H&G: Flip Out

In today’s economy, an investment is not always a sure thing. But if you are looking to make a sound choice, you might want to start by searching with that old idea of the diamond in the rough. 

Through the years, many people have engaged in flipping houses to help them breathe a little easier in business. Edmond and metro residents continue the practice of finding rundown properties and turning them into dream homes.

Aldi Chandra is one such person. He owns OKC Home Buyers Inc. and has been cultivating properties since 2005. Inspired to have a career in business when he read a book titled “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” while in college, Chandra chose real estate as a smart investment.

“It opened up my mind about real estate, about money in general,” he says of the book, and explains how it taught him that there were four groups of people — employees and self-employed on the left side and big business and investors on the right. “My goal is to be on the right side,” he laughs, and emphasizes that in real estate, the best place to start is as an investor. “Anybody who is willing to start, they have to be patient, because there is a lot of stuff to learn,” Chandra says.

But he has advice for those that do. He began in the housing market by attending the monthly meeting of REI Oklahoma. “That’s one thing for sure you want to do, so you don’t get lost,” he says of beginning the process. These meetings offer opportunities to meet with investors, flippers, Realtors and lenders, said Chandra. “You get to find out where to get the cheapest materials, who to hire, the pros and cons, you get to meet local people who are doing things that you want to do.”

Chandra does admit, however, that the times definitely have changed from when he first started in the business. “Right now, we’re just moving with the market, because there are more sellers and less buyers out there,” he says.

He cautions potential “flippers” to be conservative. The best market range to invest in are homes between $50,000 and $150,000. “That’s a good target to do a flip, because that’s what most people are buying these days,” Chandra says. These homes are usually your typical three-bedroom, two-bath homes and because of their price, are easier to get loans on, he explains. This is a primary way to help facilitate the loan process. It is here that Chandra stresses the importance of maintaining a good relationship with local bankers, as opposed to the larger banks.

So if you’ve made the jump and are looking for a house to make a home (for someone else, that is), it is essential to keep in mind what sells. “When searching for a home, most buyers are searching for something that is turnkey,” says Kristyn Grewell, active Realtor with Century 21. Grewell specializes in the Edmond area and knows what buyers want. “With busy lives, they want a home they can move into and not have to change a thing,” she says. This is where flipping a house can be most rewarding.

Grewell explains that to make a house more appealing to potential buyers, it has to be clean. “New carpet, fresh paint and clean grout are a must,” she says. Grewell adds that the use of neutral colors with white- or dark-stained wood are becoming the most popular trends. Granite in the kitchen and bathroom is often expected.

Once the interior is taken care of, the next focus should be on landscaping duties. Have a trimmed lawn with seasonal flowers, new exterior paint, and new shutters or garage doors where needed, says Grewell.

These homes can come out completely different from the condition in which they began. Suffice it to say that if you look hard enough, anything is possible. Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder but it doesn’t have to stay there.

For more information you can visit their website www.okcreia.com 

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