Flipping property in the U.S. is easy with the right mindset

While the great resignation may have started in the United States, the movement has definitely reached Australia, encouraging Aussies to rethink their values around work and redefine their lifestyle choices. It’s led to people looking for ways to have more control of their finances and free time, particularly by starting their own businesses.


Traditionally, building a business from the ground up involves business plans, business models, perfecting products and lots of marketing. It can take some time before your business really takes off so it might be a few years before you see any real returns.


Well, there are options available that will see you take off like a rocket. This is residential property flipping.


Flipping properties is a more flexible way to manage your money and time by your own rules, effectively making you ‘your own CEO’. It’s also a lucrative source of income since you can see a positive turnaround in only a few months, especially in the U.S. where the real estate market is red-hot.


As a foreign investor, investing in the U.S. residential property market has plenty of advantages, including low starting costs, more properties available and flexible short-term loan arrangements we just don’t have access to in the Australian property market.


We’ve helped hundreds of Aussies and Kiwis buy, flip and sell U.S. properties and know how to guide you through the process and avoid the traps first-time investors can fall for. While your first property purchase and renovation might be a little more tentative, you’ll soon gain confidence in the systems and your ability and set yourself up as a fully-fledged property flipper.

Why you should flip properties

To know if flipping property overseas is right for you it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons and learn the processes upfront. It’s a business best suited to someone with solid organisation skills who’s not afraid to show some initiative. If you find the challenge of flipping exciting you can do some more research to see if it will be the right fit for your lifestyle and financial goals, as well as your personality.


Not every property will be a winner so taking the time to assess the market (current and predicted) and check over the property details carefully will help in making a choice that will bring you significant returns on your investment.


Factoring in your overheads will give you a reasonable idea of the investment you will be making as well as the cost you need to sell for in order to see a quality return. There are plenty of upfront costs, including the property itself, building materials and labour, but these are considerably cheaper than anything you’ll see locally in Australia.


Lending in the U.S. is also a pleasant surprise for most Aussies as there are a lot of speciality lenders for short-term loans that are structured around flipping houses. They reward fast paybacks and will even include the cash to cover your building costs.


Aside from its profit potential, there are plenty of added benefits to flipping property. As the purchaser, you have the power to select a property you see value in and bring it to its best based on your ideas and what you see as potential. This gives you huge scope in terms of location, property type and price, just to name a few.


A few other benefits to property flipping include:


  • Lucrative returns within 6-12 months
  • Developing leadership and negotiation skills
  • Freedom to choose which property you want and when you want to pursue it
  • Contributes to your personal growth and development
  • Provides the ability to work anywhere
  • Great source of income
  • Choice of the investment size you feel comfortable with
  • Ability to choose your own work teams and support professionals


As you increase your portfolio you’ll continue to gain insider knowledge and expertise from professionals in the industry, allowing you to choose the best people to work with and open up more investment opportunities.

What you need to flip a property

When it comes to property flipping in the U.S. you need to be prepared. The initial excitement isn’t enough to propel you to the end of the process. You’ll need a solid plan and strategy that pushes you towards each new step so you can power through to the finish line quickly. A big part of this is making sure you have the right people with you.


For a seamless and cost-effective property flip, include the following essentials on your checklist.

1.   The right mindset

Having the right mindset is the most important aspect of flipping properties. You won’t be on-site to work on the property yourself, you’ll leave that in the hands of your skilled labourers. That means you’ll be responsible for ensuring that everything is in order and completed to a high standard. Getting this right requires a lot of independence. You need to have a proactive mindset to push your project forward.


As the primary owner and property investor, you need to evolve out of an “employee mindset” and into an entrepreneur mindset to take initiative and be proactive in your decision-making. You’ll be required to set and check short-term and long-term tasks from start to finish and pull any trouble back in line quickly. This will reduce the number of delays and oversights that crop up and put you in the control seat, rather than falling into reactionary responses that might come too late.

2.   A smart budget

The first step to flipping property is the biggest one: buying property. A property purchase isn’t cheap, especially as you’ll be looking for a great location and a solid building foundation.


The good news is that the prices of residential properties in the U.S. are pretty inspiring. As well as a bigger range of property types to choose from, property sales are much more affordable than in Australia and New Zealand. You won’t necessarily need to have a fat wallet to get started with flipping as a business and it is possible to get started in U.S property investments even without cash.

3.   A good team

Property flipping in the U.S., especially from somewhere as far away as Australia or New Zealand will require a hired team on the ground. It’s important you contract a group of professionals who are excellent in their respective fields and can work well together to coordinate different aspects and have your work finished on time.


Who you choose to have on your investment team will depend on you and the level of work you want to undertake, but there will be some core team members that will help make the going smoother:


  • A real estate agent
  • A lender (if you’re looking for alternative ways to finance your investment)
  • A contractor
  • A property manager


Flipping properties is a different experience from a traditional 9 to 5 job, so it’s normal to feel uncomfortable at first, especially as it doesn’t offer the same up-front stability as paid employment does. Keeping an open mind will help you learn new skills that are crucial in successfully flipping properties and allow you to develop your skills as an investor.


No matter what your budget is, big or small, conservative or luxurious, it’s essential that you have a smart budget and take the time to buy the right property starting out. Make sure you break down all your expenses, know what the realistic expected costs are going to be and negotiate with builders and suppliers to make sure everything stays in line.


As well as a recoverable price you need to ensure that your purchases and hiring costs still maintain a standard that will be desirable to future buyers and tenants.


If you want to learn more about how flipping properties will benefit you and how you can do it best, sign up for our Fix and Flip Academy and we can make property flipping a lucrative avenue of profit for you.