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The Realities of Real Estate: 4 Mistakes to Avoid When Flipping a Home

By Lizzie Weakley | February 8, 2019

You've likely watched quite a few home-flipping renovation shows on TV and thought you might have the skill and insight to try your hand at it. When done right, flipping homes can be quite a lucrative deal. However, for beginners, it can be easy to make a few costly mistakes that might end making them lose money instead. To make sure you don't make these mistakes, consider these four things to avoid. 

Passing On the Home Inspection 
Barring the scenario that you're planning to tear the entire home down, it's critical that you hire a home inspector to check the house. They can tell you about all of the issues that the house has that you'll likely have to deal with if you buy it. You may find that the home needs too many structural repairs that fit into your budget. With their inspection, they can offer you information and advice on whether to flip the home or just walk away. 

Overestimating Your Skills 
Unless you happen to be an actual constructor, plumber, or have experience with carpet installation, it's likely that you're learning renovation skills on the job. It's important to understand that you're learning and thus need a mentor of some kind. If you attempt to do everything by yourself the first few times, you're likely going to spend more money having to redo the mistakes that you made. Take the cost and hire some experienced help to show you the ropes the first few times you renovate. 

Incorrect Budgeting 
Another big killer for beginners is underestimating the budget. This is easy to do since more flippers want the house to fit into their budget. More often than not, however, the project is always going to go over budget. You'll find repairs that you hadn't considered before that need to be done. There may be an accident or an incorrect material that was ordered. These problems will occur and will drive up your budget. So make sure you plan high rather than low. 

Making It Your Home 
Many flippers think they have great taste and that everyone would want to live in a home that they would want to live in. This isn't always the case. You can't allow yourself to fall in love with the property. Instead of renovating it according to your taste, stick with neutrals that people can easily customize once they purchase the home. 

Flipping a home can be a great business if done correctly. By avoiding these four common mistakes, you can start your business off right and flip houses successfully.

Lizzie Weakley is a freelance writer and Realty Biz News contributor.
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