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5 Things I Wish we Knew Before Buying a Flip House

Updated: Jan 9, 2023

As many of you saw on Instagram we are now over 7 months into our “4-month flip”. People online will say “how everyone can buy a flip house” or how “easy flipping houses is”...I’m here to tell you it’s not quite as easy as the half hour HGTV shows make it look. Well maybe if you are hiring out every contractor, however that is not ours (or most peoples) experience.

So having been in this a while (*cough cough 7 months), what have we learnt thus far?

1. Age Matters

Obviously when we bought the home we knew it was built in the 60’s however I, admittedly, was blinded by opportunity and failed to see the extra work required in a home of that age. Today homes are more energy efficient, have more codes and requirements, and are oftentimes built better…all things we failed to take into account when initially buying.

2. Be Flexible

No plan is ever set in stone. My initial design plan for our #firstflippinhouse had wood lower cabinets in the kitchen, a corner banquette, and some wood details on the exterior to tie the whole look together. Although these details would have been beautiful, when working on a project where every dollar matters you have to learn where to sacrifice (beauty) and where not to (function and structure)...even if it breaks your (my) heart a little.

3. Have Reserve Funds

Thankfully we knew from past construction projects that things never go as smoothly as anticipated so prepare for the worst…and then some. As you would have guessed, with the timeline dragging out so have the expenses. Carrying costs like insurance, utilities, and taxes for the extra time has been more than planned let alone adding in the extra work. We recommend always having access to about 15%-20% more funds than your entire renovation budget.

4. When the going gets tough, keep going

Months after the initial excitement has worn off we are still in the midst of the project and it needs to be finished. There is no quick fix or easy solution, sometimes it’s about putting your head down and just getting it done.

5. Plan Ahead

Ask any contractor or person who has tried to source items during a global pandemic… (insert face palm here). Many things we order are taking longer to get in, have price increases, or are simply no longer available requiring a 180° turn on our part (see #2). When it comes to a project of this scope, the further in advance you can plan and order the better off you'll be.

I know it's easy to show the perfect finished projects but we prefer to show the good, the bad, and the hard so you know what to expect if you decide to take on a project of this scope on your own. If you have experience flipping houses did we miss anything?



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