Frequently Asked Questions

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These FAQ’s are some of the questions that we frequently get asked in some (but not all) of business and loan process. The questions and answers are not intended to be exhaustive, nor do the questions and answers create any relationship or duty on our part to assist or lend to you. The information, however, is intended to be helpful and to assist you in determining if a hard money loan is a good fit for you. Moreover, we encourage you to contact us to discuss your specific question or need.

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General Real Estate Questions (26)

“Hard Money loans”, also called “rehab loans” and “private capital loans”, refer to non-conventional real estate loans. Private capital sources and specialty lenders usually fund them.

Interest rates and points on such loans are usually higher. Terms usually range from 6 to 12 months.

These types of loans have one basic requirement.

There has to be some substantial equity in the property to give the lender a reason to invest their funds in an otherwise risky venture.

The property to be purchased might be presently vacant and in need of repairs. It may be an older property in a failing neighborhood which has the potential for revitalization. It may be a foreclosure and can be purchased on a short sale.

You may just need a quick closing to secure a property before you find an investor/rehabber to which you want to wholesale the property.

You may want to purchase a run down piece of property, rehab the property, and refinance it for rental income.

In all these cases, you would need a hard money loan because conventional financing is not an option or it would take too long to secure.

Hard Money/Private Capital is just a cost of doing business and is an effective method of doing business as a real estate investor.

If you are cash flowing, yes.

If you are in the deal for the appreciation and/or breaking even,  no.

Rentals should not be a headache if you are using a good property manager, training your tenants from the start, using correct documents for leases, move in check lists and setting expectations.

Oh yeah…and making sure the property is in good working order to begin with.

Mr Landlord, Jeffrey Taylor, calls his tenants, Residents.  His website is full of great information and tips on how to change your mindset about being a landlord. If you have a problem owning rentals, first look in the mirror, that may be your problem.

Paying too much for the house.  You need to back your way into the price.  Knowing what a house will sell for fixed up or if it is a buy and hold, what it will rent for, is the most important number you need to make a decision.

The next most important number is the rehab cost.

Once you know these numbers then you know what you can pay for it. Most seasoned investors agree that you should never be in a house for more than 70% of the after repaired value (ARV) and you want to make sure your rent is 110% of the all in cost.  Here are the formulas. 

Fix and flip: ARV x 70% – rehab = purchase price. Ex: 150000 x 70% = 105000 – 30000 (rehab) = 75000 purchase price. 

Buy & Hold: All in price or purchase price (if no rehab) x .011 = rent   80,000 x .011 = 880.

The saddest items are family photos, school awards for the kids, children’s toys.  These are all items that were once important to the family that lived there previously.

We all salivate when a good deal comes along but do we take time to pray for or reflect on the folks who were misplaced and lost their home?

The weirdest thing I have seen is an unopened Carlton Sheets Real Estate investing training program.

Never force a deal. Good deals come along every day.  Always make sure the deal is a win-win for everyone involved.  Be transparent with the parties involved.  No need to hide anything.  If you know each others pain points, you can work it out.

If the numbers don’t work, I will walk away and if there is fraud or dishonesty, I will walk away.

I have seen really good deals come across my desk but the parties involved were going around a wholesaler or working the seller down even more when they were already in a tight position and the deal was profitable for the buyer.

I believe that buy and hold is the best mode of building wealth because it meets several money saving and cash building options.

First of all, you should cash flow. This means your mortgage payment is lower than 75% of the monthly rent income. Second, you can deduct expenses, saving on taxes. Third, you can depreciate the house and everything in it. Fourth, interest payments are still deductible as a business expense. Fifth (these are in order) the house should appreciate over time.  I have that one last because you should never by a house based on appreciation, that is the cherry on top.

Zillow is accurate depending on what area you are in.  Some cities tax values are realistic to what the market values are but most cities are not.  Zillow can serve a great purpose with price and tax history, comps in the area, etc. but you really do much better getting a real estate agent to give you some comps or even better, get an appraisal.

I would buy a rental near a prison and might even short term rent it.  I would avoid smell issues such as hog farms, chicken farms, land fills and the like.  Also, be careful of large power line easements, sewer plants, rail road tracks, cemeteries and high crime areas.

I like rural because they have fewer competitors but really only as rentals.  I also like rural if it is a mobile home on land.  They are really easy to seller finance with a large down payment and rarely default if the down payment is 10-20K.

