Profitable Flipping Houses Strategies for Investors: Steven Pesaventos’ Real Estate Start

August 16


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In this throwback Bigger Pockets episode, learn how Investor Mindset podcast host & VonFinch Capital CEO, Steven Pesavento got his start into Real Estate through house flipping, or you can read on for a guide on how to do just that.

Flipping Houses Strategies can be a challenging venture, especially for beginners.

The real estate market is full of difficulties and potential hazards that can be intimidating for those starting out.

However, the potential rewards of flipping houses are substantial. With the right strategies in place, house flippers transform distressed properties into profitable investments.

Navigating through this process requires knowledge and understanding of various aspects such as financing options, property evaluation techniques, renovation plans and more. But don’t worry – we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive guide on Flipping Houses Strategies!

Table of Contents:

The Basics of House Flipping

House flipping is a strategy in the real estate investment realm that involves buying properties at relatively low prices, carrying out necessary renovations, and then selling them for profit. The principle might appear simple on paper, but it necessitates an intricate understanding of local real estate markets to spot undervalued properties with high resale potential.

Prior to embarking on your house flip journey, you need to have solid knowledge about property values within your target market. This information will aid you in determining if a prospective property can yield profits after considering renovation costs and other expenses such as homeowners insurance, mortgage payments, and property taxes.

A successful house flip revolves around buying low and selling high. However, identifying suitable properties isn’t always straightforward as real estate professionals know well; numerous factors influence their value including location, condition of the building itself, along with current trends in home design. Gaining comprehension of these components gives you the power to make sound judgments about which dwellings are worth investing in.

Understanding Local Real Estate Markets

Having deep knowledge of local real estate markets is crucial when venturing into house flipping opportunities. It equips investors with insights regarding what types of homes sell quickly or slowly within specific neighborhoods or regions – this information could significantly impact decision-making processes pertaining to where to best invest resources.

In addition to studying market trends through reliable online platforms, consider seeking advice from experienced house flippers or licensed real estate agents who have firsthand experience dealing with recent transactions in those areas you are interested in targeting. Their insights provide valuable context beyond raw data points, offering nuanced perspectives on neighborhood dynamics, housing demand patterns, price fluctuations, among others.

Evaluating Property Values

To ensure profitability when executing flips, one must accurately evaluate each potential property’s after-repair value (ARV). ARV refers to what a home would be worth post-renovation based on comparable sales figures of similar nearby residences. To estimate this figure effectively, investors should familiarize themselves with different valuation methods used by professionals, such as comparative market analysis performed by licensed appraisers.

Zillow’s Home Value Index provides estimates based on public records data and proprietary algorithms, while tools like Redfin Estimate utilize machine learning techniques alongside human insight provided

Key Thought: 

Mastering house flipping requires more than just buying low and selling high. It’s about understanding local real estate markets, accurately evaluating property values, and anticipating renovation costs. You’ll need to become a savvy investor who can spot undervalued properties with great resale potential.

Building a Solid House Flipping Business Plan

A solid business plan is the cornerstone of a successful house flipping venture. It not only provides direction but also assists in making informed decisions and serves as your roadmap to success.

Setting Realistic Goals

The first step towards building an effective business plan for your house flipping venture involves setting realistic goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). For instance, you might aim to flip three houses within the next year with an average return on investment (ROI) of 15% per property.

Budget constraints play a significant role here. All costs, including the purchase price of properties, renovation expenses such as contractors’ fees and materials cost, holding costs like mortgage payments or property taxes until you sell the flipped house, along with selling costs which include real estate agent commissions, should be factored into these calculations.

In addition to goal-setting, it’s crucial to track progress regularly. This can be done using Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These will help keep the project on course, enabling timely adjustments when needed.

Identifying Your Target Market

Determining the target market is an integral part of crafting a comprehensive business strategy. Are young professionals looking for starter homes? Or perhaps retirees downsizing to smaller spaces? Understanding their preferences is important too. Whether they prefer open floor plans, traditional layouts, modern kitchens, rustic ones, city centers, suburbs, etc., all this information will guide the decision-making process from where to buy, what type of renovations to undertake, and how much to invest in each aspect. Ultimately, it affects the speed at which properties are sold in a particular segment.

