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Photo of house that has been flipped, from Code of the West Real Estate, finding Colorado mountain homes for sale

By Hannah Simpson

Succeeding as a Senior House Flipper

Flipping houses can be an excellent business for seniors looking for extra income. If you’re wondering how you can succeed in this niche, Code of the West Real Estate shares what you need to know.

Finding and Buying Your First Flip Property

When looking for your first flip property, focus on two guiding tenets. First, location always matters, so focus on areas with rising home prices in neighborhoods that are popular with buyers. Second, look for the worst house on the best block to see if it has flip potential.

After finding a home with potential, assess the amount of work and money required to whip it into shape. Some issues cost a lot of money but don’t offer a great return on investment (ROI). If you have numerous projects in that category that aren’t avoidable, you may be better off looking elsewhere.

Once you have a solid option, you’ll need to place an offer. In a perfect world, it’s best to buy flip houses with cash, especially if they aren’t eligible for a conventional mortgage. If it is eligible, you can potentially go with a conventional or rehab mortgage. Hard money loans are another option.

After placing the offer, get a formal inspection to learn about any missed issues. Then, update your repair estimate to reassess your budget.

An important component of your budget will be how much you have to spend on labor. In order to control costs, check out payroll software to help you manage. The software will be able to track labor, withhold necessary taxes, and create direct deposits in minutes. And having all your cost information in one place will help you keep your projects on budget.

Must-Do Home Improvements for Flips:

Critical System and Structural Repairs

At the beginning of your flip, focus on critical system and structural repairs. Along with turning off buyers, some home loans have standards regarding livability. If there are issues with the structure, electrical, plumbing, or HVAC, that could hurt the home’s eligibility under many programs.

Plus, during a flip, there are formal inspections. If an inspector sees a problem relating to those areas, you’re often forced to address them. That’s why it’s best to do it when you have the cash and before you proceed with other projects.

Bathroom and Kitchen Updates

As many real estate professionals will tell you, kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. What you do in the kitchen may depend on what’s in place. If the cabinets are in good shape and the layout is functional, you could refinish them if they’re wood. Another affordable option is to reface the cabinets, making the existing ones look brand new.

Usually, you’ll want to replace outdated countertops. Going with quartz is a smart move. Not only is it durable and homeowner-friendly, but it’s available in an array of colors and patterns.

Another excellent option for the kitchen is a new range hood. Range hoods vent grease, smoke, and odors from the kitchen, leaving the air cleaner. Plus, they can be attractive design elements, but they can also be discreet if you opt for the under-cabinet variety.

For the bathroom, consider the condition of the fixtures. New tile or paint could be enough if you want a simple refresh. Having a tub reglazed can also work wonders. However, if the fixtures are dingy or outdated, replace them to get the best final look.

Walls and Flooring Refreshes

Updating the walls and floors can completely update the look of a flip home. Plus, these projects are relatively low-cost in many cases.

If you have hardwood floors, consider refinishing them. It costs around $1,783 on average, and you often recoup 100 percent of the cost at resale. In some cases, you may even come out ahead.

Otherwise, consider what’s typical in the area. If hardwood is the norm, you can still get a 70 to 80 percent ROI while meeting buyer expectations. If that isn’t common, consider an alternative, like luxury vinyl plank.

For the walls, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders. However, consider customizable wallpaper for your home if you want to take things to the next level. You can add attractive, elegant, and original designs with ease. Plus, if you go with peel-and-stick options, the application is easy. Along with being removable, it’s repositionable. If you go with a print-on-demand wallpaper, you can get the exact design you want since everything is functionally in-stock.

Selling Your Flip House

After finishing the flip, your best bet for selling is working with a local real estate agent. You’ll have a professional by your side who can handle the nuances of the sale. Plus, you’ll usually get more than if you sold on your own. Finally, it lets you focus on your next flip, making it easier to keep your business moving forward.

How Can Code of the West Real Estate Help?

We can also give you some tips on how to avoid construction delays while you’re flipping or how to stage your flip for instant ROI when selling!

Or for help finding your next mountain home for sale in Colorado to flip or to market your recently renovated home, reach out to the experts at Code of the West Real Estate today! We’ve got the line on plenty of prime, flippable real estate in Durango, Walsenburg, Trinidad, Cañon City, Pueblo, and more Southern Colorado areas. 

Code of the West Real Estate
Code of the West Real Estate
(719) 742-3626
215 S. Main St. La Veta CO 81055
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