I would never reduce my rent to keep a tenant.  I would upgrade the house to attract a tenant (that is a tax deductible improvement) or to have them stay.  Rent should be increased every year like clock work even if it is just by $10.00.

It is not HGTV! I do however, believe it is the best way to build wealth and leave the 9-5 job. There is no gender or race barrier in who can be successful.

The only barrier is in your head.

Nothing is easy nor should it be easy.  Hard work is necessary in everything you do if you want to be successful.  Learning as much as you can, getting plugged in to real estate groups and meetups and surrounding yourself with those who have been successful in the industry are all things that will help you make a profit.

YOU WILL LOSE MONEY IN REAL ESTATE!  At some point, this will happen.  HOWEVER…I would venture to say that it is cheaper than a college education.

I don’t believe there really are “tricks” to real estate.  Your goal should be to ask yourself, “what can I do to help the other person?”.

My favorite way to gain a property is by a subject to, in order to build a rental portfolio.  You are getting in with very little out of pocket that can be replaced when you get it rented out.  As long as the mortgage payment and the rent will allow you to cashflow, it is a no-brainer.

When the listing does not allow FHA financing or want cash only.

That means there are issues a lender will not allow in a loan.  Watch out for estate sales, dirt roads, clouded titles/quiet titles, community wells, easements, shared septic systems and mobile homes that have add-on structures.  All of these can cause mortgage issues for the person you want to sell it to.

Accepting multiple contracts on a home at the same time is wrong.  I have seen a couple try to stall a closing after one of the partners contracting to close on a subject to house died in a car crash 2 weeks prior to the closing.  The buyer investors had already done the repairs on the house and the brother never expected his sister to die. 

My crystal ball broke back in 2008, so I have no idea what exactly will happen.  I can however, talk with my brain trust of master mind real estate gurus located through out the country and see what is going on in their markets and I can be ready should the sky fall again.

The pendulum always swings back and forth so a correction is inevitable.  I don’t know that I would use the word plummet to describe our future pricing but a stall and maybe a slight decrease in some areas surely will occur.

If you live in a bubble market where prices are shooting up, then you are more likely to see a drop, where if you are in more steady non-volatile market, then you are more likely to witness a stall or slight correction and maybe no change at all.  The way to protect yourself it to make smart choices and work in the affordable home market.  People will always need a place to live.

A good investor is someone who educates themselves no matter how much they already know.  They make decisions based on numbers rather than emotion.  They buy based on profit/or cash flow, not appreciation. They have the best interest of the other party in mind.  They believe in steady plodding and know that plenty of singles and doubles are smarter investments than one or two home runs.  They share their knowledge, past mistakes and wins, with others to give back. They operate from a sense of abundance rather than scarcity.  If they can’t beat fear, they do it scared.

I wouldn’t say there are “no-no’s” to commercial real estate investing, I have seen people make money on deals I would never touch and I have lost money on deals I thought were slam dunks. It’s really about finding out what is your risk tolerance threshold and not going beyond it. When you lose your discipline in the market, you lose your shirt.

First…What I tell investors who have one or two rental properties and have primarily used their cash to fund the purchases, is that their money is the most expensive money they can use. When you tie up all or most of your capital into one or two deals you have effectively prevented yourself from securing anymore deals.

If you have little or no cash on hand and an opportunity presents itself, you will need to borrow money to secure this new opportunity and most lenders will not lend to you with little or no liquid capital in your accounts.

Leverage is the name of the game when scaling just about anything. If you have capital locked up in one or a few assets you should look into refinancing them to open up liquidity to secure the ability to leverage those funds into the purchase of several more assets.

Example: You can buy one house with $100,000 or you can buy 5 houses with 20% down and leverage the other 80% from a lender. The debt owed is mitigated by the cash flow of the property, the depreciation you can claim on taxes and the appreciation you earn tax free as the market improves and the property values rise.

Secondly, meet as many wholesalers as you can and take care of them. They will bring you deals that no one else is seeing and you can get great rental properties this way. Also, don’t be afraid to buy a rental that needs more than paint and carpet – evaluate the work needed and the monthly lease differential between doing the work or not, a lot of times its worth the work.

Purchasing a property without proper Title Insurance and/or Property insurance; the potential for loss is theoretically unlimited if you do not secure your investment with proper insurance.

The 70 rule in house flipping can be used to determine a maximum purchase price of a given property by accounting for repairs and closing costs. To calculate it, multiply the after repair value (ARV) by 70 percent and then subtract estimated repair costs.

