In the United Kingdom, house-flippers are known as “amateur developers,” but they’re basically the same thing. Countries in the UK region were hit by the same housing recession the United States was hit with and they continue to recover at a similar rate. Chiara Cavaglieri is a reporter from England who has had her eye on the housing market and she says that 2014 will be the year for amateur developers. House renovating and flipping is expected to continue its reign of popularity in the U.S. as well, and Cavaglieri has come up with some hints and tricks for people who want to be successful at this risky game.
Picking out the right location
Whether you want to live in that rundown house you plan on renovating or you want to resell it to make some fast cash, the same rules apply. First of all, Cavaglieri said, “Tread carefully if you’re looking for an up-and-coming area.” It’s best to look on the outskirts of popular locations, since this is where cheaper homes are found. Professional realtors will probably snag the likeliest picks, so your job is to “concentrate on the things that will always be important to buyers, such as decent transport, schools, and green areas.” A location by a park or elementary school might not be at the peak area of new development, but such areas are still prime real estate that never go out of style.
Ed Mead, the director of estate agents at Douglas & Gordon said, “Always go for location over size. Location is key and always go for the worst property in the best street, a sure winner.” Home value of the worst property can only go up, after all, and the neighbors will probably thank you for improving their home values, as well.
Getting a loan and doing background research
When you buy a fixer upper, banks are extra cautious with their lending. Make sure you let them know at the outset what your intentions are. Some banks will loan you just a part of the property value at the beginning and then disperse the rest in stages throughout the renovation. Also, be aware of any neighborhood covenants or necessary permissions you need to get before renovating. If the HOA says all homes need to have some brick on the exterior facade, you’ll want to know before you start tearing down walls.
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