Nov. 12, 2018

Drexel University Thanks It's Student Veteran Population.

Honored to have come from University that has provided so many opportunities to area Veterans.

Here are a few data points relating to today's US Student Veteran Population.

73%-80% of Student Veterans are male; 21-27% are female.

Only 10-14% of military personnel being women, female Student Veterans are over-represented in postsecondary education.

Only 15% of Student Veterans are traditionally aged college students.

Most Student Veterans are between the ages of 24 and 40.

47% of Student Veterans have children. 47.3% of Student Veterans are married. 62% of Student Veterans are first-generation students.

Read more on VA.gov Student Veteran Factsheet

 

 

Nov. 9, 2018

List of Veterans Day Weekend Events in Broward County

 

Looking For Something to do for Veterans days in Broward County?

Check out these Veterans Day Weekend events in Greater Fort Lauderdale

According to a number of online sources(The Military Wallet, Sun Sentinel) there are quite a number of things to do in the area.  Looking for the best thing near you?  Here's a no BS Veterans Day event list that will give you some options.  Hoorah.  

 

1. AFWC's American Wine Experience- PARTY in the HANGAR by American Fine Wine Competition

LOVE WINE? See that picture above? Now imagine it filled with festive tables- lots and lots of wine, tons of food, incredible party music and a Chinese Raffle to benefit Dogs for Disabled Veterans.

Join us for this awesome event! Come and taste dozens and dozens of world class American wines- you'll grab a glass, and try everything from Chardonnay to Syrah, Cabernet to Albarino, Roussanne to Zinfandel! Blends, single varietals. Wines from California, Ohio, Washington, New York, Michigan, Virginia, Oregon, and more! There will even be (oh my!) an International Rose wine table. You've never been to a tasting like this!

The American Fine Wine Competition (AFWC) is excited to invite you to sample all of these delicious wines while enjoying food from area restaurants, a Chinese Auction and the (soon to be famous) "Cork Pull".

Comedian Bobby Collins Live

Bobby Collins is an American stand-up comedian and film actor. He is coming to Fort Lauderdale. Buy Tickets. 100% Buyer Guarantee. Don't miss the concert with Bobby Collins. Be there on time!

 

Oakland Park Veterans Day Ceremony

Remember and honor U.S. Military Veterans who served the United States. Join City officials and the Oakland Park American Legion Post 222 to honor all who served this country in the armed forces.

VETERANS DAY BENEFIT CONCERT

We will be showcasing the top local educational speakers and advocates in the industry. A variety of musical, art, and glass blowing talent for your enjoyment with a great selection of local vendors to shop from and much, much more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Stuff to do
Nov. 8, 2018

Why Greater FTL?

 
Nov. 8, 2018

Give Me Land, Lots of Land… 5 Things to Keep In Mind

florida land for saleLand can be a good investment, whether you intend to build a house or business on a particular lot or simply want a place where you can stretch your legs and breathe a bit more deeply. After all, they’re not making any more of it (ok, technically this isn’t true, but you’d need to be volcano adjacent to get dibs on brand new land).

Buying land can be tricky, though, even after you secure a mortgage for it. There are several important real estate concepts you’re going to want to familiarize yourself with.

Lessons in Land Buying

Unlike purchasing a house in an established neighborhood, where everything is pretty obvious and cut and dry, land can throw a lot of weird wrenches into the works. Let’s take a look at the most important aspects to keep in mind before and during your land acquisition.

1.Title Restrictions

Before you even set foot on a piece of property you’re interested in purchasing, ask about title restrictions. These are conditions that, when met, could go as far as to revoke your ownership or punish you in other serious ways. For example, if you’re interested in land for farm and you come across a lovely place that happens to border on public forest, you may be restricted from owning sheep because of the danger they pose to the unique neighboring trees.

Another more common example would be that the title restricts your subdividing the land. If you just want to get away from neighbors, that probably won’t be an issue for you, but if you had planned to build some houses on that land and splitting off the parts you don’t want to keep, you’re in trouble.

