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If you're thinking about buying a fixer-upper in Chicago to flip, it can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be overwhelming and highly risky. How can buyers navigate these two extremes? This week, we’re going to look at several key things buyers can do to give themselves a better shot at a successful flip:
Do Your Research
With so many TV shows about flipping houses, it can start to feel like anyone and everyone can jump on board. And while you can tune into a 30-minute episode, there’s no pause once you’ve started a flip of your own. While these shows can be great inspiration, flippers need to do more thorough research before taking a chance on a fixer-upper. From understanding the market and value of the neighborhood to having a sense of renovation costs, the more research you put in upfront, the wiser investment you can make.
Know Your Budget
Buyers need to map out their budget in advance and commit to sticking with it. It’s also important to consider leaving yourself some wiggle room for those unexpected expenses. If you’ve watched the shows, you know that sometimes a major hurdle can pop up part-way through, racking up the budget. Rather than just having a single number in mind, buyers need to crunch the numbers to determine their ideal range as well as their absolute max. This way, you can create a cushion for those unforeseen expenses.
Create a Detailed Timeline
Flipping a house is no small task, and having a timeline in place is key. Whether you’re planning to do the majority of the work or you’re hiring others to do the work, you need a plan to help you stay on track and know when things aren’t progressing fast enough. As with your budget, it’s wise to leave wiggle room in your timeline as well so that unexpected challenges don’t derail your success.
Know When to Bring in the Professionals
Again, those house flipping and DIY shows can make any of us feel ready to take on the challenge of flipping a house. And while there are many things the average home buyer can DIY with a bit of planning and research. There are other things, especially when it comes to structural things, electrical, and plumbing that require a professional. You also likely don’t want your end product to look like a DIY project, so if you don’t have the experience or skills to complete a project properly, it’s important to consider hiring someone who does.
Know When to DIY
That being said, if you’re flipping on a budget and trying to do as much as possible on your own, know where you can step in rather than dishing out money. Maybe it’s painting several rooms, for example. While you might not be a professional painter, if you’re willing to put in the effort to do it right, you can still arrive at a good end result.
Have you ever flipped a home in Chicago? Do you have any tips for potential flippers? These are just a few higher-level suggestions. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this!