Tag Archive for: how to flip for profit

How To Guarantee Profits in Real Estate Investing

Real estate isn’t a guessing game. Here’s a step-by-step guide of how to guarantee profits in real estate investing.

As a hard money lender, we want to see you actually make money on a flip.

We know firsthand that education is the first step to profit in real estate investing. Many people come to us with a fundamental misunderstanding of the numbers.

Any seasoned real estate investor can tell you: these numbers are all really simple. You just have to practice them. The more you understand, the higher your profits. There’s money in the money.

Don’t be scared off by the math involved in investing. Repetition is key. We’ll walk through the simple numbers, and show just how easy it is to guarantee profits in real estate investing.

The Fundamental Numbers

Let’s go through a simple deal analysis.

You’ll need to do a little research to find the numbers to plug into this equation. You can get most of this information from:

  • The listing/seller
  • The lenders you may work with
  • Real estate communities (like Bigger Pockets, or local Facebook groups)
  • Simple market research on sites like Zillow
  • Your personal experience over time

We’ll walk through each number in our example step-by-step.

ARV & Purchase Price

After-repair value (or ARV) is what you can anticipate selling a property for after you fix it up. For our example, we’ll say our ARV is $200,000. Meaning, we can get $200k for this property when we go to sell.

Next is purchase price. This is the contract price – how much you bought the property for. In our example, the purchase price is $120,000.

Closing & Loan Costs

However, the purchase price does not include the closing cost. Beginner investors often fail to consider these.

Closing costs are what you owe the title company for closing the contract, plus the fees on the loan itself.

The title will be around $2k or $3k. Closing fees, appraisals, etc for your lender will be based on your loan amount – somewhere between 2 and 3 points. For all the closing costs, we’ll say $8,000 total in our example.

Rehab & Insurance

The next crucial number is rehab costs. What’s a realistic budget to make this property one someone would buy for $200k? For this example, we’ll low-ball a bit. Let’s say we already have some materials on-hand, and we’ll do a bit of the work ourselves. We estimate to fix up the home for $20,000.

Property insurance is the next cost to consider. Most lenders require property insurance in the case of theft, fire, weather damage, vandalization, or any other unexpected loss of property. We’ll say the insurance for our example will cost us $2,000.

At this point, all our costs add up to $150,000. Typically, people who come to us get about this far. They say, “We can finish this project for $150k and sell for $200k. That’s $50,000 in equity. All profit!”

But those people fail to factor in some final important payments: what it costs to hold and then sell the property.

Holding Costs

Between interest, mortgage, insurance, HOA, utilities… What’s the monthly cost to keep the property while you fix it up?

It depends how long it takes to complete and sell. Rehab can take anywhere between 2 months and 6 months. For our example, let’s say we hold for 4 months.

This number is impossible to calculate perfectly, but on average, you can estimate holding costs to be about 1% of your sale price every month.

Our 4-month hold works out to 4%, or $8,000 total.

Fees at the Sale

Once you go to sell, you now have realtors involved – both on your side as a seller and the buyer’s side.

Typically, the high end of realtor fees are 6%, occasionally as low as 4%. We’ll go with the high end for our example, and say these fees will cost us $12,000.

Also, you’ll have more closing costs on the sale of the house. There are some tricks investors can use here to lower the price, like doing a hold open. Let’s say this will cost us $3,500.

Total Fix-and-Flip Costs

We’ve finally factored in all the costs of our example property. In total, this fix-and-flip would cost us $173,500.

It’s vital to factor all costs in number when you’re doing the math if you want to guarantee profits in your real estate investing.

With a $200,000 ARV, our anticipated profit would be: $26,500. Not bad at all for a $200k house.

Calculations to Quickly Guarantee Profits in Real Estate Investing

There are a few quick calculations you can do to find out if a property is in the profit range or if the squeeze is too tight.

Start with your sale price. 100% of our example’s sale price is $200,000. What we want to know is:

  • What percentage of that number should your other costs be in order to guarantee a profit in a real estate investment?

Purchase Price & Rehab

In real estate investing, it’s typical to have your purchase price below 70% of the ARV. (Keep in mind – the last few years have not been a typical market. Buyers had been overpaying, and leverage was easier to find. Don’t base your expectations here on the market from the last 2-3 years).

If your purchase price and rehab costs are around 65% or 70% of the after-repair value, it’s likely the flip will profit.