Always check the title restrictions because many will run with the land (that means they’re enforceable as long as the land exists). Don’t assume that because they’re 50 or 60 years old they’re unenforceable. They are.

2. Easements

Easements are a very specific type of property ownership where the legal use of your land is granted to another person or company. A good example of this is the utility easement that often runs along one edge of a home’s lot. That easement gives the utility company the right to go in and perform necessary upgrades and repairs without having to beg and plead with homeowners for permission.

Before you make an offer on any piece of land, it’s important to know what easements, if any, apply. There almost certainly is a utility easement somewhere, but there can also be private easements granted by any former owner that could remain with the property. It’s much better to know what it is that you’re buying and how much of that land is usable. If you don’t understand the maps that show these easements, ask your Realtor to explain them to you.

3. Landlocked Property

In the United States, there is no such thing as a landlocked property. That being said, there are properties that appear to be landlocked because there’s no way to access them from the road. In these situations, a right-of-way easement is created to allow unencumbered access to the landlocked property.

If you’re the one buying the “landlocked” property, these easements are generally not a point of concern. However, as a seller, right-of-way easements can hurt the value of your land and create an additional expense maintaining that strip of Earth you can’t use for other purposes.

4. Surveys

Buying a house in a subdivision is easy because the land has already been surveyed and small metal pins placed at the corners of the lots. Even if your bank wanted some sort of survey done for a single family home purchase, all the surveyor has to do is find those pins and mark them. Ultimately, they’ll record your property as something like “Lot 12, Smith’s Addition, Your Town, State.”

When it comes to land, the story is very different. First, a surveyor has to do a bit of research beforehand to figure out where the parcel’s boundaries should be. Land is one of those things that can stay in families for decades, or even longer. Depending on where you live, that empty property could reasonably still be held by the original family to take title. It creates a significant challenge for surveyors.

Regardless, you need that survey to ensure that the land you’re buying is the land you think you’re buying. The surveyor can also verify the easements you’ve been told exist. Once that’s established and everyone is in agreement, you can go to Closing with confidence.

5. Adverse Possession

There’s nothing in the real estate sphere as confusing and infuriating as adverse possession. This is a situation where someone, often a neighbor, has managed to somehow use your land without your permission over a long period of time. Through a series of events, they then become the legal owner. And you won’t see one red cent ever.

This sometimes happens in urban and suburban neighborhoods when a homeowner installs a fence, for example. They may not even realize they’ve crossed the lot line. It’s nowhere near the same issue as it is when you’re buying land. Acreages can see significant shrinkage if a fence is even a few feet over the line. If the lot line is 300 feet long and the neighbor is intruding by two feet, that’s 600 square feet that you no longer control and may be at risk of losing.

Fortunately, if you catch the problem early, you can take actions to reclaim your land and rid yourself of your accidental squatter (because, let’s face it, most of the time it is an accident).

Step 1: Ask the neighbor nicely to move their fence. Show them your survey so they can see where the fence should be.
Step 2: Post “No:Trespassing” signs that are visible to the neighbor. This removes the “hostile claim” condition of a successful adverse possession claim. “Hostile” in this situation means that they’re using your land against your will.
Step 3: If the neighbor needs to continue to use the land for some reason, have them sign a land lease and demand a small rental fee. Again, this will remove the hostile claim condition, but in a much more concrete way.
Step 4: Lawyer up because it’s time to take this thing to court. Although the time that a squatter must occupy property to take it as their own varies, the sooner these issues are addressed, the better. The court can force your neighbor the squatter to move his fence to where it belongs.

No one wants to take their neighbors to court, so try everything else first. If you and the neighbor can come to an amicable agreement about the fence placement, you’ll be in a much better place to have a harmonious long term relationship with them.

Are You Ready to Own Your Own Bit of Earth?