Yes and no.

If you are willing to pursue creative financing options such as joint partnership agreements with someone that has money, forming a LLC with a partner with money, etc. then you wouldn’t have to have the money yourself.

For our loans, we have to be able to see that you (or you and a partner) have enough funds to cover closing costs, builder’s risk insurance and at least 6 months of payments available to you in order to show that you can afford the loan.

There’s no standard formula to account for every expense you will incur on your flips. There’s just too many moving parts and personal preferences involved and each of those can be as unpredictable as the last. No two properties are alike, and the cost of flipping will vary significantly from market to market, and property to property.

A scope of work (rehab budget) is an essential document that lists everything to be completed on a rehab property in careful detail. One might even think of a scope of work as a “house flipping checklist” that helps the investor communicate to the appraiser and contractors exactly what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and how much money in the budget is allocated to each item.

Below, are ten very important items designed to help you know exactly what to look for when putting together your scope of work and identifying areas where you will need to spend money.

The scope of work will take this list further by specifying exactly how each line item is to be repaired or rehabbed and what quality of materials will be used.

As a result, this document serves as a critical tool that will allow you to complete the rehab on time and on budget.


Ten things to do first:

  1. Pull comparables from the MLS and other websites that are within 1-3 miles of your property: No rehab project can start without a proper vision of the final product. Research your market area using the MLS or websites that pull from it (like Zillow and Redfin) to find similar properties. Pay attention to the number of rooms and types of features offered in comparables, as well as the listing price. Not only will this help you gather inspiration for your rehab, but it will also help ensure the finished property is in line with similar properties—a crucial factor for selling the home quickly, and for your asking price.
  2. Find a contractor and invite them to the property for a walk through: To dial in a timeline and budget for your property, have your contractor walk through the property with you and share your plans and ideas. Better yet, have a few contractors walk through so you can ensure you select the right person for the job. Be sure to share your expectations for the project, note of your ideal timeline, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The right contractor will help your project run smoothly from start to finish.
  3. Bring essential tools like a camera and flashlight: Don’t show up to your walk through empty handed. Investors should always bring a camera, flashlight, calculator, and a notepad to any property walk through. Take pictures as you look around, so you can reference certain rooms and areas later. Write down any potential concerns you have, as well as extra projects you would like to see completed. The more thorough you are now, the more prepared you will be in the future when the project actually kicks off.
  4. Review the exterior, paying careful attention to structural issues: Walk the perimeter of the house more than once. Keep an eye out for any cracks or issues with the foundation, as well as any exterior issues that may be present. Check the status of any fences, decks or outdoor areas as well, as these will factor into the curb appeal later on. This step will help make sure all any big problems are out in the open before you start.
  5. Check interior walls for layout and cosmetic changes: You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: today’s buyers are looking for an open floor plan. If your property has a boxy layout or unnecessary rooms, look for opportunities to open the space up. Is there a wall between the kitchen and living room? What about any awkwardly placed closets? Be sure to consult your contractor on which walls are load bearing. This will help guide what you can do with the property’s interior.
  6. Decide what type of flooring will suite the property: As you survey the interior, take note of the condition of the flooring. What materials are used throughout the house: tile, laminate, hardwood or carpet? Refer back to the comparable properties you found earlier, and get an idea of what potential buyers in the area might expect. Then, price out options that will look right with what you plan to do to the space.
  7. Survey kitchen and bathroom fixtures: Buyers will go straight for kitchens and bathrooms when touring a new property, making these crucial areas of your home. However, they can be highly expensive to renovate. To make sure your property delivers without breaking your bank, take note of any existing features that could be repurposed to fit your final look. Check the condition of any cabinetry, counters and appliances to see what should stay. In some cases, a fresh paint job and new hardware will be enough to revamp a kitchen or bathroom, while other properties may require more significant upgrades.
  8. Review the condition of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems: Work with a professional as you survey the quality of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. Then, decide which areas need to be replaced, upgraded, or simply cleaned up. This is a crucial selling point, so don’t try and cut any corners as you finish up your rehab project.
  9. Examine interior doors and trimming: Don’t skip over the details! Double check the doors, trim and hardware throughout your property for any last minute changes. The doors should all be the same style and color, and the trim should flow when moving from room to room. Assess the condition of all the doors to make sure you don’t leave anything out.
  10. Stage the property and get ready to sell: We HIGHLY recommend this step. Staging allows your buyer to see the vision. The most important factor when showing your property is creating a space that potential buyers can picture themselves living in. Hire a staging company or set up the property yourself (if you think you can) and create an atmosphere that feels like “home” to anyone that walks through the doors. You may not need to stage every room of the property, but key areas should be prepared for potential buyers with care.

