The Finer Points of House Flipping After You’ve Retired

You’ve always known that the best investment you can make is with real estate and now that you’ve retired, you’re ready to take the plunge. The good news is, you’re right, retirement is a great time to purchase a home for resale. You’ve got the time, you’ve built up a good credit history, and you enjoy working with your hands so house flipping could be the perfect post-retirement job for you.

Here’s some house flipping advice from Hana Hyams of Clarksville.com Realty.


Before you take that first step or spend that first dollar, you’ll need to contact a real estate agent in your area or the area where you’re looking to invest. They’ll know what homes are best for getting the largest return on your investment, plus they have first hand knowledge of properties being foreclosed, auctioned, or selling below market value.

Next, you’ll want to contact your bank or a mortgage broker recommended by your real estate agent for the area you’re interested in. You’ll want to get pre-approved and have an idea of how much you can borrow for your intended purchase. If you want to use any of your savings to pay off credit card or loan debt first, give yourself a bit of time after doing that before getting your credit score as it takes about that long for it to update.

If you intend to make your house-flipping a full-time business, you’ll want to structure that in a way that lessens your personal liability. Forming an LLC not only separates your personal and business finances but also reduces your tax liability and lessens the amount of paperwork you’ll need to file. When you do, it’s important to create an operating agreement, a document that spells out how your company will be run, structured, and managed. This will be especially important if you bring in any investors.

As a business, you’ll need software for payroll services to spare yourself the headaches of payroll tedium. Running payroll is much simpler with software that tracks time, withholds taxes, and creates direct deposits in minutes. There’s even an app available so you can get your work done on the go.

When you create your house-flipping business, having a strong brand with a professional-looking logo helps instill confidence in lenders and buyers. Fortunately, logos are a cinch when you use a tool online to create one for free. Being creative by doing it yourself with available apps and templates allows you to be in control of exactly how you want it to look. And you’ll save by not having to pay for a designer.

What kind of home you plan to invest in will depend a great deal on the amount of money and time you’re willing to put into it. Your real estate agent will be a good source for knowing how much you can expect to resell your property based on market trends, local housing values, and what kind of homes people in your area are looking for.

Hiring a contractor to give you an estimate of the kind of repairs the home you’re interested in will need and an approximate cost of those repairs is an expenditure that can save you far more than the amount you’ll pay for it. Pulling up carpet and flooring, painting and removing wallpaper, replacing appliances and cabinets, and repairing decks are cost-effective ways to improve the value of a property.

Completely redoing the plumbing, electricity, and roof or removing mold can mean a bigger investment than what you can expect to recover in a sale. Whatever quote you get, it’s wise to add 20% to that since unexpected problems can and probably will be found.

DIY is part of the fun of flipping a house. Painting, landscaping, and staining wood are doable projects most anyone can do. If you’re handy with power tools, even things like installing cabinets and countertops can be learned with online tutorials. Some things, usually anything to do with HVAC, electrical, or structural, should be farmed out to a professional. For instance, it’s probably best to leave the wiring and ducting work for an outdoor range hood to a professional. You can check the reputations of local tradespeople with online resources that allow people to leave reviews of their experiences.

Investing in real estate and flipping homes for resale is growing and becoming more popular, especially for people who’ve retired as interest rates fall and stock market investments become more volatile. Your real estate agent is the most important resource you can have from the beginning search until the final sale. If you’re in the Clarksville, TN area, contact Hana Hyams for Clarksville.com Realty. She’ll be your guide and partner with professionalism, experience, and caring.

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About the author:

Rhonda Underhill // contributor