Buying a house to fix and flip can make a lot of sense financially.
In fact, that is exactly what my husband and I did for several years in the hopes of building up a nice little nest egg for our retirement.
Most of the houses we bought for fix and flip purposes were tax foreclosures. Their cost was usually a lot less than other foreclosed homes.
After receiving the new list of tax foreclosures, I decided to go shopping for our next fix and flip, and I found the perfect one. It was a bit rundown, but some new windows and a coat of paint would definitely give it a good facelift. I looked through the windows and instantly fell in love with what this little house could become.
We purchased the home, and the very next day I set about doing a preliminary list of things to do and buy when I noticed just how badly the free-standing gas heater in the living room needed to be cleaned, so I got down on the floor with a rag, and set about cleaning it.
In just a few minutes, I noticed a movement on the floor not far from me. I looked over, and I kid you not, it was the hugest ant I ever saw.
I took my flip-flop off and swatted it. When I did, I got a quick whiff of wood. A little while later, I saw another ant and did the same thing. Again, when I killed it, it gave off the scent of wood.
I mentioned it to my husband when he got there, and I thought he was going to choke. He said the ants were carpenter ants, and if they gave off the scent of wood whenever they were killed, more than likely they had been there for a very long time, and the house was probably infested with them.
We had a pest exterminator come out and do a thorough check. He confirmed our worst nightmare. Our little fix-and-flip house had just become a nightmare. He told us that the ants had been there a long, long time and had done extensive damage to the floor joists, and they needed to be replaced.
We did not want to hear that.
We got some estimates from contractors on costs for fixing the joists, and figured out costs for replacing fixtures and paint, and discovered that our out of pocket money was more than the amount that we could get for the house.
We ended up tearing the house down, and doing extensive yard maintenance to make the property appealing, and just sold the property as a lot.