Ever since I started watching those housing flipping shows on HGTV and TLC, I've often day dreamed about purchasing a house that needed work for a bargain basement price, fixing it up, and flipping it for profit.  It looks relatively easy on TV, so why can't I do it?  The more I thought about the idea, the more complicated it became.  The biggest hurdle is purchasing the house cheap enough so that it can be sold with enough margin to make the process worthwhile. 

It comes with great timing that publishing contacted me with a free copy of the new book The House Flipping Answer Book written by a real estate flipper/lawyer Denise L. Evans.

Who is the author?

According to the back of the book, Denise L. Evans, Attorney at Law, is a licensed commercial real estate broker with an active practice.  She is a graduate of the University of Alabama Law School and has over 20 years experience of real estate expertise.  

What the book is about? 

The book steps you through the process of what is required to flip a house for profit from start to finish.  The layout of the book is a bit unique where each chapter is separated into common questions.  It's almost like a giant FAQ for wanna be and experienced flippers alike.

The Good and The Bad 

It answers questions that all newbie flippers would have and even gives a detailed outline on how the process works.  The bad, well, not so bad for our U.S Readers, but for the Canadian readers, you may want to skip this book.  The book contains a lot of U.S tax advice which is not relevant for us Canucks.

What did I learn the most from this book?

The author explains that the key to flipping properties for profit is that you need to include your profits into your expenses when deciding on your maximum purchase price.  For example:

Market Value when fixed: $200k

  • repair materials/labor cost: -$20k
  • holding costs: -$5k
  • agent selling fee: -$10k
  • closing costs: -$1k
  • profit: -$20k
  • fudge factor: -$5k

Maximum purchase price: $139k

Seems like a large spread between $200k and $139k, but note that houses that are worth $200k in mint condition are typically listed for much less when they need extensive repairs. 

Want a free copy?

  • Simply leave a comment and you'll automatically be entered in the draw for a free copy.
  • Please only 1 comment entry / person (please enter a valid email address).
  • Only those with a North American mailing address may enter (publisher rules, sorry).
  • Contest will end Thursday 5pm EST May 8, 2008 and the winner announced shortly afterwards!

Find out how you can save an additional 4% on this book from Chapters. 

64 Comments

  1. AndrewP on May 7, 2008 at 11:34 pm

    The price is right!



  2. newinvestor on May 8, 2008 at 12:20 am

    Count me in. Always was interested in this type of investment/work
    cheers



  3. Ryan on May 8, 2008 at 1:09 am

    This book looks great. I’ve purchased a few “instructional” books on flipping houses, and most lack figures and budgets. Its refreshing to know that there’s one out there that isnt afraid to publish costs, especially in this ever changing economic state the country is in.

    Ive always wanted to flip a house, but its getting harder to divert the money. Thankfully, most houses are only getting cheaper.

    GIMME [please]!



  4. Steven on May 8, 2008 at 3:41 am

    Thanks – count me in.



  5. Chris on May 8, 2008 at 5:11 am

    Currenty looking homes. This book would be beneficial to me!



  6. cbez on May 8, 2008 at 8:51 am

    It is my hope to “invest” in shack-flipping soon!



  7. Jen_nifer on May 8, 2008 at 9:02 am

    I agree with James, that it’s nearly impossible to find a home discounted enough in Ottawa to make it happen. But still curious about the whole idea. I’d be really happy to receive this book.



  8. Debt_Free_in_5 on May 8, 2008 at 9:33 am

    Remember the mantra of real estate agents everywhere.
    Location, Location, Location.

    I got stuck carrying a house for 5 years, and took a 70% loss when I finally sold it (gave it away).

    It was an expensive lesson.



  9. Cannon_fodder on May 8, 2008 at 9:35 am

    I ran into one gentleman just over 5 years ago and he had a different business model. He would be one of those people that would line up to buy a home in a new development. When it came time to put the fit and finishes together, he would strip out as much as he could with the interior fittings.

    Then, when the house was ‘ready’ he would move in and live there while putting in cabinets, countertops, backsplash, hardwood flooring, moulding, etc., etc. He would sell that house (with no capital gain tax since it was his residence) and make a nice tidy sum.

    Not really a viable option for anyone who isn’t single, but perhaps a less risky model with less upside, too.



  10. property bulgaria on May 8, 2008 at 10:56 am

    My experience, after extensive renovations to 3 houses, has been that you better be buying the house for a very good discounted price to market, you need to keep your renovation costs in check and you want to be in a rising market. Location, Location, Location doesn’t hurt either. In each case we’ve made a slight profit but we never knew what that profit was going to be until the house sold, as we hadn’t built a clear estimate into our initial budget. In each case our final renovation costs were double what we’ve budgeted and we were lucky that there had been a big upswing in the market from the time of purchase to the sale date. One sold in a day, one in 3 months and the other we rented for almost a year until market values had reach a point where it was profitable to sell. It can be done but it’s not for the faint of heart. Will we try again..probably not.



  11. LBanks on May 8, 2008 at 11:28 am

    I have never seen the TV show, as we dont have cable… looking forward to reading it



  12. Al on May 8, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    James and Jen,

    I’m in Ottawa too, and I did see a flip down the street from me. Asking price before the flip was $260K and asking after was $350K. I’m not sure what the actual sale price was in either case. It sold after about 3 1/2 weeks and there was an open house every weekend.

    I don’t want the book.



  13. Lara on May 8, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    I’ve been seriously tempted to try flipping, and would love to know more! Count me in…



  14. Ben on May 8, 2008 at 5:56 pm

    Send it my way.