Learn to Repair Your Fixer Upper Houses

Learn to Make Repairs

Never miss an opportunity to do your own repair work. To become an expert in the fix em up rent em out business, you must learn this. Think of it as part of your educational process. You lose two ways when you hire someone to do your work. First, you lose the chance of a free education, and second you lose the money that you would have saved by doing it yourself.

It may take you four hours to change an electrical receptacle or fix a toilet that won’t flush, something a professional could do in minutes. Don’t be concerned, in the long run you have learned a skill to be used for the rest of your life.

Trust Your Karma

After going through my explanation about how everyone can learn to repair a house, a friend of mine insisted that it was impossible for him to do fix-up work; it just wasn’t in his genes. I replied that his way of thinking was his dogma. My karma told me that he could do it. In time, little by little, he did learn to make repairs and he came to enjoy it, even relish it.
My karma ran over his dogma.

Work with a Handyman

Having said the above, I also think that you should have a good handyman to back you up. Although there are many things that you can learn to do, you also have to know your limitations. There will be times when you can’t make a complicated repair. Someone with experience must be called in. For many things you can be the expert, but for some things you can’t. Ideally you should establish a good working relationship with a true handyman that you trust and is available to help you out as needed, particularly in the first few years of your business. To keep costs reasonable, always pay contractors or handymen by the job and not by the hour.

Your attitude should be that you want to learn how to do everything yourself. You don’t learn to ride a bike by watching someone else do it. The only way to learn is by doing it yourself, and the more you do it, the better you will be at it like my first grout repair project, and when learning to lay tile. Practice doing all the steps in the process until it becomes second nature for you.

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21 Responses to “Learn to Repair Your Fixer Upper Houses”

  1. Chuck says:

    Terry,

    I find it refreshing to see a landlord advocating do it yourself when so many are push outsourcing it all because your job should be finding new deals.

    It’s all in how you run your business, but I am with you on this one. I do many of the small jobs and basic stuff, but I also have a handyman and a plumber that are worth their weight in gold for sure.

  2. […] needs some cleanup and repair work in the kitchen, fire alarms, blinds in the windows, new toilet sets, etc. There is nothing big that […]

  3. […] me to repair a window in one of our rental houses. I like to take one of my boys along so they can learn a thing two about how to repair things, as well as so they can see how I deal with tenants, and, mainly so that we spend some time […]

  4. […] A “serial home seller” is one who buys a house, moves in , repairs it to increase its value, sells at a tax-free profit up to $250,000 ($500,000 for married couples), and then does it over […]

  5. […] For serial home buyers/sellers who utilize the federal tax exemption to pay no capital gains tax, a key to making the process work is to find lower-priced houses in need of repair. […]

  6. […] we can rent it out, the family undertook to tile the closet floor. This was one of several smaller do-it- yourself projects that remain to be done before we can call this house […]

  7. […] for me, the key is to not rely on on the so-called real estate professionals to help you along the way. What I propose is that you learn to do all these things yourself, just […]

  8. […] about real estate investing, just like life itself, is a never ending process. You should be gathering information about house repairs and investing everywhere you go. Never let an opportunity pass to learn. I encourage you to buy […]

  9. […] the fact that the tenants will not take care of the property anyway. I like his practical advise on how to repair typical rental problems, but by spending the absolute least amount of money in the process. One suggestion was to mix […]

  10. […] Bruss on locating fixer-uppers that have profit potential. I think he hits the nail on the head by focusing repair work on kitchens and bathrooms. You almost always make money from those type of […]

  11. […] have a highly skilled handy man I call in for jobs over my head, and I always pay him by the hour. He often will make repairs at my […]

  12. […] usually like to do all fix-up type repairs myself, but this is a case where I let the exterminators (no relation to the California governor) do the […]

  13. […] always, to make money in the fixer-upper business its best to do everything yourself. You learn by doing. Start small but work up to bigger […]

  14. […] and co-workers how they purchased their house, watch for free classes or seminars. You can be constantly learning and preparing for the day you will purchase your first fixer-upper property. As Paul and Sarah Edwards point out […]

  15. […] I mentioned in an earlier blog, my wife & I do the repairs on this house in fits and starts. Since we live in the house, we don’t have the the pressures to do it […]

  16. […] Repairs on the fixer-upper house that we are living in and repairing on Calle Canis continues. As mentioned previously, my wife and I bought this fixer-upper in order to live in it for at least two years and then sell it. We will pay no federal capital gains taxes for the sale because we are following the steps to receive the exception under the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997. […]

  17. […] Never miss an opportunity to do your own repair work. Think of it as part of your educational process. You lose two ways when you hire someone to do your work. First, you lose the chance of a free education, and second you lose the money that you would have saved by doing it yourself. It may take you four hours to change an electrical receptacle or fix a toilet that won’t flush, something a professional could do in minutes. Don’t be concerned, in the long run you have learned a skill to be used for the rest of your life. […]

  18. the way. I have found a home that I love the idea of it. It is 100 yr old and has 3,575 sq ft and is selling very cheap. It does need repairs obviously but has already had the plumbing and electrical upgrades (done this year).

  19. […] Learn to Repair Your Fixer Upper Houses […]

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