The 2023 real estate market is a harsh environment for those who don’t already have their feet on the ladder. And still, thousands of Americans every year dream of flipping houses, with or without money. This article aims to answer the age-old question, “how to start flipping houses with no money” if you don’t have much money to invest.
Real estate investing is tricky, especially while the average wage trails behind.
Many people, particularly those born after 1980 and classed as “millennials” and individuals from younger generations, struggle to figure out how to start flipping houses with no money or minimal capital.
However, there are always options. For example, there are a number of ways you can take to forge a path into the lucrative world of house-flipping. The following tips and tricks will likely come in handy if you’re planning to start in the real estate sector.
How to fund a purchase
Funding a house purchase to flip usually comes from a combination of one’s savings and some form of financing. The following ideas are for those who don’t have any cash sitting on the sidelines to flip houses.
Seek Out Relevant National or Regional Home Buying Schemes
We’ll assume you have some money in a retirement account for this tip. And you might be able to use it to get started on your house flipping project.
Depending on your background and where you live, you may be able to access a property purchase program. For example, Americans and Canadians may tap into their retirement savings to fund a purchase – consult a tax professional first. Also, in the UK, the government launched the “Help to Buy” ISA (Individual Savings Account) in 2015. People planning to buy their first property could pay a maximum of 200 GBP (around 270 USD) per month into their ISA account. And the government would top up the accounts by 25%.
Look Into Short-Term Funding
In some circumstances, and depending on your location, you may be able to acquire a short-term loan to purchase and/or develop a property. And short-term funding can often be an ideal way to start flipping houses without your own money.
Consider established private lenders in your area. Then, research their requirements regarding your credit score, your intended project, and the contents of your application.
Before you can borrow, you’ll likely need a clear budget. And a well-detailed plan of any changes and renovations will go a long way. You will also probably need some form of collateral. And you’ll need to be confident that you can repay the loan, with interest, in the timeframe specified.
“Hard money lenders” are often the last resort for real estate investors. Hard money lenders often ignore income and credit scores. Instead, they lend based on the value of the home. The rates will be higher. But, real estate investors will be more likely to repay the loans quicker than a typical mortgage.
Real estate crowdfunding is currently booming. After all, platforms of this kind allow individuals and small businesses to invest in real estate without access to huge amounts of capital. There is a range of ways in which you can start house flipping by crowdfunding your purchase. Best yet, with no money of your own.
For example, take tokenization. This approach allows you to break down your property by area. It enables investors to fund a certain number of square meters. Then, you can divide any profit you make from the lease or sale of the property between token holders. This is kind of like how stocks work.
Of course, you’ll need to take care not to put too much of your property up for grabs. Indeed, you could easily be left with much less money than you anticipated, particularly if the house fetches a lower price than you expected.
You can simply team up with a group of friends and pool your resources on a smaller scale. You make your first purchase and renovate the property. If you do this, it is essential to have proper legal documentation in place. And to make sure to get general consent for every decision.
Again, you need to make sure this is worth your while. Dividing the final amount between a large group can mean you each receive a small fraction.
There are plenty of platforms and organizations that specialize in real estate crowdfunding. So, look online and carefully examine each option before making a final decision.
Find a silent partner
This approach is becoming rare in current times and requires a great deal of trust. But, it is still possible to go into business with a “backer” or silent partner if you know the right people.
Finding a financial partner is similar to crowdfunding. Simply put, you enter a partnership with an individual or business with enough money at their disposal. Then, use the funds they provide to start flipping houses.
You and your backer then split the profits to a pre-arranged ratio. To secure funding from a backer, you need to be able to convince them of your skill and capacity to make considerable returns from the project in question.
In a scenario of this kind and similar to others mentioned in this article, it’s vital to create a legally binding contract for signing by both parties before the project begins.
If you’re already a homeowner with a mortgage, and if you’ve been paying off that mortgage for a number of years, you might have some equity built. Perhaps you can release some of the equity built up in that property to purchase and renovate an additional building.