Financing Your House Flipping Business

Funding is another critical component that determines success in the world of house flips. There are several options available, ranging from personal savings, loans from family members or friends, through more formal channels like banks offering mortgages, to hard money lenders specialized specifically for such ventures. Considering the individual circumstances, each option has its own advantages and disadvantages. Therefore, understanding the nuances is key to ensure you make the best choice that aligns with your financial capabilities,

Key Thought: 

A winning house flipping strategy hinges on a solid business plan, realistic SMART goals factoring in all costs, regular progress tracking with KPIs, understanding your target market’s preferences and securing the right financing.

Financing Your House Flipping Business

The financial strategy you choose for your house flipping business can significantly impact its success. Various financing options, each with its own pros and cons, are available for house flipping businesses.

Understanding Hard Money Loans

A common choice among seasoned flippers is hard money loans. These short-term lending instruments are provided by private lenders rather than traditional banks, allowing quick access to capital based on the after-repair value of the property in question.

This type of loan offers two main benefits: speed and flexibility. Unlike conventional mortgages, which may take weeks or even months for approval, hard money loans can be approved within a day, allowing investors to act swiftly when an investment opportunity presents itself.

Still, these advantages come with a cost – high interest rates and initial costs. If not managed correctly, this could considerably reduce profits from the flip.

Experienced flippers use flip loans to great effect because they have done sufficient due diligence to migrate the risk as they know the condition of the house / deal and market conditions to understand the value of the deal.

Understanding the difference between hard money loans & flip loans.

A hard money loan and a flip loan often refer to the same type of financing, but they can serve different purposes. Let’s break down the distinctions:

Hard Money Loan:

Definition: A hard money loan is a short-term loan secured by real estate. It’s typically funded by private investors or companies rather than conventional lenders like banks.

Characteristics: These loans have higher interest rates than traditional mortgages, shorter terms (often 12 months to a few years), and are based primarily on the value of the property being used as collateral, rather than the borrower’s creditworthiness.

Use Cases: While hard money loans can be used for various real estate investments, they are often used for properties that need renovation or aren’t eligible for traditional financing. They can also be used for land loans, construction loans, or when an investor needs to act quickly.

Flip Loan:

Definition: A flip loan is a type of financing specifically designed for real estate investors who intend to buy a property, renovate it, and then sell it for a profit in a short period – hence the term “flip.”

Characteristics: Like hard money loans, flip loans are short-term, have higher interest rates, and are based more on the property’s after-repair value (ARV) than the borrower’s credit score.

Use Cases: The primary use case for a flip loan is for house flipping projects. The loan might cover both the purchase of the property and the renovation costs.


Given the similarities, many hard money lenders also offer flip loans. In many contexts, the terms are used interchangeably. However, the key distinction is the intended use of the loan. While all flip loans can be considered hard money loans, not all hard money loans are necessarily flip loans. Some hard money loans might be used for other purposes, such as bridge financing or land acquisition.

If you’re considering either type of loan, it’s crucial to understand the terms, fees, and interest rates, as they can be significantly different from conventional loans. Always work with reputable lenders and consider consulting with a financial advisor or real estate professional before making a decision.

Crowdfunding platforms have emerged as an innovative way for individuals and businesses alike to raise funds for their ventures – including house flips. Real estate crowdfunding allows multiple investors to pool resources together online towards funding projects such as buying and renovating properties.

This method has several advantages like lower entry costs (you don’t need large amounts of capital), diversification opportunities (invest in different projects simultaneously), and transparency (platforms provide detailed information about the project).

Finding Profitable Properties

Finding profitable properties is arguably one of the most challenging aspects involved in successfully flipping houses. However, there are strategies you can employ. Networking with licensed real estate agents, using online listings, and attending auctions are all avenues that offer potential deals waiting to be discovered.

Maintaining Relationships With Real Estate Agents

In order to buy low and sell high after renovations, having strong relationships with local professionals can prove invaluable. They possess deep knowledge of market trends and up-and-coming neighborhoods where prices might rise soon due to significant

Key Thought: 

Choosing the right financing strategy is crucial for house flipping success. Hard money loans offer speed and flexibility, but beware of high interest rates. Crowdfunding platforms provide an innovative way to raise funds, while networking with real estate agents can help find profitable properties.

Finding Profitable Properties

There are numerous strategies to pinpoint these potential gems.

Working with Real Estate Agents

Cultivating relationships with local real estate agents should be among your initial steps in discovering profitable properties. These professionals possess deep knowledge of their markets and often have early access to property listings before they become publicly available.

An adept buyer’s agent will understand your objectives as an investor and actively assist you in locating properties that match your criteria. They may also offer valuable insights about neighborhood trends, pricing tactics, and probable resale values based on similar sales data.

