I enjoy the people I met every day. Truly enjoy the connection, if even for a short time. That’s probably one of the greatest parts of what I do as a real estate investor, having the opportunity to get to know homeowners and their stories, their lives. I think it’s important to enjoy meeting people and learning about what they are going through, if you are going to be a real estate investor. This is especially true because if someone is selling a property, it’s typically due to some type of life change.
Sellers call me and are entrusting me with their information and their problems, which can be complicated and even emotional. They are looking for a solution. That’s a big responsibility, so I take it seriously. It also means I get to make a friend, regardless of whether I buy their property or not. It’s a duty to treat someone looking to sell their house properly and to help find the best solution for them (not you or me).
The real estate market seems stable, for now. It can change fairly quickly, especially with an uptick in interest rates. If you pay attention to the real estate market, both nationally and locally, though, there is always a way to be profitable.
I know that because most of my 12 years of flipping was in a declining market. There was a period of time, 2006 to 2008, that were really tough because it was such a fast decline, but I did still make money.
So, now, with a 2-3% annual appreciation for the foreseeable future, I say, “come on in, the water’s fine!” Just start with finding one house to flip, that’s all. You just need one.
Letter to future self:
Ten years from now, you will be a legitimate real estate investor, helping to support your family, having tons of flexibility and being your own boss. But, you will make a ton of mistakes along the way, some will make you question whether you are cut out to flip houses and some will worry you so much that you don’t know if you can take the stress.
You just have to hang in there and be humble, learn from your mistakes and always treat people well. If you do that, you will succeed. In fact, you will enjoy what you do so much that you can’t see doing anything else.
Flipping houses (is now) glamorous. But the shows don’t portray the whole story. How do you get a deal? Where do you get the money? How do you figure out what to fix and what not to? How do you talk to sellers?
It’s how I’ve learned to answer these questions that was the impetus for Another Flipping Day. Another Glorious Flipping Day.
Welcome to your future! It’s awesome!
I took a class on buying pre-foreclosures in 2006. On the first evening, our small group of wanna-be flippers took 2 real estate investors who were previous attendees and had great success, to dinner. The wine was flowing, the questions were many, the fear was real, but I had made the leap.
At one point in the night, I reached across the table and grabbed one of the wine corks. I looked at it, through my wine-buzzed haze and said to myself, “I am going to do this, cork! This is what I am going to do. I am going to make this work.” I slipped the cork into my pocket and over the next few years, I often stared at that damn cork and reminded myself of the promise and the sacrificesI’d made to make this work.
And 4 or so flips later, when I still hadn’t had
much any success, the phone started ringing and ringing and ringing. Realtors wanted to show a flip I had just finished in Huntington Beach. I received 3 offers within a week of listing it. I accepted the best one, made enough money to cover all my previous mistakes (almost) and I felt some success. Now I had reason to continue, even though I probably hadn’t made a dime in 2 years of working hard. I didn’t care, I had validation.
I’m sitting here in my living room on my white leather love seat, looking out at our view of the Pacific Ocean and the Los Angeles Basin, realizing this is a moment of true gratitude. 13 years ago, I decided I wanted to “flip houses”, before there were any HGTV shows, before it was the cool thing to do. In fact, many of my co-workers said “you can’t do that”, “it’s too risky”, and “what are you even talking about?” But I decided to do it anyway.
It was a rough start. I mean ROUGH. I left a high-paying consulting job to try my hand at flipping houses. That was 2006. Remember the housing bubble bursting? That’s right when I started. But, somehow, I got here, to this moment, where I can enjoy the first Monday of summer, with my kids and their friends in the pool, typing my first blog post, my golden retriever puppy by my side, enjoying this beautiful warm Southern California day….and working, if that’s what you want to call it. I don’t, I call it a blessing filled with opportunities.
This is a blog about my journey, the mistakes I’ve made, the successes, and all the little bits and pieces that may enable you to do the same thing. Achieve freedom from work, enjoy independence, grow my passion, continue to get better (at anything) and appreciate it all as much as possible.
So, hi, I’m Jennifer and I flip houses.