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How to Know if a House Has “Good Bones”

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Home » Real Estate Investing » How to Know if a House Has “Good Bones”

Do you want to add flipping houses to your investor tool belt? According to Josh Miller, Founder and CEO of GoForClose, “to create a successful career flipping houses, you need to make your money when you buy, not when you sell.”

How Do You Make Money When You Buy?

Contrary to what you see on Fixer Upper and similar shows, it is very difficult to make money flipping houses. Josh recommends that you buy a house in good condition at a discount.

Even if the house needs TLC, it can be a promising flip so long as it has “good bones”.

What Does It Mean If a House Has “Good Bones”?

This investing buzz phrase (“house has good bones”) often refers to a property that has potential, that with a little elbow grease, maybe a sledgehammer, the house can be turned into a beautiful home.

A Property with “Good Bones” Has These Five Attributes:

1. Solid Foundation

Do the floors sink, swell, or tilt? Has the house settled so much that when you set a marble on the floor, it rolls across the room? Does the foundation have tell-tale cracks, or does the house lean to one side? These are all red flags.

 A well-built foundation is essential because it holds up the house and increases the amount of abuse the structure can take and still keep occupants safe.

empty room solid foundation

2. Strong Systems

The electrical, plumbing, and mechanical systems of a house are not in plain view, but that does not mean they are any less important. Think of these systems as the vital organs of the home: you will notice them if a problem occurs, and they are costly to repair.

Bonus: If you see window-mounted air conditioner units, this is a sign the house has no central air conditioning system. Depending on where the house is located, this may or may not pose an issue.

3. Facelift Potential

A house can be outdated, with dated styles and décor – dingy wallpaper, old tiles, funky furniture and fixtures. It can be an eye-sore but imagine the possibilities once you tear it all out.

Paint dark walls over with bright colors, replace linoleum flooring with gleaming hardwood – these changes can make a house more attractive to buyers.

4. Quality Materials and Finishes

Aesthetic choices aside, some old-fashioned finishes are timeless and always charming. Thick masonry, moldings, cathedral ceilings, and tile fireplaces bring character to a space. You can keep these lovely features and work around them as you update the rest of the room.

open floorplan living room and study

5. Floorplan

Are rooms small and compact? Are there inefficiencies and wasted space? A good floorplan enhances life at home.

Walk through the house to check the flow of rooms and identify ways to let in light, increase airflow, and make spaces open and more comfortable. There may be structural columns that can come down to expand a living room. Or, you can replace a wall in the master bedroom with a large window that lets in light and a view outside.

What Else Can I Do to Further My Investing Career?

One of the most important things to know to make a successful career flipping houses – and this is something Josh found out during his career as an investor – is marketing.

Marketing gets you in front of leads and brings motivated sellers to your dedicated site. It requires great data and regular content development, plus analytics and optimization of all messaging campaigns.

After Josh changed his own marketing methods, he got immediate results, and in a year owned 120 rental properties and had flipped hundreds more. In 2019, he founded GoForClose to help fellow investors enjoy the same success.

Our team at GoForClose leverages our REI experience and knowledge to tailor and run your marketing campaigns for you. We utilize several marketing tactics for lead generation and nurture them to be ready to be sent to you.

Our tactics include skip tracing, cold calling, SMS, RVM, email and direct mail marketing, and PPC advertising.

By handling your marketing for you, we empower you to focus on sales and closing deals!

If you have questions or are curious to know more, request a free consultation below.

April Henley
Content Developer | Website

April Henley is a Professional Writer and our Content Developer. She has 5 years of Real Estate Industry knowledge, and 8 years of experience writing copy for various marketing initiatives. She came to us from a Fortune 500 Real Estate Company (Lennar), where she co-created content for a partnership with Amazon and wrote a variety of multichannel, multipurpose pieces for home buyers and owners.

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