Whether you want to see a return on your real estate investment by flipping or as a landlord, if you’re buying a flip or REO foreclosure property, you’re going to have to do some rehab. These properties and rentals almost always require work, and for the majority of them, that work is going to be extensive. In other words, if you’re looking for the best way to flip a house, you’re going to need to find a good contractor to help you.
When you find houses to flip, you need to budget your resources very carefully. A good general contractor will be able to fix problems with the house faster than you thought possible, and they’ll be able to stay within your budget, too. Your contractor is going to be your best friend, so choose wisely!
The Hunt for the Best House Flipping Contractor
House flipping involves almost as much physical legwork as it does online research. To find and flip the best properties in the most lucrative locations, you’ll need to drive around the neighborhoods where you’ll be buying and flipping, research all of the loan information on your properties, go to house flipping seminars to network with investors, contractors, and others who can help you, and you’ll need to check out the markets you’re buying in, too.
When you think of what it takes to flip a house, you shouldn’t be surprised that you’re going to have to do some legwork to find your contractor, too, right? The best contractors who won’t charge you an arm and a leg aren’t always the big guys with the big billboards or the giant ads in the Yellow Pages. They’re the guys who are working as hard as you are to establish their reputations in the area. They’re on the jobsite as long as it takes to get the work done, and they don’t ever settle for shoddy work from their employees.
How can you find these guys to help you flip a house? Well, some of them might be at real estate seminars, since they know that they can often find clients at these events, but not all of them will be at the next real estate investment club meeting. If you want to find a great contractor, spend some time driving around looking for in-progress rehabs. Take a moment to look at the work and the people on the job. Then grab the contractor’s number from the side of their truck or walk up, introduce yourself, and ask for a card.
If you’re too busy to drive all over town looking for houses being rehabbed, you can also swing by your favorite hardware store. You’ll see contractors picking up materials for jobs all the time. If you show up to Home Depot or Lowe’s early in the morning, and you see a contractor already shopping, you know you’ve found someone who gets to work on time and has a good work ethic.
Compare Bids – Line by Line
Don’t go with the very first contractor you speak with. You want to give your flip a quality rehab that brings its value up without draining your pockets. So, once you’ve found three or four contractors you think will do a good job, get quotes from each of them. Meet with all of them, and you’ll learn a great deal about what it will take to rehab your property, and you’ll have a good idea of who’s padding their estimates and which contractor you really want to work with over the long haul.
A very important part of your real estate training is assembling a great team to do your rehab for you and help you estimate the work needed for a house. People in the business know who to trust and who to avoid. Doing the legwork, networking with other flippers, and finding a great contractor will pay off.