The best way to succeed as a real estate rehabber is to do your due diligence before getting started in any deal. Estimating the repairs for a given property takes experience and expertise.

  • An accredited investor is someone who possesses over one million dollars of net worth excluding their primary residence.
  • Or if they are married, they and their spouse cumulatively make $300,000.00 plus each year for the past 2 years.
  • Or if single, they have made $200,000.00 each year for the past 2 years.
Fix & Flips (5)

Purchasing a property without proper Title Insurance and/or Property insurance; the potential for loss is theoretically unlimited if you do not secure your investment with proper insurance.

The 70 rule in house flipping can be used to determine a maximum purchase price of a given property by accounting for repairs and closing costs. To calculate it, multiply the after repair value (ARV) by 70 percent and then subtract estimated repair costs.

Yes and no.

If you are willing to pursue creative financing options such as joint partnership agreements with someone that has money, forming a LLC with a partner with money, etc. then you wouldn’t have to have the money yourself.

For our loans, we have to be able to see that you (or you and a partner) have enough funds to cover closing costs, builder’s risk insurance and at least 6 months of payments available to you in order to show that you can afford the loan.

There’s no standard formula to account for every expense you will incur on your flips. There’s just too many moving parts and personal preferences involved and each of those can be as unpredictable as the last. No two properties are alike, and the cost of flipping will vary significantly from market to market, and property to property.

A scope of work (rehab budget) is an essential document that lists everything to be completed on a rehab property in careful detail. One might even think of a scope of work as a “house flipping checklist” that helps the investor communicate to the appraiser and contractors exactly what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and how much money in the budget is allocated to each item.

Below, are ten very important items designed to help you know exactly what to look for when putting together your scope of work and identifying areas where you will need to spend money.

The scope of work will take this list further by specifying exactly how each line item is to be repaired or rehabbed and what quality of materials will be used.

As a result, this document serves as a critical tool that will allow you to complete the rehab on time and on budget.


Ten things to do first:

  1. Pull comparables from the MLS and other websites that are within 1-3 miles of your property: No rehab project can start without a proper vision of the final product. Research your market area using the MLS or websites that pull from it (like Zillow and Redfin) to find similar properties. Pay attention to the number of rooms and types of features offered in comparables, as well as the listing price. Not only will this help you gather inspiration for your rehab, but it will also help ensure the finished property is in line with similar properties—a crucial factor for selling the home quickly, and for your asking price.
  2. Find a contractor and invite them to the property for a walk through: To dial in a timeline and budget for your property, have your contractor walk through the property with you and share your plans and ideas. Better yet, have a few contractors walk through so you can ensure you select the right person for the job. Be sure to share your expectations for the project, note of your ideal timeline, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The right contractor will help your project run smoothly from start to finish.
  3. Bring essential tools like a camera and flashlight: Don’t show up to your walk through empty handed. Investors should always bring a camera, flashlight, calculator, and a notepad to any property walk through. Take pictures as you look around, so you can reference certain rooms and areas later. Write down any potential concerns you have, as well as extra projects you would like to see completed. The more thorough you are now, the more prepared you will be in the future when the project actually kicks off.
  4. Review the exterior, paying careful attention to structural issues: Walk the perimeter of the house more than once. Keep an eye out for any cracks or issues with the foundation, as well as any exterior issues that may be present. Check the status of any fences, decks or outdoor areas as well, as these will factor into the curb appeal later on. This step will help make sure all any big problems are out in the open before you start.
  5. Check interior walls for layout and cosmetic changes: You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: today’s buyers are looking for an open floor plan. If your property has a boxy layout or unnecessary rooms, look for opportunities to open the space up. Is there a wall between the kitchen and living room? What about any awkwardly placed closets? Be sure to consult your contractor on which walls are load bearing. This will help guide what you can do with the property’s interior.
  6. Decide what type of flooring will suite the property: As you survey the interior, take note of the condition of the flooring. What materials are used throughout the house: tile, laminate, hardwood or carpet? Refer back to the comparable properties you found earlier, and get an idea of what potential buyers in the area might expect. Then, price out options that will look right with what you plan to do to the space.
  7. Survey kitchen and bathroom fixtures: Buyers will go straight for kitchens and bathrooms when touring a new property, making these crucial areas of your home. However, they can be highly expensive to renovate. To make sure your property delivers without breaking your bank, take note of any existing features that could be repurposed to fit your final look. Check the condition of any cabinetry, counters and appliances to see what should stay. In some cases, a fresh paint job and new hardware will be enough to revamp a kitchen or bathroom, while other properties may require more significant upgrades.
  8. Review the condition of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems: Work with a professional as you survey the quality of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. Then, decide which areas need to be replaced, upgraded, or simply cleaned up. This is a crucial selling point, so don’t try and cut any corners as you finish up your rehab project.
  9. Examine interior doors and trimming: Don’t skip over the details! Double check the doors, trim and hardware throughout your property for any last minute changes. The doors should all be the same style and color, and the trim should flow when moving from room to room. Assess the condition of all the doors to make sure you don’t leave anything out.
  10. Stage the property and get ready to sell: We HIGHLY recommend this step. Staging allows your buyer to see the vision. The most important factor when showing your property is creating a space that potential buyers can picture themselves living in. Hire a staging company or set up the property yourself (if you think you can) and create an atmosphere that feels like “home” to anyone that walks through the doors. You may not need to stage every room of the property, but key areas should be prepared for potential buyers with care.