Closing & Loan Closing

The loan fees, closing costs, insurance, etc should cost somewhere around 5-6% of the ARV, at the high end.

It’s an important cost-saving measure to make sure you have some control over the insurance, maybe with a blanket policy. A great credit score can also cut these costs down pretty drastically.

Holding Costs

Holding costs can truly trap flippers in this market. However, as long as you buy good properties and do good rehabs, we’re still seeing houses sell quickly.

Most fix-and-flips that get stuck on the market are because:

  • They’re at a higher price point (and buying power is low).
  • The investor didn’t do their due diligence.
  • The quality of the rehab is poor.

Ideally, you’re getting the house ready to sell in less than 6 months. So holding costs shouldn’t cost any more than 6% of your ARV.

Realtor & Closing Fees

As we shift into a buyer’s market, realtors become more and more important. It’s possible to negotiate with realtors, but these costs should stay around 4-6%.

You can also expect around 1.5% of the ARV for the second batch of closing costs.

How to Calculate Profit Based on Percentages

If you can estimate your costs’ percentage of ARV, you can guarantee profits in your real estate investment.

The percentage of costs added up have a direct impact on the percentage of profit leftover for you:

You should always aim for a minimum of 10% profit on a flip. The 10-15% range is even better.

In the example we’ve been using, our number for costs comes in at 86.75%. The leftover is profit, so 13.25%.

Floor vs Ceiling

Ideally, calculating these numbers gives you a floor – the bare minimum of what this property could earn you.

Then you’re left to find out the ceiling. As you gain more experience in real estate investing, you’ll find new ways to save money. Maybe cutting a little from purchase price, having a more efficient rehab, selling for a little over the ARV.

Not only can you guarantee your profits in real estate investing, you can make them skyrocket.

Sticking to the Numbers Guarantees Profit

Learn these numbers and stick to them. The number one way beginner real estate investors fail is that they go by emotions instead of math.

If you buy a property because it feels like it will work, or because you like it… You’ll probably lose money and hate real estate investing.

We want to see you try real estate investing and stick with it.

Visit our YouTube channel for more free info on real estate investing. 

And reach out to us if you need help running through the numbers on a property. Send us an email at Info@HardMoneyMike.com.

Happy Investing.

Text: "ARV & Comps: How to profit on your real estate investments"

What Does ARV Mean in Real Estate Investing?

To profit in real estate investing, you’ll need to know: What does ARV mean?

Real Estate Investing: What Does ARV Mean?

ARV is the after repair value. It’s what the property will appraise for, or sell for, on the current market once the scope of work is completed.

You estimate a property’s ARV by looking at the prices of similar homes in the current market.

What Are Comps?

Comps (comparables) are those similar homes you look at. It’s important that your comps have the same value as your property.

For example, if your deal is for a 950 square-foot home, you’ll compare it to other 900 to 1,000 square-foot homes on the market, not a 2,000 square-foot one. Similarly, compare a 2-bedroom, 1-bath house to houses of the same specifications – not to 4-bedroom, 2-bath homes.

How To Get an Accurate ARV

For your ARV to be accurate, you need to stay true to your scope of work. If you only repaint and re-carpet a house that needed much more work, you won’t get top-of-the-market value when you try to sell or refinance.

On the other hand, if your scope of work is a full remodel, your comparables should be homes that are fully remodeled, so you don’t miss out on any profit.

The money you put into fixing up a house isn’t a direct indicator of how much the house will be worth. What the property looks like when it’s finished has nothing to do with how much it cost to get it there.

What Does ARV Mean for Profit in Real Estate Investing?

Estimated profit is what you expect to make on the transaction between:

  • buying the property
  • fixing it up
  • selling it again.

Additionally, equity is the difference between the amount you owe and what the property is worth. You build equity on your rentals by:

  • buying properties with a low purchase price and a high ARV
  • successfully refinancing after a flip
  • paying down the mortgage with rent income.

If you want to find the true profitability of a deal, then use your ARV and comparables:

ARV – (Purchase Price + Budget) = Profit Amount

Read the full article here.

Watch the video here:


Text: "Making Money in Real Estate in 2022." Mike Bonn with dollar bills in the background.

How to Make Money Real Estate Investing in 2022

You’re here to make money. How do you make money real estate investing in 2022?

The real estate market has changed. The economy has changed. The money side of flipping has changed. If you’re a newer real estate investor, you might be feeling hesitant right now.

We’ve been through over twenty years of markets. We’ve seen many markets that look similar to ours in 2022.