Buying land can be a scary proposition. The upkeep and planning for its future alone can be overwhelming. Don’t panic! Your HomeKeepr family is just waiting for you to put them to work keeping the grass cut, drawing up plans for your future home or business and bringing it all to life. Just ask your Realtor for recommendations from the community and wait to be connected to the best of the best in your area!

Sept. 26, 2018

Can Millennials Move On and Up?

Can Millennials Move On and Up?

By Suzanne De Vita

RISMEDIA, Wednesday, April 11, 2018—

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the biggest cohort of homebuyers, millennials are exercising influence in the market in unprecedented ways. They are at the center of demand for housing—built-up after many moved back in with their parents, and now releasing slowly, but surely, as the crash fades from memory. 

 

There are factors, however, that could keep a lid on the millennial move-out. According to Freddie Mac's monthly Insight, recently released, the amount of households led by young adults is down 3.6 percent from 2000—attributable to costly homes and stagnating wages. From 2000 to 2016, earnings grew just 1 percent for young adults; by comparison, home prices grew 29 percent. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), in March, home prices were up 5.9 percent year-over-year. 

 

Analysts at Freddie believe the gap is too great to ignore. They posit that affordability constraints are the cause of more than one-quarter of the decline in the formation of households by young adults—and If the climb in costs persists, there could be dire implications for the market. For millennials, even an incremental rise could stall them: A 1 percent hike in home prices cuts the likelihood millennials will head up their own household by 5 percent. (A 1 percent increase in income, inversely, ups the odds 3 percent.)

 

"Housing costs are a major factor holding back young adult household formations," says Len Kiefer, deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac. "Our research results indicate that 28 percent of the decline in young adult household formation is due to housing costs. If housing costs continue to rise, we could see about 600,000 fewer households over the next decade."

 

Another factor? Timing. The catalysts (conventionally) for forming a household—aging, children and/or marriage—are not occurring as quickly. Comparing young adults in 2000 and 2016, data on fertility and marriages is lower now than it was—and according to realtor.com® research, "family needs" are the biggest millennial motivator for a purchase. 

 

If conditions improve for millennials, Freddie forecasts an additional 19-21 million households by 2025. The alternative, the analysts believe, could have critical consequences for homeownership, investing and overall wealth.

Sept. 24, 2018

Understanding Cap Rate

How to Calculate the Cap Rate

The cap rate is an important concept in real estate investmenting and it is widely used. There is often confusion about how to calculate the cap rate using various methods. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate several ways to calculate the cap rate.

How to Calculate the Cap Rate Ratio

Perhaps the simplest place to start is to calculate the actual cap rate ratio. The cap rate ratio is just net operating income (NOI) divided by value, so if we know what a property’s net operating income is and we also know what a property’s value is, then we can easily calculate the cap rate.

How to Calculate Cap Rate

For example, suppose we know that a property has an NOI of $100,000 and a value of $1,000,000. Then we can calculate a cap rate by dividing $100,000 by $1,000,000:

How to Calculate Cap Rate Example

This results in a cap rate of 10%.

How to Calculate the Cap Rate with Sales Comps

Since a property’s value is often what we don’t know, it is common to simply divide our known net operating income by a market based cap rate. This will tell us what a property’s value is.

How to Calculate Cap Rate Value

Calculating a property’s net operating income is easy enough, but if we don’t know what the market based cap rate is, then how do we calculate it?

One approach is to find comparable properties that have recently sold. Then we can take those comparable sale prices and calculate a cap rate. For example, suppose we observe the following recent sales of similar properties:

How to Calculate Cap Rate From Sales Comps

Based on our knowledge of the local market we might decide to simply average all three of these cap rates to get a market based cap rate of 8.33%. Now we can use this market based cap rate to figure out a value for our property. If our property has an NOI of $100,000 then we can find its value like this:

How to Calculate Cap Rate From Comps Example

This is the expected market value of our property using the direct capitalization method, based on recent comparable sales we observed in the local market.

