Some entrepreneurs purchase a house not to live in, but to remodel, and sell for a profit quickly. This is known as “flipping a house,” and for entrepreneurs who know what they are doing, this can be quite lucrative. Home remodeling crews can be hired to help, and other repair professionals can help with flipping a house, too. HVAC services can be brought on board, not to mention fire protection services and plumbers, among others. What is there to know about flipping a house smartly? What sort of professional aid will the buyer need, and what is the current state of the American housing market?
Flipping a House: Knowing the Market
The American housing market is truly enormous, and sometimes it enjoys considerable growth while in other periods, it is stagnant or struggling. Also, house flippers may account for home investment and the location of the property when flipping it or setting a price. The American home insurance industry is quite robust, and it earns around $70 billion every single year in revenue. What is more, Americans are quite diligent about getting home insurance: estimates say that 95% of all American homes are insured this way, though FEMA reports that around 64% of homes are underinsured. FEMA also says that around 50% of all homes in high-risk areas do not have insurance.
Meanwhile, other statistics show that the average age of first-time homebuyers in the USA is 34 years old, and the median home value of American properties sits at $180,000 or so. And in some popular areas, such as Boston or Los Angeles or Miami’s sunny coasts, the average price is even higher. This is something to account for when flipping a house: will the flipper choose a more modestly costed home and sell it for a narrower profit, or “go big” and flip a house in an expensive area instead? This may vary based on the flipper’s budget, or where they live or what sort of home buyers they want to attract. As for buying a house to flip, the entrepreneur may use various real estate apps to gather all sorts of data, and real estate agents can provide tours. CMA reports, or “comparative market analysis” reports, gather meta-data on similar houses in a given area to determine the “typical” price for such a property. Buyers use such reports to avoid over-priced homes or suspiciously low-priced ones, and sellers use those reports to avoid setting high prices that scare off buyers or low prices that result in losses upon closing a sale.
Flipping a House: Fire Alarm Repair and More
Not all houses are near fault lines, and thus don’t have to be concerned about earthquakes. Some houses are in flood-prone areas or are built along coasts that may experience hurricanes often. All of these hazards and more are based upon the local climate and geography, but there is one constant: the threat of fire. This makes fire alarm repair and inspection a necessity. Even the act of flipping a house requires taking fire seriously, and fires can happen for a variety of reasons. While smoking is generally not allowed in public or commercial buildings, homeowners sometimes smoke, and a dropped cigarette can set drapes, the carpet, or papers on fire, and the whole house might soon follow. Electrical fires are also common, where a damaged electrical cord’s exposed inner wire touches a flammable object. Inner copper wires are hot, and electrical fires are common in houses and commercial buildings alike. Not to mention the threat of dropped matches or lighters, or even arson.
Flipping a house means not only making that house modern and attractive, but safe to live in, and that is a given. So, after the property is purchased, the entrepreneur can hire fire alarm inspection crews to look over the entire building and check for any faulty or missing fire detection hardware. The house should have up-to-date, fully functional smoke detectors and audible alarms that may alert any occupants of a fire hazard. Any faulty equipment can be repaired or replaced, and an older house might need a thorough update where this is concerned. Some homes might even have fire sprinklers in them, and if fire sprinkler repair must be done, then experts will get to work on that. And in any case, when flipping a house, the entrepreneur should ensure that the house has multiple fire exits, namely the doors and windows. All windows and doors must open easily if need be, and nothing should block them if the occupant must use them as an exit.
Flipping a House: HVAC Installation and Cleaning
Not all American homes have HVAC systems in them, but most do. Via air ducts and vents, a house can deliver warm air during winter and cool air during summer, and this is known as climate control. How does this factor into flipping a house, though? Bear in mind that HVAC utilities use up a lot of electricity; in fact, around half of a house’s entire electric bill goes toward HVAC services. If this hardware is faulty and operating inefficiently, then this will cost a future owner a lot of money. That, and faulty air conditioning or heating makes for an uncomfortable house. Some older houses might be missing HVAC services entirely, or their current hardware is very old, dirty, and/or damaged. In these cases, you’ll definitely need to consider new HVAC installation.
A home inspection may reveal damaged, dirty, or clogged air ducts, a busted furnace, or burnt-out blower fans deep in the system. Although homeowners can resort to HVAC rental during emergencies, a fully functional HVAC system in the house is very much to be desired. This means that while flipping a house, the entrepreneur may contact HVAC repair and installation crews and specify what the end result should look like. Damaged or worn-out components may be replaced with new ones, and ducts, blower fans, and the furnace can be cleaned out of all debris and grime. If the overall system is very old, then the entrepreneur can invest in an entirely new system, which will save everyone money in the long run. After all, a new system is not only clean and in good shape, but it meets modern electricity efficiency standards, which lowers the electric bill over time.
