Your methods for finding your next flip

I am curious as to what you guys do to find that next flip and when you find a possible property what do you look up. Right now I am looking for cheap houses that need work. I then go to the county assessor’s website and look up the taxes, what its assessed value is, and do the same for as many houses on the block so I know a general idea of what kind of neighborhood and value of it. I then think of the house at a selling price when its completely reno’d and compare its possible price to the market and other houses to see if I will have enough room to make a profit. I of course look at costs of the fixes but I feel like I could be doing even more research so I thought I would ask some of the seasoned veterans on this board. I would like to flip a property or two doing the majority of the fixes myself (I am young, handy, and willing to learn what I don’t know).

you’re on right track, however you’ll need more info for values. that said you’ll need to get some sort of access to mls for tax records and current asking prices in the area.

you need to smooze up to a couple of realtors and build relationships for that

“you need to smooze up to a couple of realtors and build relationships for that”

I would say to pick one to work with and use him/her to list your properties for sale when ready. I would never go fsbo on them unless you are not in a hurry to sell and want to spend your time and money marketing them. If they are in a hot area of course you could do it yourself, but in most places it is worth the money to be in the MLS.

smoozing is to gain access to the info on mls. Not for buying thru them unless it;s a hud or really great deal

You really don’t need a real estate agent to determine value.
The tax assesors value is lower than, appraised value and recently sold values.
You can look in the newspaper and see what simular houses are selling for in any area.
Just make sure you calculate your repair cost correctly.
Add 6% to what you think it may sell for for help in selling to your repair cost.
Add $12. per hour for your salary to repair cost.
You wll need help rehabbing a property, carrying tile, carpet, drywall,
sod etc is a two to three man job young or not.

It’s foolish to try to rehab a property alone and dangerous.
Also don’t forget to add insurance, and utilities into your rehab cost.

It takes about 90 days to rehab and sell most properties.
Good luck


The number one method for finding a flip is Advertising… Period…

And please do not use the tax accessors office for any value. Actually I am scratching my head over the last answer…

happy house hunting…


Tax assessed values is usually pretty much useless, however the tax records are very valuable as they let you know:

  1. the prices that similar houses hav sold for recently (allows you to see trends in values)
  2. the name and address of the owner
  3. the type of owner, bank or private
  4. the last sale price, original mortgage amount and the date secured so that you can est equity
  5. square footage, beds, baths, garage, style of home
  6. the number of foreclosures that have occurred so that you can avoid downward trends in value
  7. lots of other interesting thing, depends on how much info county records provide

actually it takes as long as it takes to sell a house, 90 days is a pipe dream today


 I flip properties in Arizona and Nevada, when we finish our remodel and are ready to sell and market, we are averaging less than 21 days!

But to quanitate that we are marketing experts and can drive traffic quickly to the property, we work with our realtor as a team and sell most of our properties through our realtor.

Now we have multiple realtors who specialize in one area of town or one city area and get our comp’s only when we get an excepted offer, we make completely blind offers on most properties and then look at them, calculate cost’s and make projections when we have a signed contract, we have 10 days usually to make amendments, re-negotiate or drop out, but when your turning properties and have to make a lot of offers to get one excepted this is the way to do it, otherwise you spend hours, day after day making worthless estimates on a property you will never buy.

I use zillow to just get a general idea of where the property stands or use zillow and aol home values and take an average of both numbers to give a general idea, then we only ask our realtor in the area of the home, the realtor we will use to re-sell it later for the comp’s.

Make sure you pay attention to the sold date on the comps and how many days since it sold as a home can drop ten or twenty grand just by a recent sold becoming more than 90 days old, pay attention and estimate where your value will be when you project to put it back on the market!

We have gotten so good at estimating cost’s blind that we have not had to re-negotiate a property in quite a while and we have a pretty good idea from looking at thousands of properties that we know by instinct what has to be done inside and out. We buy between 30% and 55% of FMV and we have been making about 25k in a 150,000 retail property after all cost’s.

Good Luck,


thanks that was very informative…

I don’t understand how the fair market value for the tax assessor’s office isn’t a good way to get a starting value. If someone could elaborate on that I would appreciate it.

Also I won’t be doing the flip all by myself, I will have my wife doing some painting and probably all the staging etc. And I helped a buddy with one of his flips and said he would help out when he could. This is going to be an after work project

Tax Assessor values are not a good indication of market value because tax assessors aren’t constantly reassessing the value of each house. Especially in today’s market tax assessor values are irrelevant. But as others mentioned, tax office can be a good places to find recent comps for the area. Recent , similar comps are the only thing important. Also you are saying this is going to be an after work project…you don’t want to take too much time in a changing market or your equity could be eaten up…as many areas are still declining. Time=Money

You should never go by the tex assesors records. For example the 2009 tax assesors estimate is based upon sales on/or before January 1,2009. That means your pretty much looking at values in late 2008. In this declining market that we are in, the values in late 2008 were much higher than what they currently are now.Anyone who estimates the value of a property by the tax assesment is risking over valuing the property. Your best bet would be to get access to the MLS and look and recent active & closed sales within the neighborhood. I am an appraiser & realtor. For my clients fix & flips i try to find neighborhoods for example that have bank owned properties selling at $50,000+/- in need of repairs. But a neighborhood that has atleast 1 or 2 resales of properties that have been fixed up and sold for example at $150,000. That way when it comes time to sell the property, there shouldnt be any issues with the appraisal.