How to Calculate the Cap Rate Using the Discount Rate

Another way to calculate the cap rate is based on the relationship between the cap rate and the discount rate. When income and value grow at a constant rate, then the discount rate is equal to the cap rate plus the growth rate. This idea comes from the dividend discount model, also known as the Gordon Model, which is used to value a stock.

How to calculate cap rate discount rate

We can re-arrange this equation to solve for cap rate, which says that the cap rate is equal to the discount rate minus the growth rate:

How to Calculate Cap Rate Growth Rate

So, if we know the required rate of return (discount rate) for a property, and we also know the expected growth rate for the property’s NOI, then we can calculate the cap rate. For example, suppose we know the discount rate is 12% and the NOI growth rate is expected to be 3%. This is how we can estimate the cap rate:

How to Calculate Cap Rate Growth Rate Example

The cap rate is calculated as 12% minus 3%, or 9%.

Conclusion

In this article we discussed several ways to calculate the cap rate. First, we talked about how to calculate the simple capitalization rate ratio when you know both the NOI as well as the value of a property. Next we discussed how to estimate the cap rate when you don’t know the value of a property. This can be done by finding cap rates for recent sales of comparable properties. Finally, we covered the relationship between the cap rate and the discount rate and walked through an example of how the cap rate can be calculated based on the discount rate and the expected growth rate of net operating income.

 

July 28, 2018

Membership Required Golf Communities

What Makes Country Club Communities Different?

The Golf

Member-owned, equity clubs are the most exclusive and the most expensive, but they usually offer amenities not available at less expensive clubs. Equity Fees can vary, an initiation fees can be between 5,000-250,000. The result is both a smaller general membership, as many restrict play to residents and guests. According to Golf Week:  "Because there is more money available for maintenance and because fewer players put less wear and tear on the course. For the same reason, the facilities and food might be of much higher quality than those offered at a public course."

The Homes

Most Golf communities offer a number of  smaller communities at varying price points in a surprising variation of styles.  Also, since the course and HOA dues employ a large staff to maintain the community.  The result can lead to amazing communities.   The homes themselves follow trends in years of construction elsewhere.   From studio condos to estate homes, most clubs have a large variation.

Posted in Property Feature
July 26, 2018

4 Mortgage Programs For Homebuyers

Whether you’re thinking about buying your first home or you’ve been contemplating an upgrade, you probably already know that there are several different kinds of home mortgages, some that seem pretty much alike at face value. FHA, VA, USDA — what does it all mean?! We’re about to take all the stress out of choosing the mortgage that’s right for you and your family (even if that family is just you and Spot the cat).

Mortgage Basics in a Nutshell

There are a few different elements of a mortgage that are important to understand before we move forward in this process. You already know stuff like interest rates and what your payment and interest payments are, but there are other things that might not be quite so well settled in your mind. Most homeowners have questions about the following mortgage related definitions:

Loan features. When you get a mortgage, it often has other stuff that comes with it. After all, this isn’t the same as borrowing money from your mom, banks have fancy lawyers who make sure they earn their keep. You may notice features like “assumability” and “prepayment penalty” listed on your initial loan form.

Assumable loans are loans that you can literally transfer to another person when they buy your house. This is useful when interest rates are climbing, sometimes people will pay more for a lower interest rate mortgage they can take over.

Prepayment penalties are very bad and you don’t want this. Basically, you’re punished for paying your loan off early. Typically, they’re part of subprime lending, but you never know when one might pop up elsewhere. Since “prepayment” includes the payoff from selling your home, there’s no winning with this one.

Mortgage insurance. There’s been a lot of talk about mortgage insurance, both for better and worse. To put it simply, mortgage insurance makes it possible for you to bring a downpayment as little as about three percent to closing with FHA or conventional type mortgages. It’s a type of insurance that you pay for in case you were to default on the loan. If you do, the insurance company pays out your coverage to your bank, reducing the amount you may be responsible for if the house can’t bring enough at the foreclosure sale to cover your remaining note.

