Don’t Fear The Fixer Upper: 6 Ways to Make House Flipping a Breeze
There are many reasons to buy a fixer-upper. You might want to execute a quick flip for a profit. You could be looking for an affordable living space in an intimidating market. You might want to find a home you can personalize to your liking.
Regardless of the reason, if you buy a fixer-upper, it’s easy to get in over your head. Costs can add up. Projects can become more complicated than you expected. Setbacks can abound.
If you’re tackling a fixer-upper, here are a few tips to make your house-flipping adventure a breeze.
1. Set the Stage
Before you break ground on your fixer-upper, make sure to take the time to plan everything out — thoroughly.
This is a “leave no stone unturned” kind of operation. If you dive into your home repairs without a clear road map in front of you, it’s hard to avoid losing control of the project. This can lead to wasted time, money, resources, emotional output, and so on.
Instead, work to expand your remodeling knowledge. Research things like local home maintenance concerns in your geographic region and what improvements tend to have the best ROI.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Along with your fixer-upper research, it’s wise to create a solid financial framework.
This starts with your budget. Figure out how much you know you can spend on your project. Then pad that number with a decent buffer.
In addition, try to set up potential sources where you can draw more funds if you find they’re necessary. This could be a home equity loan, a personal loan from a friend, or even a credit card.
Don’t plan these extra funds into your remodeling unless you have to. Instead, make sure that you have them available if you find that you go over budget and need more cash to finish the project.
3. Separate DIY and Not DIY Projects
Once you’ve purchased your house, organized your finances, and set the stage, it’s time to figure out what projects you’re going to work on. With a fixer-upper, this can be a long list.
Don’t just start working on the first thing that you can see or think of. Begin the process by coming up with a master list of all of the projects that you want to address.
Once that’s complete, separate the items into two categories:
- DIY projects: These are projects that answer two important criteria. First, you must be able to do them correctly yourself. Second, they should be worth your time.
- Not DIY projects: These are projects that don’t answer the above criteria. They are either too complicated or too time-consuming.
For projects that are too complicated, use a reputable resource like Angi to find local professionals who can help you. For projects that are too time-consuming, try to hire a helping hand to ease the grunt work.
4. Learn to Prioritize
At this point, you have a solid idea of what you need to do. You’ve studied your fixer-upper market, created a budget, set up backup funds, and isolated DIY and non-DIY projects.
Now it’s time to prioritize your project lists. Review both your DIY and non-DIY lists and figure out what items are the most urgent.
If you’re having trouble prioritizing things, try using the Eisenhower matrix. This requires labeling each project with one of the following:
Urgent and important;
Urgent and less important;
Important and less urgent;
Less important and less urgent.
Figure out what projects you need to focus on now. Then put the other activities on hold. This sounds easy, but it’s hard to prioritize something like fresh new paint over fixing a leaky pipe. Putting your priorities in order is a crucial step for a successful flip.
5. Stay Flexible
So far, we’ve gone over a lot of structured activities. Budgets, lists, priorities — these all cultivate a critical sense of organization and focus.
However, it’s also possible to become too rigid with your fixer-upper vision. As you get a clear idea of what your house could ultimately look like, it’s tempting to become stubborn about turning your vision into reality.
The truth is, though, the final version of your home won’t look quite like you envisioned. You may not be able to get the right materials you hoped for. You might have to compromise on quality due to budget restraints.
Whatever the case, be ready to create backup plans both beforehand and as you go along.
6. Avoid Being Overly Invested
Finally, take a little time to consider your own state as you go about your home repair adventures.
It’s no secret that home improvement projects are amongst some of the most stressful activities that humans engage in. If you want your investment to go smoothly, it’s important to consider your own emotions.
There are many ways to address emotional stress during a home repair project. Start by aiming to regulate not repress what you’re feeling. Freaking out over financial stress isn’t going to do you much good. However, expressing that you’re feeling stressed out can help you talk through your options.
From mood journals to deep breaths, there are many ways to avoid emotionally investing in your fixer-upper to an unhealthy level.
Flipping a house can be fun. But it can also be overwhelming. If you want your house flip to go smoothly, take the time to approach the entire process with a calm, controlled state of mind.
Lay your plans, stay flexible, and guard your emotions. If you can do that, you’ll be able to execute the best possible house flip … all without breaking the bank or stressing out during the process.