Zen and the Art of Real Estate Investing with Jonathan Greene

Learning How To Flip Houses From Scratch with Jenny Burke


If you’re thinking about getting started with house flipping or house hacking, you might want to reconsider buying a house at this time. 

For house flippers and house hackers, budget is everything, especially in today’s market where margins are so tight. In fact, this is probably the worst time to flip because the construction costs are at an all-time high. 

But it doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two about what it takes to be in this house-flipping industry. 

Jenny Burke, real estate investor,  agent, and project manager at Streamlined Properties, shares some things she has learned over the years of house flipping from scratch:


1. Look at tons and tons of houses.


You have to know what a $300,000-house  looks like in West Orange compared to what 300,000 looks like in Mendham. If you don’t have the money or assets to get started, then get your license so you can be around real estate all the time.


2. Meet other investors.


Meet and talk to other real estate investors and learn about anything investing. Ask them about some hiccups they met along the way. You can save yourself a whole bunch of money just by having those friends and connections. 


3. Identify structural problems.


New flippers are so hungry to just get a deal. And the reason why the property has been on the market for 180 days is usually because of structural problems. Although those are fixable, you have to have extra budget for it, as well as budget extra time for it. 


4. If you’re a first time flipper, don’t buy anything right now. 


Unless you acquire some super cheap property from a dead family member, for instance, this is the worst time to be a first time flipper in recent history because the prices are so high. You’re probably going to spend twice as much and it’s going to take twice as long as you think right now. 


5. Build relationships with the town.


In some towns, getting all those inspection and occupancy certificates can be very challenging because a lot of them are on a power trip. If so, just be nice to them and don’t argue over anything.


6. Price out what it’s worth.


A lot of the flips that are failing on the market are because of a combination of bad agents, bad marketing, bad representation, bad construction, and bad flipping. Therefore, be sure to be in tune with what people want in the market. Get to know your market and what people are looking at. Look at the units sold, what they sold for, and what the style is.


Flip is definitely not about you as a flipper and your ego getting in the way because you want to make a house look the way you want it. Instead, your goal is to make it more suitable to the modern buyer. 

If you want to learn more about how to flip houses, check out

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *