House flipping tools: all the gear you need to go pro
Here’s our ultimate house flipping tool kit – all the top tools you need to be a successful real estate flipper in 2018
House flipping tools are key to success – flipping houses isn’t as easy as it looks on TV. Here’s our round up of the top tools for real estate investors flipping houses. From smells to moisture, shingles to microwaves, we have you covered. What’s in your house flipping tools kit?
- First and foremost, OdorXit has to be one of the best products ever made for house flipping. We’ve seen this product totally eliminate odors, including the worst of them all, cat urine. It’s also very effective for smoke and all other unsavory smells. They sell a concentrate and a spray for smaller jobs. We recommend the industrial strength and size if you have an odor problem in a house you’re flipping. It will probably be the best $180 you ever spent. Somehow it neutralizes even the worst smells – this is a must purchase for real estate investors flipping stinky houses.
- Kilz is a highly recommended primer and sealer for any type of damage, from water to smoke to grease stains. You can use it to seal floors as well – key if you have odors that have set underneath carpet or other flooring. This stuff is a total lifesaver and it does so much more than a typical primer. We’re recommending the 5-gallon size for house flipping professionals.
- Lockboxes are an essential for anyone serious about house flipping. Pro tip: put them on the back door while you’re working on the house so it’s not totally obvious that it’s vacant. We like this style by Master Lock best. Never put all your keys in a lockbox – people can and will misplace them so it’s best to always keep a spare off-site.
- Have you tried to buy a boarded up house yet? Well, when you do, you’re going to need a trusty cordless drill in your trunk to get it open and closed again. We like this Dewalt with carrying case and it’s under $100. Always make sure the house is secured before you leave, vacant homes are very attractive for vagrants and drug users.
- Moisture is always a problem with older homes. Find out for sure exactly how bad it is with a moisture detector. This one is inexpensive and has a built-in flashlight, but this one looks way more pro AND it’s cheaper. Use this tool to check wood beams and sheetrock for moisture.
- Every house flipper needs a good Maglite. They’ve been making these heavy duty, water resistant flashlights since 1979 and our pick is 625 lumens. You can use one to defend yourself in a pinch. We like the 3D battery version best for scoping out houses to flip. Bigger batteries lose power slower than smaller ones, so you’re probably OK to leave this in your trunk.
- Unless you have an amazing (and free) professional inspector on your house flipping team, you’ll probably need to climb on a roof or two. This can be helpful for scoping out potential views from a second story as well as assessing roof condition. We like this collapsible version for your trunk with handy carrying case. It’s compact enough to fit in a normal trunk, but it extends to 15.5 feet, enough to get on a first story roof at least. Beyond that height, you may need to bring in a “real” ladder, but this will be enough height most of the time.
- While you’re climbing on roofs, this shingle gauge will determine the condition and expected lifespan of shingled roofs. That can also help you negotiate your price down. Sellers often don’t know much longer their roof should be expected to last, or the cost of a new one. Data is always helpful when you’re negotiating and this is irrefutable evidence of roof health.
- Avoid frustration when you install your “for sale” and “for rent” signs with these $14 mallets. Want to make sure these mallets don’t disappear on you? Customize the handle with spray paint in your favorite color.
- Want to be totally sure that fancy $1,500 built-in Viking microwave is working? These little guys are under $20 and are pretty much magic for that. If the Viking doesn’t work, there’s a $1,500 discount you can ask for. The Magic Lights can also identify “dead spots” in the microwave and it’s fun to watch.
- A good socket and GFCI tester is essential if you have any concerns about electrical issues. This little tester will show you which GFCIs and plugs aren’t working. If more than a couple are on the fritz, you may want to call in an electrician to evaluate the panel and wiring. You can also point this problem out to sellers – with light-up evidence – for a potential price reduction.
- If you need to confirm lot size, street frontage, or the square footage of a house, a measuring wheel or a long tape rule are a lot more accurate than your iPhone. We’re all for technology, but if each square foot is worth another $1,000, you better believe we’re measuring twice.
- A water pressure gauge can be really helpful if you’re concerned about water flow. Low flow can indicate plumbing problems without having to tear into walls. You might end up doing that anyway, but at least you’ll have some information to go on.
Little City Investments provides quick financing for real estate investors flipping houses in Austin, Houston, San Antonio and Dallas. If you’re just getting started flipping houses, check out our other articles on Texas real estate contract basics, expert valuation for flip properties, and how to make money by NOT doing a deal.