by Shari Held

It’s the stuff dreams are made of. Buy a dilapidated house, put in some elbow grease and enough capital to completely transform it, and sell it for twice what you put into it. It happens all the time on reality TV shows. But that may not reflect what happens in the real world.

“The reality of it is, it’s not that cut and dry,” says Laura Turner, Broker/Owner of Laura Turner Realty Group with FC Tucker. “Many things can go wrong, and you face a lot of unknowns.”

Reality shows feature the homes most apt to yield a great return. “Those are few and far between in this market, because home prices are at an all-time high,” Turner says. “The margin isn’t going to be as great now.”

If you’re still up for the risk, Laura has a few tips to help improve your experience and turn a profit.

  • WORK WITH A REALTOR to provide a realistic assessment of the value of the property “as is” and transformed.
  • AVOID BUYING THE MOST EXPENSIVE PROPERTY in the neighborhood. You may not make the money you want after making improvements.
  • LOOK FOR OFF-MARKET PROPERTIES such as a sheriff’s sale on foreclosed properties. “Once flipped, these are going to give you your greatest return,” Turner says.
  • BE PATIENT. Invest in a distressed property that most people have passed over and bring it back to life.
  • STICK TO YOUR OVERALL INVESTMENT BUDGET to ensure you have enough capital to complete the project.
  • HAVE CONTRACTORS LINED UP and ready to start immediately to avoid holding costs.

Talk to Laura today if you’re considering flipping houses. Visit her website at, or call (317) 363-0842 for more information.