Down payment. Down payments are your initial investment in your home. Many times, home buyers are surprised to see that they have to bring both closing costs and a down payment, having assumed the two were the same. The down payment goes to the bank as proof of your commitment. We’ll get to closing costs.

Closing costs. Closing costs are the bane of buyers everywhere. They can seriously mount as things like appraisals, title insurance, fees to the bank (separate from your down payment) and prepaid items like taxes and homeowner’s insurance add up. Some programs will allow you to ask the seller to pay these on your behalf, but the amount you can ask for is limited to a percentage of the sales price and based on the program you’re using. For many homeowners, closing costs will be similar in price to their down payment, which is where the confusion typically starts.

Pick Your Poison: The Four Basic Home Mortgage Types

Understand that these are not the only mortgages out there, but they are the ones that you’re most likely to use in order to buy a home. Each has its own set of benefits and drawbacks, which we’ll discuss briefly.

Conventional Conforming

If you’ve heard of Sallie Mae or Freddie Mac, you know the family of conventional loans. These loans are written by a wide range of banks, from your hometown locally owned to the fanciest mortgage broker. “Conforming” loans meet Sallie and Freddie’s high requirements, including maximum sales price.

Pros: Generally, you’ll get a better deal on mortgage insurance that automatically drops off (meaning you no longer have to pay it) once your home reaches a 78 percent loan to value ratio. Also, you’ll pay less in closing costs and your debt to income ratio can be somewhat flexible as long as look really good on paper.

Cons: These are generally the hardest loans to qualify for. Even though there are now three to five percent down payment options, your credit score will need to be around 700 (better is better) and your other ducks should be lined up nice and straight. Consistent employment, savings that can be designated as “reserve funds” and few to no scabs on your credit report are helpful.

Federal Housing Authority

The FHA started insuring loans after the Great Depression as a way of helping people get back into owned property. It basically created the 30 year fixed interest mortgage and continues to carefully oversee which homes can and cannot be purchased in its name.

Pros: Good option for first time buyers because of low down payment and credit requirements. FHA will accept “soft” credit lines for people who haven’t established credit yet or have very little, so keep that utility bill paid on time. The program allows up to six percent of your closing costs to be financed into your loan, as “seller paid items,” which can help reduce the actual cash you need to close.

Cons: FHA requires a lot more in closing costs because of the additional upfront mortgage insurance deposit. In addition, if you have less than a 10 percent down payment, under the current programs you’ll be forced to keep paying mortgage insurance for the life of the loan, giving you no options but to refinance or sell down the line if you want rid of it (it’s costly, you want rid of it). Not every banker wants to deal with FHA loans because they can be time consuming to write, so you may have to shop a bit to find a good bank.

Veterans Administration

As part of the benefits that active military members and veterans receive from the government, VA loans are built on a merit-based system. Career military and those honorably discharged early are generally eligible, but short-term members or Reserves may have to meet additional requirements. Anyone who can get this loan will need to bring a Certificate of Eligibility in order to get the ball rolling with an approved lender.

Pros: Favorable interest rates, extremely flexible guidelines and absolutely nothing required as a downpayment (often little to nothing required at closing!) There’s no mortgage insurance, just a one time “funding fee” that varies with your service type, downpayment and times you’ve used your Eligibility.

Cons: Really, there aren’t any. You can’t get this if you’re not military, though, so that could be a con if you really wanted this most excellent loan type.

US Department of Agriculture

In rural areas, the US Department of Agriculture will offer mortgage lending as a way of helping to keep the local economy flowing. Homes don’t have to be on an acreage, but they do need to be located in communities with under 35,000 inhabitants.

Pros: Like VA, USDA are fairly easy to qualify for as the buyer. They can also be zero down loans, though the more you can bring to closing the better. Payment assistance and other types of help are sometimes available for very low income borrowers.