The best way to succeed as a real estate rehabber is to do your due diligence before getting started in any deal. Estimating the repairs for a given property takes experience and expertise.

Rentals (5)

If you are cash flowing, yes.

If you are in the deal for the appreciation and/or breaking even,  no.

Rentals should not be a headache if you are using a good property manager, training your tenants from the start, using correct documents for leases, move in check lists and setting expectations.

Oh yeah…and making sure the property is in good working order to begin with.

Mr Landlord, Jeffrey Taylor, calls his tenants, Residents.  His website is full of great information and tips on how to change your mindset about being a landlord. If you have a problem owning rentals, first look in the mirror, that may be your problem.

I believe that buy and hold is the best mode of building wealth because it meets several money saving and cash building options.

First of all, you should cash flow. This means your mortgage payment is lower than 75% of the monthly rent income. Second, you can deduct expenses, saving on taxes. Third, you can depreciate the house and everything in it. Fourth, interest payments are still deductible as a business expense. Fifth (these are in order) the house should appreciate over time.  I have that one last because you should never by a house based on appreciation, that is the cherry on top.

I would never reduce my rent to keep a tenant.  I would upgrade the house to attract a tenant (that is a tax deductible improvement) or to have them stay.  Rent should be increased every year like clock work even if it is just by $10.00.

First…What I tell investors who have one or two rental properties and have primarily used their cash to fund the purchases, is that their money is the most expensive money they can use. When you tie up all or most of your capital into one or two deals you have effectively prevented yourself from securing anymore deals.

If you have little or no cash on hand and an opportunity presents itself, you will need to borrow money to secure this new opportunity and most lenders will not lend to you with little or no liquid capital in your accounts.

Leverage is the name of the game when scaling just about anything. If you have capital locked up in one or a few assets you should look into refinancing them to open up liquidity to secure the ability to leverage those funds into the purchase of several more assets.

Example: You can buy one house with $100,000 or you can buy 5 houses with 20% down and leverage the other 80% from a lender. The debt owed is mitigated by the cash flow of the property, the depreciation you can claim on taxes and the appreciation you earn tax free as the market improves and the property values rise.

Secondly, meet as many wholesalers as you can and take care of them. They will bring you deals that no one else is seeing and you can get great rental properties this way. Also, don’t be afraid to buy a rental that needs more than paint and carpet – evaluate the work needed and the monthly lease differential between doing the work or not, a lot of times its worth the work.

Purchasing a property without proper Title Insurance and/or Property insurance; the potential for loss is theoretically unlimited if you do not secure your investment with proper insurance.

Commercial (2)

I wouldn’t say there are “no-no’s” to commercial real estate investing, I have seen people make money on deals I would never touch and I have lost money on deals I thought were slam dunks. It’s really about finding out what is your risk tolerance threshold and not going beyond it. When you lose your discipline in the market, you lose your shirt.