Be careful, though. You don’t want to take out more cash than you need to or risk losing your home.
Releasing equity to purchase an additional property could also reduce the inheritance your heirs may receive, mainly if you are unsuccessful in your flipping ventures.
Rent to Own Option
If you’re looking for a property to live in, but you’re also wondering how to start flipping houses with no money, you may be in a very fortunate position.
Consider seeking out properties with “rent-to-own options.” These are sometimes known as “options to buy.” A rent-to-own option is an agreement between a landlord and a tenant. In the agreement, the landlord offers the tenant the option to purchase their rental property at the end of a pre-agreed period.
The parties usually agree on the properties’ sale value at the start of the rental period. And, even if property prices rise, the tenant/potential buyer will still be able to pay the same amount when the time comes to purchase.
The tenant will prioritize all other potential buyers even with bad credit.
Moreover, a fee is usually paid at the start of the tenancy. And, it’s put towards the possible eventual downpayment. This makes a lease option ideal for individuals who would otherwise find it difficult to make a downpayment all in one go.
Credit Cards and Credit Card Advances
Using a credit card could be one of the riskiest options when flipping houses. However, that risk is significantly reduced when this approach is combined with any of the other techniques in this article.
The key is to be sure that you can repay everything you have spent and cover the interest. And remember, if you opt for a cash advance from your credit card provider, you’ll start paying interest from when the advance was arranged. Credit cards should only be utilized if you’re confident of large, short-term profits when starting your house-flipping business.
Houses to flip with no money
In house flipping, financing helps answer the question, “where will the money come from”. However, it’s also essential to buy the right house. The type of house that will have a good chance of returning a profit.
Seek Out Foreclosures
When flipping houses with little or no money, a great way to find affordable, quality properties is to start by seeking out foreclosures for sale. But how do foreclosures work? Foreclosure is simply a property that the lender has repossessed. And the lender has the legal right to sell the property.
Usually, the lender sells the property to a new owner through various platforms.
It can be risky to put a down payment on a foreclosure. Indeed, you aren’t usually able to do a walk-through before you make a purchase. And, properties of this kind are commonly left in less than stellar condition.
This means there is a chance of structural or maintenance issues. Also, there could be cosmetic damage, pest infestations, and other things you can’t see. These can be costly to rectify. So, doing as much research as possible before taking the plunge is essential.
So, how do you find foreclosures? Depending on where you live, you may be able to find foreclosure listings through banks, mortgage lenders, asset management company websites, relevant government agency sites, sheriff’s sales, and county records. You could even start by contacting individual real estate agents.
Go to Auctions
Real estate auctions and property auction sites are great places to seek out affordable properties. For example, you’ll find bank-owned buildings and foreclosures, as detailed above.
But what is a real estate auction? Simply put, it’s a location, website, or event where individuals, banks, businesses, or other parties offer the property to potential bidders. Starting bids or “opening” bids are put forward. Then, attendees can make any offers above that figure if they have access to the right amount of capital.
So, how do you buy real estate at auction? You can do so personally by attending the auction yourself, or you can use a proxy. Examples include a solicitor or agent. And they will need your written authorization and access to the required funds.
How to bid at a real estate auction
If you’re wondering how to bid at a real estate auction, that will usually be made clear to you on the site or at the location in question. In-person auctions may include paddles or other visual signals, while online versions may rely on other approaches.
Make sure you stick to your budget and place your bid. It’s essential to understand that if you win an auction, you are committed to going through with the purchase, so it’s essential to be confident before placing a bid.
You must be officially pre-approved if you intend to borrow money to purchase at auction. And it’s vital to check the individual auction house’s stance on this matter in advance.
Real estate auctions are popular with buyers on tight budgets, as final bid amounts may fall considerably short of a property’s market value. This means it can be effortless for property flippers to start with little money.
However, it is worth noting that the property may have been auctioned due to structural defects or legal disputes.
For this reason, you should try to find out as much as possible about the building you’re bidding on to avoid having to spend much more putting it right or fighting legal battles!
