How to Flip a House For Profit

Restoring old houses for profit can bring in a good income if you know what to look for before you buy a fixer-upper.

| July/August 1982

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    There are a few tricks for choosing a house to fix up or "flip" for profit.

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Rehabbing — that is, buying up old dwellings and restoring them for profitable resale — can, for folks who are willing to invest a bit of initiative and effort, net up to $40,000 per house. But, unless the buyer knows exactly how to choose a home to rehab, he or she could easily take on a loser and end up kissing a lot of hard-earned money goodbye.


What Not to Do When Selecting a Home to Restore


I know of one man who found what he thought was an incredible bargain for only $23,500. Sure, the house needed a little repair, but it seemed like a steal at the price. Unfortunately, as soon as he started to work on the dwelling, my acquaintance found that the more things he fixed, the more things he discovered that needed to be fixed.

The wiring, for example — which had been added to the house after it was built in 1910 — was all exposed and had to be brought up to code. He wound up replacing the plumbing, too, and these two jobs added $12,000 to his cash outlay. A new roof cost him $1,500, and installing a foundation (after finding out that there wasn't one) set him back another $4,500.

Next, the disheartened owner discovered that much of the wooden framing had been chewed to lace by an infestation of termites. Fumigation and wood replacement cost the poor fellow $2,000 more.


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