Estimating cost

I understand all the concepts that you guys are talking about. What my problem is I don’t know how to estimate repair cost. I can’t count on calling a contractor or repairman to do the estimate. I tried it one time and the contractor put his own contract on the property. What program would you pro’s suggest for me? If I could learn how to accurately estimate repair cost I would be on my way to riches.

I rarely advocate lying but this is one of those rare situations that might necessitate it. If a contractor is going to steal a house from underneath of you, to prevent this just tell him that you already have the house under contract with the seller. I doubt that they’ll actually make an offer on it knowing that. Only use a contractor you trust. If it’s perfectly legal for them to burn you on a deal then it should be perfectly legal for you to tell them the house is already tied up. Sorry if I sound like a slimeball, that’s really not my goal.

Instead of lying, put the property under contract and state in the contract that the purchase is subject to the results of an inspection. That way you take the property off the market and have a back door if the repair will cost more than is profitable.

Why not just partner up with the General contractor or handyman?
I our case, I am a Realtor and my partner is a GC. I find the houses, do the wheeling and dealing, he manages all repairs, and then I sell them. We are both co-owners in the business and share all the expenses including the cash to purchase the properties.
Another suggestion is to learn some of the costs associated with making the repairs yourself and guesstimate the reapirs. If you have done some home repairs in your own house, then you know where the nearest home depot is located. Learn some of their prices.
Good Luck,