A scope of work (rehab budget) is an essential document that lists everything to be completed on a rehab property in careful detail. One might even think of a scope of work as a “house flipping checklist” that helps the investor communicate to the appraiser and contractors exactly what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and how much money in the budget is allocated to each item.

Below, are ten very important items designed to help you know exactly what to look for when putting together your scope of work and identifying areas where you will need to spend money.

The scope of work will take this list further by specifying exactly how each line item is to be repaired or rehabbed and what quality of materials will be used.

As a result, this document serves as a critical tool that will allow you to complete the rehab on time and on budget.


Ten things to do first:

  1. Pull comparables from the MLS and other websites that are within 1-3 miles of your property: No rehab project can start without a proper vision of the final product. Research your market area using the MLS or websites that pull from it (like Zillow and Redfin) to find similar properties. Pay attention to the number of rooms and types of features offered in comparables, as well as the listing price. Not only will this help you gather inspiration for your rehab, but it will also help ensure the finished property is in line with similar properties—a crucial factor for selling the home quickly, and for your asking price.
  2. Find a contractor and invite them to the property for a walk through: To dial in a timeline and budget for your property, have your contractor walk through the property with you and share your plans and ideas. Better yet, have a few contractors walk through so you can ensure you select the right person for the job. Be sure to share your expectations for the project, note of your ideal timeline, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The right contractor will help your project run smoothly from start to finish.
  3. Bring essential tools like a camera and flashlight: Don’t show up to your walk through empty handed. Investors should always bring a camera, flashlight, calculator, and a notepad to any property walk through. Take pictures as you look around, so you can reference certain rooms and areas later. Write down any potential concerns you have, as well as extra projects you would like to see completed. The more thorough you are now, the more prepared you will be in the future when the project actually kicks off.
  4. Review the exterior, paying careful attention to structural issues: Walk the perimeter of the house more than once. Keep an eye out for any cracks or issues with the foundation, as well as any exterior issues that may be present. Check the status of any fences, decks or outdoor areas as well, as these will factor into the curb appeal later on. This step will help make sure all any big problems are out in the open before you start.
  5. Check interior walls for layout and cosmetic changes: You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: today’s buyers are looking for an open floor plan. If your property has a boxy layout or unnecessary rooms, look for opportunities to open the space up. Is there a wall between the kitchen and living room? What about any awkwardly placed closets? Be sure to consult your contractor on which walls are load bearing. This will help guide what you can do with the property’s interior.
  6. Decide what type of flooring will suite the property: As you survey the interior, take note of the condition of the flooring. What materials are used throughout the house: tile, laminate, hardwood or carpet? Refer back to the comparable properties you found earlier, and get an idea of what potential buyers in the area might expect. Then, price out options that will look right with what you plan to do to the space.
  7. Survey kitchen and bathroom fixtures: Buyers will go straight for kitchens and bathrooms when touring a new property, making these crucial areas of your home. However, they can be highly expensive to renovate. To make sure your property delivers without breaking your bank, take note of any existing features that could be repurposed to fit your final look. Check the condition of any cabinetry, counters and appliances to see what should stay. In some cases, a fresh paint job and new hardware will be enough to revamp a kitchen or bathroom, while other properties may require more significant upgrades.
  8. Review the condition of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems: Work with a professional as you survey the quality of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. Then, decide which areas need to be replaced, upgraded, or simply cleaned up. This is a crucial selling point, so don’t try and cut any corners as you finish up your rehab project.
  9. Examine interior doors and trimming: Don’t skip over the details! Double check the doors, trim and hardware throughout your property for any last minute changes. The doors should all be the same style and color, and the trim should flow when moving from room to room. Assess the condition of all the doors to make sure you don’t leave anything out.
  10. Stage the property and get ready to sell: We HIGHLY recommend this step. Staging allows your buyer to see the vision. The most important factor when showing your property is creating a space that potential buyers can picture themselves living in. Hire a staging company or set up the property yourself (if you think you can) and create an atmosphere that feels like “home” to anyone that walks through the doors. You may not need to stage every room of the property, but key areas should be prepared for potential buyers with care.

The best way to succeed as a real estate rehabber is to do your due diligence before getting started in any deal. Estimating the repairs for a given property takes experience and expertise.

New Construction (1)

A scope of work (rehab budget) is an essential document that lists everything to be completed on a rehab property in careful detail. One might even think of a scope of work as a “house flipping checklist” that helps the investor communicate to the appraiser and contractors exactly what needs to be done, how it needs to be done and how much money in the budget is allocated to each item.