Take our word for it: here’s what will make you money this year in your real estate investment career.

4 Real Estate Basics That Can Make You Money in 2022

The best real estate investments are the evergreen basics. Here are 4 consistent ways of creating cashflow — if you do it right based on your market.

1) Flips

Buying, fixing, and then selling properties is a common investment strategy. But to make money on fix-and-flips in 2022, you’ll have to focus carefully on the numbers. Flips make money in one lump sum, not in a steady cash flow over time. So in tougher markets, it’s important to make that large sum count.

This year especially, we recommend staying in the medium to lower price range for your flips. We’re still seeing people selling well in the medium price range. Larger properties, however, are feeling a lot of pressure in this market.

For flips, focus on the numbers and stick to medium price ranges. (More on this later in the article).


Buying and fixing up rental properties is another of the best real estate investments. But BRRRR is taking a bit of a hit right now due to interest rates. Interest rates have more than doubled since the beginning of 2022, which will seriously impact your cash flow.

You can still make money from BRRRR properties this year, but you’ll have to be extra careful with numbers. Know your credit score, know your interest rates, and know the rent prices for your area.

3) Subject Tos

A “subject to” is when you buy someone’s property, take over their mortgage, and make all payments, but you don’t assume the loan. The property is in your name and you have ownership, but it stays financed by the seller. 

Subject tos will be great opportunities in 2022. You can walk into a property where the rate on the mortgage is still 2.5% – 3%, potentially with renters in place. This will bring a much higher cash flow than if you started from scratch on the open market, where interest rates are almost double that.

Using subject tos is a great way to grow a big portfolio using someone else’s financing. (You’ll see more about subject tos in 2022 later in the article).

4) Notes

Another great tactic for real estate investors this year is to use your money in deeds of trust or other private lending.

Rates have gone up, but banks still haven’t really raised CD rates. If you have some money sitting in an account, notes are a good way to get a higher return. You can lend to other investors through gap funding or a more long-term agreement. Notes are becoming big in real estate again, especially with the market in 2022.

Passive Ways to Make Money in Real Estate in 2022

Maybe you feel like you want to use 2022 as an opportunity to tap out of the active flipping game. But, you also don’t want to lose the chance for real estate cash flow. We’ve got three good passive real estate investing options for you.

1) Subject Tos with Rentals

Subject to rentals will be a pretty safe bet for passive real estate income this year. With a subject to, the loan is still under the original financier’s name. You’re just making payments, so the mortgage won’t cloud up your credit.

It’s relatively easy to add 5 – 10 properties to your rental portfolio without adding more debt to your name. If you put these rentals in with a property management company, you can still make a good amount of passive cash flow.

2) Private Notes

Deeds of trust or private lending is a reliable, secured, passive way to put money to work in real estate. With notes, you lend your money to friends or other people in the markets who are looking for funding – and you don’t have to worry about doing any of the work on the property.

Instead of making 1-2% with a bank’s CD rate, you could double or triple that by lending privately. We’ve helped thousands of people successfully lend this way, so contact us for more information.

3) REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)

Real Estate Investment Trusts work a bit like a mutual fund. You pool your money with a bunch of other people, and the company uses that money to buy real estate. You’re just one of many investors, and everyone earns a return on the properties. 

There are public REITs and private REITs. With public, you can trade on the open market. With private, you have a little more restriction; once you get in, you stay in.

REITs are a great option if you want to invest in real estate but want someone else to manage it. If you’re looking for passive real estate income, research REITs in your area.

Commercial Real Estate Investing in 2022

2022 may be the year you want to venture into commercial real estate. Apartments buildings with over five units, retail space, office buildings, and industrial areas all fall under commercial real estate.

How do you invest in commercial real estate?

One option for commercial real estate investing is to hold or flip just as you would any single-family home. We’ve also seen a lot of people find success with another option recently: buying bigger industrial properties, flipping them, and splitting them up into separate properties to sell.

Cap Rates in Commercial Real Estate

An important number to consider in commercial real estate is the cap rate. All commercial properties come with a cap rate, which is the return you can expect on your investment. 

For example, if you put $100,000 into a property with a 4% cap rate, you can expect a return of $4,000; this is probably an area that pays lower rent. But a $100,000 investment on an 8% cap rate will have an $8,000 return, so the property will have higher cash flow.

Generally, the higher the cap rate, the lower the value because it may be considered a riskier investment. The lower the cap rate, the higher the value because more people are more willing to put more money in. 

