I Said I Would Never Flip Houses, But Here We Are

Dive into my unexpected journey from skeptic to first flip

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I’m not a hypocrite , but …

Have you ever found yourself uttering the phrase 'Never in a million years,' only to have the universe respond with a resounding 'How about now?'

As a person of strong principles, I found myself facing a moment of hypocrisy as I prepared to embark on my first house-flipping venture (technically, a condominium). My strategy has always been to play the long game: acquire properties, invest in apartment buildings, hold onto them, collect rent, and repeat the process. However, life has a knack for throwing unexpected challenges our way, and mine manifested in the form of skyrocketing interest rates, which severely impacted cash flow on new acquisitions. This, combined with inflated property prices and a scarcity of available inventory, has made the current landscape particularly unfriendly for those seeking to invest in long-term real estate—unless, of course, you happen to be able to capitalize on the current demand-supply gap, especially here in the DMV region.

Diving Into the Flip 🛠️

For the better part of 2023, I scoured high and low for apartments to purchase. I searched in Maryland, ventured into Virginia, and even explored South Carolina before finally admitting, "This might take a while." High-interest rates, coupled with homes swiftly being snapped up from the market like a new Drake single, prompted me to reassess my strategy. Somewhere around Q3 of '23, I pondered, "Why not flip a house?"

The notion of flipping didn't appear as absurd as before. The objective was straightforward: generate some income, which, for me, beat the alternative of returning to traditional employment. Moreover, the flip would enhance my real estate portfolio—a crucial factor when applying for commercial mortgages. After what felt like bidding on every property within a 50-mile radius and facing repeated disappointment for nearly a year, victory finally arrived in the form of a modest 1-bedroom condo, secured for $110K (down from $125K). It wasn't a sprawling complex, but it marked the inception of something new. This journey wasn't solely about flipping a house; it served as an intensive crash course in market dynamics and patience. I must confess, it has also entailed a healthy dose of stubbornness.

The Heart of the Flip 💖

Sticking to my guns proved to be easier said than done. With each lost bid, the temptation to throw in more cash or compromise on criteria grew stronger, urging me to simply "get it done." But where's the pragmatism in that? Our principles serve as more than just guidelines; they act as the compass that steers us through the stormiest markets. So, with each aggressive yet carefully calculated offer, we remained steadfast in our approach.

If I'm honest, the prospect of flipping a house scared me. Short-term investments carry significant risks, with minor fluctuations capable of drastically altering outcomes. Only now, more than 10 years into the game, do I feel confident enough in my understanding of renovations, purchasing, and financing to feel "sure" it will succeed.

Every stage of the process, from encountering renovation nightmares to finalizing the sale, tested our resolve. However, it was the collective effort of the WN Capital Partners crew that transformed challenges into triumphs. This project wasn't solely about financial gain; it represented a journey of collaboration, personal growth, and the demonstration of our ability to overcome any obstacle that crossed our path.

Unexpected Rewards and Team Triumphs 🏅

And then came the unexpected perks. Who would have thought that the accumulation of thousands of Home Depot receipts would result in a free vacation through credit card rewards? Or that forging new vendor connections would lead to a permanent reduction in maintenance costs for our rentals? Yet, the true reward lay in the moment of handing over the keys at the closing table to a first-time investor, sharing a nugget of wisdom, and hopefully sparking another individual's passion for real estate.

This modest flip brought us closer together, solidifying the bonds within WN Capital Partners and demonstrating the power of teamwork. While the project may have only added a small bump to my wallet, the experience was invaluable. It served as a reminder of the magic that unfolds when one steps out of their comfort zone and plunges headfirst into the unknown.

Selling my first house

Looking Back, Leaping Forward 

Fun fact: I’ve never sold a house before. It marked a significant milestone in the journey of WN Capital Partners, a far cry from my days of managing engineers at Facebook.

We sold that $110K condo for $162,200. But believe me when I say we did NOT pocket $50K. Transaction costs are expensive AF, to say the least.

Reflecting on this adventure, I'm reminded of why we embrace the unexpected. Flipping this condo wasn't just another achievement; it represented a departure from my usual approach and forced me to step outside my comfort zone. I nearly let this opportunity slip away simply because I was too entrenched in my old ways.

So here's to the curveballs, the unexpected flips, and the endless possibilities they bring. Never be too rigid in your plans that you overlook the opportunities swirling around you. Sometimes, it's the detours that lead to the most spectacular views.

Catch you on the flip side 😁

Damien “I think I’m ready for my HGTV show” Peters

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