Besides collaborating with licensed real estate agents who specialize in residential property transactions, consider networking with commercial brokers dealing primarily with investment-grade assets. Commercial brokers frequently work closely alongside investors looking for larger projects or portfolios which could align well if you’re planning on scaling up over time.

Evaluating Potential Properties

To maximize profits from house flipping, it’s crucial not just to buy low but also sell high. This necessitates careful evaluation of each prospective purchase prior to committing any resources.

Estimating Renovation Costs

Accurate estimates of renovation costs form the backbone of any successful flip project. It involves getting quotes from contractors, considering both necessary repairs and desired improvements, in addition to factoring unexpected expenses into the budget. Essential renovations rarely go exactly according to plan.

It is important to monitor expenses closely throughout the project, in order to avoid any unexpected costs when it comes time to sell.

In conclusion, while it is certainly possible to make significant profits through house flipping, success depends largely upon careful selection of suitable properties, diligent management of the renovation processes, and strategic marketing efforts. Once the upgrades are complete, remember to always keep in mind the ultimate goal: to create beautiful homes that buyers love enough to pay a premium price, thereby ensuring a healthy return on investment for every single project undertaken.

Key Thought: 

To flip houses profitably, pinpoint low-cost properties with high potential resale value. Forge relationships with real estate agents for early access to listings and market insights. Accurately estimate renovation costs, manage them diligently, and aim to create homes that buyers will pay premium prices for.

Evaluating Potential Properties

One of the pivotal stages in flipping houses is evaluating potential properties. This involves a comprehensive analysis of various factors such as location, property condition, renovation costs, and prospective resale value.

Location Considerations

Location is a major factor in house flipping, as evidenced by the popular real estate mantra “location, location, location.” The geographical positioning of your property can significantly influence its marketability and eventual selling price.

You’ll want to take into account aspects like proximity to amenities including schools or shopping centers. Also, consider crime rates and other neighborhood statistics that could impact home values.

Property Condition Assessment

A critical part of determining whether a house is worth investing in for flip projects lies in assessing its current state. A properly maintained house may require fewer repairs but might come with higher acquisition costs while distressed properties often need extensive renovations but can be bought at lower prices.

To make informed decisions, you should understand basic construction principles and be able to identify common problems like structural damage or outdated systems. HouseLogic provides an excellent checklist for assessing homes’ conditions.

Predicting Resale Value

An essential component during the evaluation phase involves estimating the after-repair value (ARV). ARV refers to what you can expect to sell the property for once all renovations are complete. To accurately estimate ARV, research comparable sales (“comps”) within close proximity that have sold recently. Keep in mind that overestimating can lead you down a path where you won’t recoup your investment upon selling.

Assembling Your House Flipping Team

A successful house flipping venture is a team effort. Each member of your team, from contractors to real estate agents and lawyers, brings unique skills and expertise that are crucial for navigating the complexities of property acquisition, renovation planning, budgeting, and eventual sale.

Your contractor plays an essential role in executing renovations effectively while sticking to timeline requirements without compromising on quality workmanship. When choosing a contractor, consider their experience level with similar projects as yours. The Federal Trade Commission offers valuable advice on hiring contractors.

The Importance Of Home Inspectors In House Flipping

An experienced home inspector can identify potential issues early enough, saving you thousands in unforeseen repair costs down the line. Their detailed inspection report not only helps negotiate better purchase terms but also aids in formulating effective renovation plans.

Finding Profitable Properties With Real Estate Agents

Real estate agents play an instrumental role by providing access to profitable properties suitable for flipping. They offer invaluable insights into market trends which influence buying decisions, helping ensure you buy low and sell high. Additionally, they assist during negotiations, ensuring the best deals possible.

Navigating Legal Complexities With Lawyers

Legal professionals help navigate complex legal processes involved in real estate transactions, including the preparation and review of all documents, reducing the chances of any future disputes arising over ownership and other related matters. The American Bar Association provides resources about engaging legal professionals in real estate transactions.

Role of Other Key Players In Your Team

For high-end flips requiring extensive modifications, it is beneficial to enlist the help of additional experts such as architects, interior designers and landscape artists who can bring a valuable perspective to the project. They bring a unique perspective and value to the overall process, particularly when dealing with high-end flips requiring extensive modifications to the original structure.