People take lower cap rates over higher ones because they believe a lower cap rate market is more stable. It’s like when you put money into a CD – the appeal is the stability, despite the lower rate. People who look for higher cap rates prioritize return over long-term growth or stability.

Cap rates differ city-to-city and within cities. If you’re interested in commercial properties, you can talk to a commercial broker in your area to understand local cap rates.

Two Biggest Opportunities for Real Estate Investing in 2022: Fix-and-Flips and Subject Tos

How you’ll choose to make money in 2022 will depend on you, your market, and your current financial situation. 

But we expect that the two best real estate investment methods this year will be flipping and subject tos. Here’s how you can make money using these investment strategies:

How to Flip for Profit

At the beginning of 2022, flipped homes would sell in a matter of hours, rather than weeks or months. The fix-and-flip experience will be a little different in the remainder of 2022. But flipping is still a great opportunity to make a profit in real estate.

What Properties Will Flip for Profit?

Your best bet for income in real estate flipping will be sticking to medium price point properties.

Some areas – for example, City center of Denver — are still doing great in higher price ranges. People are still selling $1 – 2 million dollar properties with no issues. But in smaller communities, there are fewer people who can afford $600,000 – $900,000 properties.

With rising interest rates, people who were looking in those higher price ranges now need to look a little lower. Medium property prices are also always competing with rent.

Even though interest rates have gone up 5 – 6%, a $150,000 – $250,000 house will still be in a competitive market with rent. As long as they can afford it, people will always steer toward buying a home rather than renting. 

Rent prices aren’t going anywhere but up. We may see changes in the renting sphere as congress discusses hedge funds and other big investors driving rent prices up. But for you now, rising rents could push more people to consider home ownership in the low-to-mid price range.

Flipping Expectations for 2022

When you look at your market, know that 3-bedroom, 2-bath, and garage homes will always be reliable as a seller. People will always be searching for those types of properties for their families.

You’ll find buyers in this range, but be sure to adjust your expectations. In the last market, buyers would make offers within hours or days. The reality of this upcoming market is it might take one or two months to find a buyer. Be patient, take your time, look at your area, and keep an eye out for upcoming foreclosures and other opportunities.

Subject To Real Estate Investing

A “subject to” is when you buy someone’s property subject to them leaving the mortgage on the property. You become the owner, you receive the deed or title, and you take over the loan. But it’s still the same loan, in the original owner’s name. You’re not assuming, or refinancing. They keep the loan on the property, and you just make the payments.

Should You Do a Subject To?

How is a subject to beneficial for you? The property’s existing mortgage will likely have rates close to 2.5-3% – rather than the 6% rate you’d get on a new loan. Also, in a subject to, you assume no additional debt.

Most subject tos are made for rentals, lease options, or contract for deeds. A subject to property is not a great place to flip. When people are willing to do a subject to, the reason they’re not selling the property is they can’t get the price that they want at the speed they want. So they have to get rid of the property this way to avoid wrecking their credit for future loans.

The Money Side of Subject Tos

We’ve seen clients with 50 – 200 subject to properties. Subject tos are a great way to build a portfolio without using your credit, and without maxing out your loan opportunities with lenders.

Sometimes with subject tos, you’ll have to give the owner of the mortgage some money to give over the property. There are also occasional fix-up costs, depending on the condition of the property. 

Why some people don’t want to jump into a subject to is because they don’t have the $5,000 – $15,000 start-up costs to get into it. We recommend looking into OPM as a way to cover these costs and take advantage of subject tos. 

You’re getting the cheapest possible financing on a property, so it doesn’t matter much if the loan is still at 100%. Making monthly payments continually brings the loan down. And you’re free from many other financing and closing costs.

If you get a long-term renter, or someone who wants to do a lease option and put some money down, subject tos can become a great source of cash flow.

Subject tos are going to be hot as foreclosures pick up, selling times slow, and people can’t afford to fix up their properties. They are one of the best ways to take advantage of a down market and build a large real estate portfolio.

What To Do Next?

The real estate market at the end of 2022 will look very different than it did in the beginning. But there are always options for making money in real estate – in any market.

We have plenty of experience in markets like the one we’re now entering. If you need more guidance as you navigate your real estate investment career this year, let us help.

Download our free real estate investment resources here.

Check out the information on our YouTube channel here.

And always feel free to reach out to us at hardmoneymike.com.


Happy Investing.