive house, you need to be rewarded with a larger profit. It can also take longer to sell a more expensive house, because there are fewer buyers. If prices are to decrease in the future, the more expensive homes are also more volatile with their price.
It also takes more capital to buy and repair a more expensive house. If I have a profit potential of $25,000 on a $100,000 fix and flip, I want a profit potential of $50,000 on a $200,000 house. Since I am buying a more expensive house at $200,000 and I am using more cash for down payments and repairs and I will not be able to buy as many properties. Since I am buying fewer properties, I want to make sure that the houses I am buying will make more money. Here is a great article with information on financing fix and flips.
How much money have I made fix and flipping houses?
In 2016, I sold 18 fix and flips with total profits well over $450,000. I sold 8 flips in 2015, 12 in 2014, and 10 in 2013. We average over $30,000 profit for each fix and flip we sell. I will have a few fix and flips that will profit $20,000 to $30,000, and I will have a few that will profit around $50,000. Twice in the ten years, I have made close to $100,000 on a single flip. For me, the big money in fix and flipping is volume, not in one extremely profitable property.
How is it possible to average $30,000 profit on a fix and flip?
Like much of the country our market is hot, which makes it difficult to find deals. However, I am still finding deals and I have 16 fix and flips being repaired or for sale right now (start of 2017). You can flip in any market if you know the numbers, and if you know how to find a great deal. I am a real estate agent, which gives me a huge advantage when it comes to finding deals. I also buy primarily off MLS, which means I save commissions and I am able to write offers quickly. Making $30,000 on a flip all comes down to the numbers. While it is not easy to find deals that make that much money, it is possible. I also buy flips through auctions, wholesalers, and direct marketing.
You have to fix and flip many homes in order to make money
I would love to make $100,000 on each fix and flip, but that is not possible for me. I do not always know which homes will work out great as flips and which will not. I have had unforeseen circumstances that caused me to hold a property for a year before I could sell it. That killed my profits and was one of the homes I lost money on. I have accepted that some flips will be great and others will not. If I continue to purchase great deals, the averages will be in my favor. My strategy is to buy as many fix and flips as I can that meet my criteria and continue to average about $30,000 in profit on each property. If you are looking for that one house that will make $100,000, you may be looking for a long time.
Fix and Flip Your Way to Financial Freedom, is a full-length book that I wrote on flipping houses and is available on Amazon as a paperback or an eBook. The book goes over everything I have learned over the last 15 years about flipping in a good and bad market.
How to get financing on fix and flips
One of the most difficult aspects of flipping homes is being able to find the money to buy the properties. Most lenders do not like to lend on flips because the loan is short-term and the lender will not make much money on it. In most cases, in order to get a short-term loan you must use hard money, a portfolio lender, or private money. Hard money is very expensive with rates from eight to sixteen percent and origination fees from two to five percent. Portfolio lenders will have much less expensive money, but you will have to have an established relationship with them (I use portfolio lenders for most of my flips). Private money is a great option if you have family, friends, or other people with extra money to invest.
How to avoid losing money on a fix and flip
Here are a few tips on how to avoid losing money on flips:
- Be very careful at foreclosure auctions. I used to buy 90 percent of my properties at the foreclosure auction. You have to pay cash without a title policy and sometimes you cannot see the interior of the home. If you buy at the foreclosure sale, make sure you have a lot of money for repairs, title issues, and possible evictions.
- Always estimate more for repairs then you think. Repairs always cost more and more repairs always show up when fixing a house. I always assume there will be 20 percent more in costs than I calculate on each deal.
- Account for financing and selling costs. When you sell a fix and flip, you have to pay a real estate commission, title insurance, financing interest, insurance, taxes, utilities, and more. Check out my case study on this fix and flip to see my costs.
- Be conservative when you estimate value; price the home right! Here is an article on how to value a home and on how to sell a home. Some of the biggest losses for fix and flippers are due to overpricing homes and then not lowering the price quickly to get them sold.
Fix and flipping is not easy. It takes patience to find properties, money to fix them up, and market knowledge to sell them. If you can master fix and flipping, it can create an awesome income and be a lot of fun as well. Becoming a successful fix and flipper does not happen overnight. To see exactly how I flip a house, here is an article that describes a case study I did on a recent fix and flip that made me over $50,000.