Think Realty
November 2020
"Investing in Community"

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by Michele Van Der Veen

When I introduce myself to others as a "house flipper," one of the first things people ask me is whether I think flipping houses is a risky business. HGTV shows like "Flip or Flop" give the impression to many people that being a house flipper is all about how much profit you end up with at the end of each flip. Well, ok we do need to make a profit on our flips! But no matter what the end of each project guarantees you will walk away with the feeling of a job well done no matter what kind of profit you make! When it comes to flipping houses, we can view what we do as not making money but rather investing in communities. 

   The biggest investment for most people will be in their homes. People often save money for years to be able to buy their home. They research the community where they think they want to buy and live. They look at schools, shopping, and parks when deciding on where to buy a house. When they get that home, they might invest more in upgrades, mow their yards, and plant flowers. Home owners work hard to make their mortgage payments each month. Most are proud of their home and want to keep it looking nice. They can control what takes place with their own investment - their home - but unfortunately can't control what happens with the other homes on their street. This is where 

investors come in.

  I've flipped dozens of houses in some of the most dangerous neighborhoods in California and in some of the wealthiest neighborhoods in California. With all the homes I have flipped, I've seen a pattern taking place. Every dilapidated house has a different story; yet, every community's story has the same story. A home is a big investment for people and one bad home in a community will bring down all the other homes in the neighborhood.

   This house was no different! Located in a sought0after neighborhood in Historic Gold Country California, this home was in desperate need of an overhaul. The home was owned by an elderly couple who just couldn't physically maintain it. The home was built by the couple back in the 1960s and had not been upgraded since. The yard and home itself were not maintained and the decking was deemed unsafe. Just the decking itself for the average homeowner would have cost $30,000 to rebuild. No bank would loan on the home because it was in such a state of despair. This is how investors can help.

   Investors who buy homes such as these, fix them up, and resell them is the only hope some community members have to ensure their neighborhood maintains integrity and their pride of ownership and home values are preserved. Investors have the means and the know-how to take homes such as these, turn them around and even drive up the comps in neighborhoods. In the end, investors have the power to improve communities and that's something we can all feel good about no matter the amount of profit.

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