Wholesaling is an approach to real estate investment that doesn’t have to necessitate the acquisition of a physical building. It tends to involve off-market properties that need renovation but can potentially be worth a great deal.
A wholesaler who discovers a property of this kind locates the owners of the building and offers to find an investor who can then be contracted to take it on, renovate it, and sell it for a considerable profit.
The wholesaler receives a fee for their trouble and the investor, who has purchased the property from the original owners, receives the profits.
In this case, there are two different opportunities. You could start as the wholesaler to raise funds to start flipping houses. Or, you could partner up with a wholesaler who will help you to find affordable contracts as a house flipper.
Consider a fixer-upper in your area
Most flippers plan on “fixing up” houses and selling them for a profit. This means you’ll probably be on the lookout for a fixer-upper. The key is to find the right balance. You need to ensure that the money you’ll be spending on renovations will not surpass the amount you’ll eventually make when selling the property. You want to profit, not just break even or lose out.
To this end, it’s essential to budget carefully. Many people find that with their first property at least, it’s best to do the majority of the legwork themselves or with the help of a few friends.
Labor can be exceptionally costly, so this is an excellent opportunity to cut out a significant expense with “ease.” Of course, it’s essential to know what you’re doing.
Leaving specialized or dangerous tasks like rewiring to the experts is always recommended. After all, as well as avoiding potential injury, you’ll likely need these aspects to be officially “signed off” by way of a certificate you can pass on to your buyers when you sell the house.
However, why not look into repainting, tiling, carpeting, and even plastering or putting up drywall yourself? There are plenty of superb free video guides online that you can use to teach yourself these skills.
Another idea to start property flipping with little or no money is to consider properties that need only a few cosmetic touch-ups. Try to look for property that only needs cosmetic repair and refurbishment—a little paint, a new front door, a new carpet, fresh kitchen cabinet doors, and so on. If a building has major structural issues or a significant layout change is required, the expenses can quickly mount up.
The amount of value you can add by simply pruning and mowing the garden, refreshing the walls, and giving the place a good clean is astonishing, and it barely costs anything.
This approach will work best if you’re willing to accept a relatively small return on your early investments, taking on slightly more significant challenges each time as your budget grows with every sale.
Subdivide Your Property
If you already own property, perhaps you can subdivide it. You can consider building on any land attached to your home, then selling it. Or perhaps you might split your property into separate apartments.
It’s essential to check with your local municipalities planning department to ensure you’ll be permitted to register a new property. But, this approach can cut out the cost of purchasing a building in the first place.
House Flipping Bonus Tip: Always Hunt for bargains
If you decide to take on the renovation of a property yourself, try to be as bright as possible when it comes to buying materials, equipment, fixtures, and fittings. This will take your overheads right down and maximize your future profit.
Check out sales at hardware stores and online, and try to pick up end-of-line stock and discontinued materials for low prices without any reduction in quality. You can browse online listings for high-quality second-hand furniture and tools, too.
Even items slightly worse for wear can be given additional value; why not teach yourself to strip back and refurbish or reupholster old fixtures for an attractive finish at a fraction of the cost of new designs?
Throughout this article, you’ll have found numerous valuable tips on how to start flipping houses with no money or minimal capital to your name.
The key to any venture of this kind is always to understand the terms of any loan, agreement, or contract and to always have secondary plans in place in case your initial approach falls through so that you will remain financially stable and legally sound the outcome.
The term “flipping houses” refers to a means of making money whereby an individual, group, or company purchases a “fixer-upper” property for a low price, renovates it to a higher standard and then sells it for a profit.
Getting started flipping houses starts with the purchase of a property and the capacity to undertake or arrange high-quality renovations to raise the value of the building enough to turn a profit when it is sold.
According to a recent report, the average gross profit for US house flippers in early 2020 was just over $60,000, suggesting a return of just under 37%. Of course, it’s essential to consider the costs involved in purchasing and renovating a property, along with the fees inherent in selling a house, to work out the resulting gross profit.