14 Rules for House-Flipping Success

We’ve covered a lot of ground in this column over the last two years, so let’s catch our breath and review some principles of successful property flipping. Here’s a review: 1. Don’t let anyone tell you that flipping properties is either illegal or unethical. It is neither. Flippers simply provide a ready market to help motivated…

Special Insurance Considerations for Vacant Properties

Much as we’d all love to sell a flipped property within a week of putting it on the market, we all know it doesn’t always happen that way. Indeed, it probably shouldn’t: A big part of the engine that drives flipping profits – at least in the flippin insider way of thinking, is to find…

The Best Mobile Apps for Flippers

This is a good topic to revisit every once in a while because apps are always improving, and they’re always coming out with new ones. Thinking back even 10 years now, I don’t know how we managed without smartphones! If you’ve been wanting to leverage technology into productivity and profitability, here are some proven solutions…

Renovations and the Importance of a Margin of Safety

It’s been a long dry spell, but it’s looking like significant improvements are providing a better return on investment for real estate investors than they have in years. That’s good news for flippers, because that’s just one more way for a fix-and-flipper to add value. The latest Cost vs. Value Report, done every year by…

Tax Deductions for Flippers!

Tax season is here – and as any veteran flipper knows, it ain’t what you have – it’s what you get to keep. In the flipping business, deductions are crucial. Unless you have a handle on your expenses, and can accurately deduct them, the Internal Revenue Service can only tax you on your gross. If…

Pipe Dreams – and Nightmares: Avoiding Plumbing Trouble

There’s a wonderful scene in the 1987 movie “Moonstruck” that any veteran homeowner or contractor can relate to. A plumber, Cosmo Castorini, played by Vincent Gardenia, is inspecting some old, leaky pipes in someone’s apartment. He makes a show of scraping gunk off the pipes with a penknife, and turns to the homeowners and says,…

Houseflipping in Hipsterville: Profiting From Gentrification

The good news is that RealtyTrac has released its listing of the best 20 zip codes for flipping to hipsters – and they’re great markets! The bad news is that these markets will probably suck now that they’ve been discovered. Even worse, anyone who starts flipping houses in these zip codes is going to have…

Beyond the Mortgage: Other Forms of Financing for Flippers

When most people think of borrowing to buy real estate, they think of mortgage debt, naturally – and particularly of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and of course the VA and FHA options. Most of these vehicles are closely associated with owner-occupied real estate – and the VA and FHA require the owner to occupy the…

How to Flip Like Warren Buffett

Don’t look now, but Warren Buffett is now getting more involved in the real estate world. Now, for most veteran stock investors, Warren Buffett needs no introduction. He is the chairperson of a holding company called Berkshire Hathaway, and is arguably the most successful investor alive. He doesn’t owe his fortune to a great invention…

Insurance Considerations for Real Estate Investors

In any kind of investing, making money is only half the battle. You must also expend considerable effort, time and capital on protecting your gains and making sure they aren’t stripped away from you, whether by an act of God, a criminal act on someone else’s part, or just random misfortune. After all, every successful…