You Don’t Have to be a Guru to Flip Houses for a Living

Yep I said it, you don't have to be a guru to flip houses for a living.   Last week I closed on the infamous "wood plank" house in Wareham, Massachusetts.  If this is your first time hearing about the wood plank house I recommend you give the this post a look before reading on.

I purchased the wood plank house way back in May of 2012.  Here we are 8 months later finally selling the home.  Believe me it always feels incredible selling a property that I've been holding onto for the past 8 months.  In a way I miss each property because so much time and energy is invested into it.  However the paycheck and the knowledge that a family will be living in the newly renovated house makes me feel good when my head hits the pillow each night.

I'm no house flipping guru, but I am flipping one house per month which has given me the financial freedom I've always desired.  Below is a "before and after" of one of my most recent, rather typical house flips.

Flip Houses for a Living by Creating Curb Appeal

This house underwent a big transformation on the outside.  The front of the home received a fresh new coat of grey paint as well as new gutters and a new roof.  I went with vinyl siding for the side and back of the house.  Just take a peak at the below photos - BIG difference.

Before                                                            After

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When I purchased the home there were big posts and some awfully overgrown bushes in the front yard.  The landscaping was so disheveled that you could barely see the front door of the house.  Needless to say the neighbors were not thrilled with the vibe this house was giving off.

Well we busted out the weed whackers and planted grass seed to reclaim the territory.  My team also created a cool-looking stone walkway and dug out some much needed mulch beds.  To top it off we planted some plants and trimmed some hedges.  Not bad!

Before                                                                After

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A Cool Value-Add Surprise

Once you start flipping houses for a living, you will notice that neighbors often times like to "check-in" on what you are up to.  At first I found this odd when I just began to learn how to flip houses.  Over the years however I've gotten used to it and I now actually enjoy meeting the neighbors.  Of course this home was no different in that respect.

One gentleman in particular offered to black seal the two driveways on this property, so I figured "why not?"  For a couple hundred dollars he did a really great job on both driveways.  I will invest a $200 anytime I believe the investment will boost curb appeal.  You just never know what the potential buyer will fall in love with.

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The Backyard

I knew the rakes, weed whackers and lawn mowers were going to get a good workout when I decided to flip this property.  Just as in front, the backyard of the wood plank house needed some serious TLC.  My team did not do anything too drastic (no new septic or anything like that) just a lot of sweat and tears spent cleaning stuff up.

I think the walkway along the side of the house came out looking pretty good as well.

Before                                                             After

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Once we chopped down the vegetation I realized that this small shed towards the back of the property had some underutilized potential.  Instead of investing more time knocking the shed down and hauling it away, I decided to have my team spruce it up with some new shingles.  Another unexpected value add-on for the new homeowner.

I think remaining open to simple and creative ideas like renovating this small shed, has really helped me make a living flipping houses.  Adding value without adding a lot of extra expense is the way to go.

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The Inside

The inside of this property flip was rather "interesting."  As the wood plank nickname suggests, the inside of this house was virtually all wood planks.  The prior homeowner even had shingles on the indoor walls!

We wasted no time removing the shingles and the majority of the wood planks.  Giving this house a newer, more modern look was my #1 goal.

New laminate floors were installed in the living room and in the kitchen.  My team and I did not have a ton of space to work with but we tried to make the most of what we had by going with an open floor plan.  I talk a lot about open floor plans here the blog and for good reason - they help sell houses.


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The kitchen is completely new.  All the cupboards have a maple stain which seems to be preferred by home buyers in our neck of the woods - as opposed to oak.  Of course we chose stainless steel appliances and brush nickel fixtures.


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The odd space off the living room is now a 3 season room which is pretty popular on Cape Cod and throughout Massachusetts.  My team polished off this bonus room by installing vinyl flooring and brand new screens.

Brush nickel fixtures also work well in the bathroom.  Brush nickel is not expensive and it looks sleek, which is a one-two punch combination.  Along with the brush nickel we installed new tile laminate floor, a new vanity, new toilet and new 4 piece surround shower.

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All in all I am very pleased with how this house turned out.  This house flip was 8 months in the making, so believe me it feels great to unload this property.  Take it from me, you certainly do not have to be a guru to flip houses for a living.

See you at the top!


Mike LaCava

I'm a full time real estate investor, proud Dad and husband. My team and I are working to restore communities - one house at a time. House Flipping School is my way of sharing this vision with other investors who want to do good for their community, and make money flipping houses.