Cons: The house you’re buying will undergo significant scrutiny in order to be approved for the program. In all loan programs, your house has to qualify, but the hurdles USDA puts in front of the building are much larger than most other programs. This is good for you, because it means you’re getting a great house, but it makes the process take a lot longer and can be scary for sellers. In addition, there’s a cap on income for potential borrowers.

Need a Mortgage? Who Ya Gonna Call?

HomeKeepr! Wait, that’s a different thing. But, seriously, whether you’re looking for more answers to your burning lending questions, need a plumber to fix your leaky faucet or a party planner to celebrate your finally closing on that loan, your HomeKeepr community has contact information for them all. Just log in and check out all the specialties your HomeKeepr family has to offer — they’re recommended by your Realtor, so you know you can count on these experts.

July 24, 2018

Mortgage Brokers VS Mortgage Bankers

You’re just swinging in your hammock on a sunny summer day when an ad pops up on YouTube for home equity loans. It sounds like a pretty good deal and you have been wanting to put a pool in for years, but it’s a bank you’ve never heard of, and a quick message to your group chat reveals that no one you know has, either.

What you might have witnessed was an advertisement for a mortgage broker. Like a mortgage banker, a mortgage broker can find a mortgage loan for your situation, but that’s where the two start to diverge.

Brokers and Bankers and Mortgages, Oh My!

Let’s start with some simple explanations just so we’re all on the same page.

Mortgage Bankers are people who work for a specific bank, like Main Street Bank USA, and help customers of the bank (and potential customers) apply for mortgages that Main Street Bank USA funds. They only write loans for their employer, except in a few special cases. They’re typically paid a salary by the bank they work for, whether your loan is $50k or $500k.

Mortgage Brokers, on the other hand, have permission to sell loans from a portfolio of wholesale investing clients. These may be traditional banks like Big Bank USA (these are fake banks, just so we’re clear), or they may be investment groups like In It For The Interest, LLC. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, but because a broker makes their money solely on commission, unscrupulous ones may be tempted to put their own interests above yours. Always vet any type of lender, for peace of mind, if nothing else.

How Mortgage Bankers Work

Mortgage bankers may have a more limited product line they can use to finance your home-related loan, but they have a great deal more control over them because all the underwriting is done within the bank itself. Your local branch might not originate loans, but there’s someone nearby that your banker can call to check status and collaborate with to solve problems like a loan that you’re all by a hair’s width from being able to qualify for.

When a banker takes your application, they may literally forward it to the next room, where local people get to work to verify your income, length of employment and so forth. If you have your checking account with the same bank, you can often skip the tedious submission of income document after income document, since they can pull a lot of information from that checking account.

When the underwriter is comfortable that you’re able to qualify for the loan you’re seeking, they call the title company that you (or you and the seller, in the case of a purchase) agreed to use. They probably already have a relationship with this company since it’s nearby. When they send documents over, the title company doesn’t wonder what to expect from your closing.

How Mortgage Brokers Work

Mortgage Brokers take your application up front, then shop their lenders to see who can make you the best loan based on your credit history, income and desired loan amount. Often, brokers can do things that bankers can’t, even though a banker knows the loan originator by their first name. For example, helping people with troublesome credit is sometimes an area of specialization for brokers. They have access to all sorts of unusual loans that can turn a hopeful into a homeowner, or at least a pool owner.

This is both bad and good. On one hand, you got a loan — woohoo! — but on the other, you’re going to pay for it. These kinds of loans are rarely cheap because the broker’s fees have to be figured into the equation somewhere. Remember, they get paid on commission, not on salary. A normal broker fee can be as much as two percent of your loan amount.

When a mortgage broker pulls off a miracle you were really counting on, though, that two percent seems pretty cheap. Really, it’s all relative to your needs and what’s realistic for your financial situation. Before you choose a broker, make sure that you’ve really vetted them because each company and broker can be as wildly varied as the portfolios they have to sell. Ask around, check online reviews, ask your Realtor their opinion. Chances are good that someone knows a reputable broker that they can set you up with rather than letting you jump in blind.