Below, are ten very important items designed to help you know exactly what to look for when putting together your scope of work and identifying areas where you will need to spend money.

The scope of work will take this list further by specifying exactly how each line item is to be repaired or rehabbed and what quality of materials will be used.

As a result, this document serves as a critical tool that will allow you to complete the rehab on time and on budget.


Ten things to do first:

  1. Pull comparables from the MLS and other websites that are within 1-3 miles of your property: No rehab project can start without a proper vision of the final product. Research your market area using the MLS or websites that pull from it (like Zillow and Redfin) to find similar properties. Pay attention to the number of rooms and types of features offered in comparables, as well as the listing price. Not only will this help you gather inspiration for your rehab, but it will also help ensure the finished property is in line with similar properties—a crucial factor for selling the home quickly, and for your asking price.
  2. Find a contractor and invite them to the property for a walk through: To dial in a timeline and budget for your property, have your contractor walk through the property with you and share your plans and ideas. Better yet, have a few contractors walk through so you can ensure you select the right person for the job. Be sure to share your expectations for the project, note of your ideal timeline, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. The right contractor will help your project run smoothly from start to finish.
  3. Bring essential tools like a camera and flashlight: Don’t show up to your walk through empty handed. Investors should always bring a camera, flashlight, calculator, and a notepad to any property walk through. Take pictures as you look around, so you can reference certain rooms and areas later. Write down any potential concerns you have, as well as extra projects you would like to see completed. The more thorough you are now, the more prepared you will be in the future when the project actually kicks off.
  4. Review the exterior, paying careful attention to structural issues: Walk the perimeter of the house more than once. Keep an eye out for any cracks or issues with the foundation, as well as any exterior issues that may be present. Check the status of any fences, decks or outdoor areas as well, as these will factor into the curb appeal later on. This step will help make sure all any big problems are out in the open before you start.
  5. Check interior walls for layout and cosmetic changes: You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: today’s buyers are looking for an open floor plan. If your property has a boxy layout or unnecessary rooms, look for opportunities to open the space up. Is there a wall between the kitchen and living room? What about any awkwardly placed closets? Be sure to consult your contractor on which walls are load bearing. This will help guide what you can do with the property’s interior.
  6. Decide what type of flooring will suite the property: As you survey the interior, take note of the condition of the flooring. What materials are used throughout the house: tile, laminate, hardwood or carpet? Refer back to the comparable properties you found earlier, and get an idea of what potential buyers in the area might expect. Then, price out options that will look right with what you plan to do to the space.
  7. Survey kitchen and bathroom fixtures: Buyers will go straight for kitchens and bathrooms when touring a new property, making these crucial areas of your home. However, they can be highly expensive to renovate. To make sure your property delivers without breaking your bank, take note of any existing features that could be repurposed to fit your final look. Check the condition of any cabinetry, counters and appliances to see what should stay. In some cases, a fresh paint job and new hardware will be enough to revamp a kitchen or bathroom, while other properties may require more significant upgrades.
  8. Review the condition of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems: Work with a professional as you survey the quality of the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems. Then, decide which areas need to be replaced, upgraded, or simply cleaned up. This is a crucial selling point, so don’t try and cut any corners as you finish up your rehab project.
  9. Examine interior doors and trimming: Don’t skip over the details! Double check the doors, trim and hardware throughout your property for any last minute changes. The doors should all be the same style and color, and the trim should flow when moving from room to room. Assess the condition of all the doors to make sure you don’t leave anything out.
  10. Stage the property and get ready to sell: We HIGHLY recommend this step. Staging allows your buyer to see the vision. The most important factor when showing your property is creating a space that potential buyers can picture themselves living in. Hire a staging company or set up the property yourself (if you think you can) and create an atmosphere that feels like “home” to anyone that walks through the doors. You may not need to stage every room of the property, but key areas should be prepared for potential buyers with care.

The best way to succeed as a real estate rehabber is to do your due diligence before getting started in any deal. Estimating the repairs for a given property takes experience and expertise.

Investing in Our Notes (1)
  • An accredited investor is someone who possesses over one million dollars of net worth excluding their primary residence.
  • Or if they are married, they and their spouse cumulatively make $300,000.00 plus each year for the past 2 years.
  • Or if single, they have made $200,000.00 each year for the past 2 years.
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