Flipping a House: Remodeling the Rooms
Now it is time for aesthetic work in the house. Even if a house is safe and solid, the owner wants it to feel like a proper living space, too. While flipping a house and conducting inspections, the entrepreneur will decide which rooms (or perhaps all of them) need some remodeling. While home remodeling does tend to cost a lot, this is money-efficient work, since remodeling can yield a high ROI (return on investment) based on how remodeled rooms boost a property’s resale value. Popular rooms such as the kitchen and master bathroom can yield an ROI as high as 70-80% when the house is sold, so the remodeling largely pays for itself. Other rooms might be remodeled as well, such as the living room or even the basement.
Remodeling is best done either while flipping a house and thus no one lives there, or while the owner is away for an extended period (especially for whole-house remodeling). Remodeling serves two purposes: replace old surfaces and items and make the room look newer and fresher aesthetics-wise. Sometimes, a remodeling job might even involve knocking down or rearranging walls, or replacing the floorboards or floor tiles. Plumbers, electricians, woodworkers, and more can be involved in this, especially in the kitchen.
What exactly will be involved? While flipping a house, remodeling crews can work on the kitchen, something that most future homeowners are bound to appreciate. After all, many people like to cook in their home kitchen, and want a clean and modern place to do that. Remodeling workers can replace an old sink with a new model, and even add a dishwasher or garbage disposal system. The stove can be swapped out for a new one, and the same may be true of the fridge. Even the countertops can be removed and updated with a new one, such as tough but attractive granite models. The backsplash tiles can be removed or replaced with fresh ones, and the lighting fixtures can be updated as well. Wallpaper, paint, and new tiles can help complete the kitchen’s new look. Finally, the cabinets can be repaired or replaced, and their doors can be sanded down and refinished.
The master bathroom is another popular target for remodeling while flipping a house. A bathroom is not just the toilet room; many homeowners like to take luxurious showers or baths in the master bathroom, not to mention shave, brush their teeth, dye their hair, apply makeup, and more. So, plumbers can be hired to swap out an old toilet for a new one, which is not only clean and modern but may also be a water-efficient low-flow model (which saves money on the water bill). The sink can be replaced too, or at least its faucet and handles. The showerhead or tub can be updated, and if elderly homeowners are expected, the tub can be the type that has a side hatch. With that hatch, an elderly user can avoid stepping over the tub’s wall and thus avoid a slipping hazard. And of course, the floor and wall tiles can be replaced as needed, not to mention the wallpaper and lighting fixtures.
Remodeling may cover the entire house at once, and make a cohesive theme across all the rooms at once. This can appeal to many home buyers, and it can even extend to the basement, too. Clutter, junk, and other messes can be removed, and the basement can have new lights added, or have its concrete floor refinished. While flipping a house, the basement might even be remodeled into a living space, with all necessary carpeting, lighting, and more. In other cases, though, the basement might be more of a generic storage space.
Flipping a House: the Exterior
This is a large topic to take seriously for house flipping. Remodeling the interior is an excellent investment, to be sure, but an ugly or shoddy exterior may make a bad impression on buyers. So, the entrepreneur can have old vinyl, wooden, or brick siding repaired, cleaned up, or even replaced, and it should be noted that vinyl siding is the easiest to replace. The gutters might be clogged, or perhaps they are very old, leak, or have broken loose from the house. In this case, gutter repair experts can repair or replace the gutters as needed, or just clean them out.
Don’t forget the roof, which should not be taken for granted. An older house’s roof may have some holes and cracks in it that will allow rain or melting snow to leak in, and intruding water causes a whole list of problems. Roof inspection crews will be hired to look it over, and then experts are hired to repair the roof, such as replacing missing tiles or pouring liquid rubber to seal the cracks and prevent new ones from forming. If the roof is very old or damaged, then it may be cheaper overall to remove the entire thing and have it replaced with a new one. A new roof is fresh, tough, and looks good to the eye, and metal roofs, in particular, are very durable and last a long time.
Flipping a House: Miscellaneous Repair
Nearly anything in a house may suffer wear and tear or damage, and some homeowners may be taken by surprise. That’s why a home inspection is so important! In fact, even the doors or windows may become compromised. Old, shabby windows and doors do not fit well in their frames, and they admit air drafts that feel uncomfortable and interfere with the HVAC system. That, and old window and doors tend to look ugly, and they are easy for burglars to force their way through. If this is the case, flipping a house should involve replacing those old windows and doors with professional aid. New windows and doors are tough, attractive, and don’t admit air leaks, and the entrepreneur may choose double-paned windows that don’t easily leak warmth in winter.
Don’t forget wall insulation, either. A house should have spray foam insulation in its walls and in the attic, which indeed helps insulate the house during summer and winter to keep HVAC costs down. But if that foam is missing or too thin, flipping a house will include hiring spray foam crews to apply new foam wherever it is needed. For smaller-scale projects, the entrepreneur can even buy spray foam gear and do this work themselves, though they must wear proper face and body protection against harmful airborne chemicals.
Flipping a house means not only choosing a prime location for property and setting a fair price, but ensuring that the property is safe, comfortable, attractive, and cost-friendly for anyone to live in. Home remodeling is no joke! The interior and exterior alike will need attention and care, from the roof to sink faucets, and tending to every piece of hardware can make for a house that is worth a fantastic price on the market.