Which to Choose… and Where to Find Them?

If you’ve decided that you’re absolutely committed to putting in that pool this summer, you’ll need a reputable lender to help you finance all the cement and whatnot. Luckily, both mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers are members of the HomeKeepr community! Log in to see who your Realtor recommends and then give them a call. You’ll save time in lender meet and greets, letting you trade that hammock in for a pizza slice shaped raft sooner.

June 29, 2018

Five Features of a Fantastic Flip

 

Now that you’ve bought a home of your own, you might be thinking that you’re kind of good at handywork and you want to give flipping a go. It’s certainly one way to make money in today’s somewhat volatile market, provided you know what to look for in an optimally flippable property. Of course, the house that flips best in downtown Newark probably won’t be the same one that flips amazingly in Dallas, but there are some general things you can look for in a fantastically flippable house.

Five Focal Features of a Flippable Find

Buying a flip should be a numbers game. You’re not buying your own place to make memories, you don’t have to live there, so the house that you have in mind for your first flip should be one that’s not needing too much repair work, but is seriously undervalued.

This happens frequently when an older person goes into a medical facility long-term or they pass away. It’s much more common for children that inherit a property to want to move it as quickly as they can, rather than fight over who gets to live in mom’s house. That’s why you’ll often see several promising properties in neighborhoods that are more than 30 years old — many of those owners bought when they were early to mid-career, all at the same time, and, well, time makes fools of us all.

Your ideal flip looks something like this:

It’s structurally sound. Unless you are absolutely stealing this property, there’s no substitution for structural soundness. You can’t flip a house that’s on a crumbling foundation. You can do a preliminary assessment yourself by carefully looking at the roofline. If it’s straight and sharp, the chances are good that the rest is, too, but don’t skip a professional structural inspection. If the roofline is wavy, the roof itself is cupped or it’s doing anything except being a good and proper roof, keep on looking.

The systems are solid. You can drop some serious money on updating or replacing electrical, HVAC, plumbing and roofing, so make sure that your flip has most of these in good, working order with long life expectancies. Your home inspector can give you an idea about how much time each should have remaining. Most flips can absorb one of these items, so don’t pass on a great deal just because it needs an electrical update — unless, of course, there are other big issues.

The house just doesn’t look like much. Even when the market is highly competitive, small changes can make all the difference. The plain little house tucked behind that bushy tree is not going to be on anybody’s short list, unless they’re looking to flip. Get a tree crew in there to groom or remove that monster, add some shutters in a contrasting color, dress up the landscaping with perennials and bam! Instant (almost) curb appeal.

There are a lot of memorable cosmetic items. If you look at a house and your brain keeps trying to sort out what it is that you’re seeing, you might be in a fantastically flippable property. Bright green carpet, fuschia backsplashes, mirrors on the bathroom walls? Nailed it! These are often the real gems, provided that the cosmetic stuff is what’s scaring buyers away. That cosmetic stuff is a serious turn-off for so many people who can’t see beyond the ugly to that potential house under the surface. Obviously, that homeowner cared about their place or they’d not have added so many personal touches, so chances are good that you’ll find most everything that costs a lot to be in good working order.

It’s a fine representative of the overall neighborhood. Ok, so the walnut paneling and the bright orange carpet have to go, but in terms of the architectural style, size, age and general upkeep, a good flip is the one that looks like it fits into the neighborhood. Not too big, not too small, not too weird. Especially not too weird.

Ready to Start Flipping Houses? You’re Gonna Need Some Pros…

Even the best flippers — especially the best flippers — have a team of experts at their disposal. Whether you’re acting as a general contractor or just directing the person who is, your main role is to pick out materials and coordinate the repairs to come. But don’t worry, you already have access to the best network of home pros in your area in your HomeKeepr community. Connect with the experts you need, any time, and make your first flip a total success.