Resources How to Flip a House | The Mbawuikes

January 20, 2023

Do you love watching HGTV? Have you ever wondered what it really takes to transform an old house into a beautiful home? My husband and I started Dwell Properties in 2016 and have been remodeling investment properties ever since. Trust me when I say they edit out A LOT of the process to fit into a 1-hour episode. 

Knowing When to Buy

Learning the ins and outs of how and when to buy an investment property and understanding the market value of pre vs. post-flipped is a task on its own. We were fortunate enough to have great friends in the industry that helped us learn what would and would not increase the value of the home after the flip.

Fixer-Upper Costs

This is where my husband’s ability to run the numbers really takes center stage. After doing a thorough walk-through- where the focus is on foundation cracks, roof condition, etc, we start to figure out exactly what we need to fix. This is unique to every property.

With a list in hand, we start calculating the costs for supplies and labor. From drywall to outlet covers, flooring to paint- this list has to be as thorough as possible. After a total is determined, we add another 20% to the budget- planning for the worst.

Time to Make an Offer

Wait, we’re just now getting to the offer stage? Yeah, I think this has already taken longer than the allotted 1 hour…moving on. With the estimated resale value and approximate total cost of renovation, we can now figure out how much to offer on the home. If the numbers don’t come out with a profit worth your time, it’s probably a safe bet to wait for a better opportunity. If the numbers look good, don’t hesitate. Go for it.

Never Stop Planning

Just like the saying “measure twice, cut once”, the planning stage of any flip is an important one. Once we close on a house, my design skills are up to bat. Before becoming a Realtor, my career always centered around design- which has come in handy when laying out a project. When working with contractors, it’s important to have great communication and detailed visual plans for everyone to follow. I create room-by-room guides that show written notes and photos of the materials (very reality TV style- if I may say so myself). Here are some of the most recent renovations we have done.


Demo Time

Finally, we get to start demoing, right? YES! This is where it gets exciting and sometimes a little stressful. If you are truly an HGTV fan, you know there’s almost always a problem discovered during the demo phase. This is something the shows absolutely get right. No matter how much you plan, there will always be a surprise. That’s why we added an extra 20% to our budget.

All in the Details

The demo phase can be fun because things happen quickly. Be prepared for the momentum to slow down a bit when it’s time to get into the details. 

Deciding exactly where the wiring for the outlets should go is not exactly the most exhilarating part of the process. But when the flooring and cabinets go in and your vision starts to come together, it’s all worth it. There’s a final stretch where all the touch-ups have to be done and it feels like a lifetime to complete, but you will get there, I promise. 


Everyone’s approach to investment properties will be different. My husband and I put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears (maybe just me for the tears) into every project we work on. We put in a lot of heart and aren’t satisfied until we would be happy living in the home ourselves. At Dwell Properties, we want every one of our remodels to be a home that a buyer would want to dwell in (see what we did there?). It might not be exactly how reality shows portray it, but the satisfaction of a job well done comes pretty close.


For questions or additional information about house-flipping or investing, contact Lyndsey Mbawuike, Realtor

Obi Mbawuike

Dwell Properties LLC



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