To Flip Or Not To Flip In Myrtle Beach

Dated: 03/05/2018

Views: 474

Image UpsidedownhouseMany people are trying to jump into the "fast money" real estate flipping dream. While it looks easy on a 60 minute TV show, some have no idea how much work, time and money go into a successful flip. As a seasoned agent I have worked with quite a few investors and new "flippers". The biggest factor when going into a flip is money, hard money and lots of it. Sure you can borrow the money but that too can add significantly to the cost of the investment.

One big issue that I have noticed with many with "first-time flippers" is that inexperienced, regular homeowners are attempting to do a professionals job! Sure anyone can slap up tile on a wall but OMG! some of the work that I have seen looks like my 8 year old did it! To be successful at flipping you must do good, detailed, quality work. Does anyone know what bull nose tile is? How about quarter round wood trim? Do you know how many times I've seen wall paint on the ceiling, trim and floors in a remodeled home. I once (I'll never get over this) went into a 1980's double wide mobile home that was a flip where the flippers put beautiful granite on top of the original cheap, particle board cabinets, throughout the whole house. Why, why, why would anyone ever do that? My point being if you are going to flip do it right! Stay away from too much color on the walls, floors and back splash. Trendy things like busy glass back splash, grey everything and wood walls can hurt your buying pool because not everyone likes those trends, neutral rules!   

In the Myrtle Beach area profit margins have slimmed, due to so many people wanting to invest here and because there is a limited supply of inventory. Banks that hold foreclosures and short sales, know what they're doing, those sneaky little boogers. They leave many homes just sit there until supplies dwindle which drives up demand and increases prices.  Very few distressed homes are selling for less that asking price these days, they love, love, love those bidding wars!

If you finally win a bid on a distressed home, then comes the closing costs, taxes, title insurance and attorney fees. In South Carolina you must hire an attorney to do your closing.I usually recommend for the buyer to hire their own attorney so to protect the buyer and set a higher standard of accountability.  Not that the seller's attorney doesn't do a good job it's just that they, in fact, represent the seller first. Some think that if they use the sellers attorney it will be cheaper, which it may be, $100 dollars less or so, but to be sure that all "I"'s are dotted and "T"'s are crossed that little bit of savings is not worth piece of mind! I am sure you have heard the phrase "buyer beware", a buyer always should get a "clean title" and not a Quit Claim Deed. (That's another blog!) 

I always recommend that home inspection be done by a licensed inspector and preferably a well known one with a good reputation of protecting the buyer. On so many of these TV shows they supposedly find these "surprise" expenses for the buyers which could have been totally avoided, had a home inspector been hired. Of coarse there can be hidden surprises behind walls and insulation but the first step should always be a home inspection. No one likes those types of surprises! 

After getting past all of that paperwork, then comes the design, if you are not good with this and are possibly a man, (just kidding) get help with this. Books Online, professionals, Realtors and other experienced flippers can help. While designing remember to go with what buyers want, not what YOU like! Budget, Budget, Budget but realistically...get estimates in writing! Some of the estimates I see on TV are not real unless these people are working for free. Good work deserves good pay. Getting buddies to do work for you can ruin a good friendship, beware. Oh, speaking of work, what about permits! In most areas in a house anytime you move walls, remove walls, replace wood, inside or out, move electrical, plumbing, HVAC etc... you must get a permit! and have the work inspected. If I was buying or selling a remodeled home, I'd want proof that this work was overseen by a general contractor and permitted, wouldn't you?

For some reason people who flip forget about the best and least expensive area to improve, the outside! One should always remember first impressions make lasting impressions. Pressure wash the dirty driveways, house and soffits. Ons should add, clean, repair/ replace gutters, a gutter-less house looks unfinished and can have water issues! Trim trees and shrubs, remove dead anything! Do a quality mulch job, cheap mulch and landscapers do cheap looking work. Plant fresh flowers, manicure the lawn or invest in sod (which must be watered daily) and have a beautiful front door (with a new door mat) that everyone must enter through. Nothing kills a showing faster than having the buyers walk through a back or side door. YUK!

Hiring a good realtor to list your property will pay for itself. Some of the best realtors are not always the ones who advertises how great they are. Get recommendations from family, neighbors, co-workers or friends. They should have at least 2 years of experience and should work with buyers and sellers. When one works with buyers then they learn what buyers are looking for in a home, which helps in the listing area too. That's just my opinion, because I do both and I must say, rather well! I've got references! Having your flip sold quickly is also very important in the process, making mortgage payments eats into profits fairly quickly.

Weighing in on all of these factors will determine and should help those who think they want to be Myrtle Beach flippers. It is a lot of work and causes extra stress the first few times but it does get easier with time, kind of like having children! I wish you all much success! Beth

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Beth Tindall

A Long Term Local to help you "Make the Move!" Beth has plenty of history with the Grand Strand Area, Her father was born in Georgetown County and he grew up in the Browns Ferry area. He joine....

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