Real estate tips and tricks from Armando Montelongo

The Best House to Buy for Flipping

People who want to get into the real estate investing business always want advice about what kind of houses to buy and flip.

From the day I started flipping houses to today, my simple answer has been the same:

Buy houses that you can sell quickly.

So what sells the fastest? The familiar three-bedroom, two-bath house. Most people either grew up in a 3/2 or have lived in one for most of their lives. It’s become a standard, especially among our target audience, the middle-income buyers.

The traditional 3/2 is a good size for the traditional family, and even for a lot of non-traditional families.

Turns out, people also are looking at traditional sizes as well. A recent survey showed that the most buyers were looking for a house between 1,400 and 2,000 square feet.

People are figuring out they don’t need as much space as they thought. Ten years ago, 22 percent of buyers wanted houses with more than 2,600 square feet. Today, that number is down to 18 percent.

The other thing that sells houses fast: A competitive price. You want to know your market and price it below what other sellers are asking.

If you want an exact number, more and more people – 45 percent, in one survey – are looking for houses that cost less than $200,000. And that’s not as tough as it sounds, since median prices are down from $297,000 to $272,900 in the last five years.

One of the blogs from the National Association of Realtors has a lot of good info on median home size and prices on a national basis.

Of course, the other thing I always tell people is to understand their markets. Get to know the area, and get to know the people who know it. Nothing beats knowing your submarkets like the back of your hand. Do your research as you’ve been trained, pick a half dozen zip-code specific (or smaller) submarkets – then get to work.