Building the right team isn’t an overnight task; it requires careful consideration and due diligence. However, the effort and time invested in building a strong, reliable network of professionals will pay off dividends in the long run, increasing the likelihood of successful and profitable flips

Key Thought: 

Building a successful house flipping team requires careful selection of contractors, home inspectors, real estate agents, lawyers and other experts. Their collective skills and expertise help navigate property acquisition complexities, execute effective renovations, find profitable properties and handle legal processes – all crucial for ensuring profitable flips.

Executing Renovations Effectively

In the realm of house flipping, effective execution of renovations is pivotal. This involves a strategic approach to prioritize necessary repairs, adhere to timelines, ensure quality workmanship, and stay within budget.

The prioritization process for necessary repairs can significantly impact your renovation costs. It’s essential that immediate attention be given to areas that could substantially increase property value, such as structural issues like roof leaks or foundation cracks, before moving on towards cosmetic upgrades like painting or flooring installations.

Avoiding Over-Improvement

While embarking on house flip projects, it’s quite common for investors to get caught up in adding extravagant features with the aim of maximizing profits. However, this often leads into over-improvement territory where more money gets spent than what you’ll recoup when selling the property.

The trick lies in understanding the needs and preferences of your target market without exceeding the standards set by local real estate markets. Instead, the focus should be placed upon improvements providing maximum value, such as kitchen updates, bathroom remodels, etc., rather than luxury enhancements unless justified by upscale neighborhoods.

Finding Reliable Contractors

Your choice of contractors plays a crucial role in executing renovations successfully. A reliable contractor ensures quality workmanship, sticks within timelines, respects budgets, and understands the vision of the project. Building relationships with trusted contractors also opens up opportunities for repeat business, thereby making future projects a smoother and less stressful experience.

Before starting any renovation process, hiring a professional home inspector is advisable as they provide thorough assessments of potential hidden problems like plumbing issues and electrical wiring concerns, helping prevent unexpected costs down the line.

Furthermore, having comprehensive knowledge of possible repair needs allows for better negotiation power when discussing terms with contractors.

Lastly, remember that while it may be tempting at times due to its potential return on investment, never rush into buying properties without doing proper homework first. Otherwise, the chances are higher of ending up losing money instead of earning a profit.

Key Thought: 

Mastering house flipping requires strategic renovations, avoiding over-improvement, and partnering with reliable contractors. Prioritize repairs that boost property value, focus on improvements offering maximum return rather than luxury enhancements, and build relationships with trustworthy contractors for quality workmanship. Always conduct thorough inspections before purchasing to avoid unexpected costs.

FAQs in Relation to Flipping Houses Strategies

What is the 70% rule in house flipping?

The 70% rule suggests that investors should pay no more than 70% of the after-repair value (ARV) of a property, minus repair costs. It helps ensure profitability.

What is the strategy of flipping houses?

House flipping involves buying properties at low prices, renovating them, and selling them for a profit. The strategy requires market knowledge, financial planning, and renovation skills.

Is it still profitable to flip houses?

Absolutely. Despite market fluctuations, house flipping can be profitable if done strategically – choosing the right location, accurately estimating costs, and implementing effective renovations are key factors.

What is the first thing to do when flipping a house?

The initial step in house flipping is crafting a detailed business plan that outlines your budget constraints, identifies your target market, and establishes funding strategies, among other things.


Flipping houses is how many, like Steven, get their first taste of being a real estate investor.

Flipping houses, is active investing.

You can lose money on flipping houses or barely break even without enough experience and due diligence.

It’s not rocket science but it requires you to go out and do the work and do it consistently.

Flipping houses is a venture that requires careful planning and execution.

You’ve learned the importance of understanding your local real estate market, assessing property values, and calculating renovation costs.

A solid business plan has been emphasized as crucial for success in this industry.

We discussed various financing options including traditional mortgages, hard money loans, private lenders, and crowdfunding platforms.

Finding profitable properties involves networking with real estate agents or using online resources to get the best deals possible.

Evaluating potential properties demands keen attention to factors like location, condition of the house, estimated renovation costs, and expected resale value.

The role each team member plays, from contractors to home inspectors, was also highlighted in ensuring a successful flip.

To maximize profits while keeping within budget, we delved into effective strategies for executing renovations.

If you’re ready to dive deeper into Flipping Houses Strategies, then consider joining the Investor Mindset where we help Business Owners, Entrepreneurs, & Investors develop the right mindset about investing and guide them on how to start passive investing.

Profitable Flipping Houses Strategies for Investors: Steven Pesaventos’ Real Estate Start Transcription:



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