What you don't see on many of the television shows about flipping houses are the many sad tales of promising flips gone wrong. These epic tales of house flipping sob stories are often precursors to financial hardships for quite some time as those who fail at their property flips work on recovering from their heavy losses and moving on with their lives. Some are hit harder than others but the snowball effect of a bad flip is often not even hinted out on the prime time televisions shows that are so proud of the many success stories that arise because of serious and studious efforts in the house flipping arena.
If you are planning to flip a house for a real estate investment you really need to take a step back and decide that you are absolutely not going to be one of the house flipping sob stories that are rumored about in Internet chat rooms. In fact, you want to be listed among the success stories. Unfortunately, that takes a great deal of proper planning that is almost never shown on these television shows. In fact, to put forth your best effort you need to devote as much time to studying and planning properties, prices, and home values in your area before you even begin to search for your first property to flip as you need to invest in the entire process of actually working on your first flip. In other words, months worth of planning need to go into your first property pick in order to lower the risk of failure and to greatly improve the odds of success.
The second thing you need to do when planning your first flip and avoiding a sad tale and a sob story is to be realistic and avoid great expectations. With your first flip, you are darned lucky to turn a profit at all. If you are expecting to make more money on your first flip than you made last year as a full-time employee you might need to make other plans. The first flip rarely goes as expected.
Third, you need to set aside at least twice as much money (preferably three times as much) as you think you will need for the work on the property in order to cover the actual costs that will be needed. There are inevitably tools, permits, supplies, and labor costs that wasn't counted on in the initial budget figures as well as the tendency to seriously underestimate the cost of the materials that will be needed in order to get the job done. If you don't have that much or can't spend that much and walk away without a loss then the property you are considering might not be the best property for your first flip.
Finally, you need to plan everything. Every day needs to be fully planned before you show up to work on the property and you need to have all the materials you will need on hand from lunch to drinks, to tools and supplies. Trips to the hardware store, lunch breaks, and coffee run quickly kill a day and any productivity that may have been made during that day. Avoid these costly delays by proper planning and you will discover that you have a real estate investing success story worth writing home about.