Blog Fixer Flipping Houses: Interview with Bobby Curtis Part 1

Flipping Houses: Interview with Bobby Curtis Part 1

By Bobby Curtis, July 26, 2019

Bobby Curtis was recently interviewed on how he finds good houses to flip. Here’s what he had to say.

House flip – stately home in NW Portland

1. How do you find a good flip?

I find a good flip by keeping my eyes and mind open. It’s not just about finding a distressed house that needs work. There are many people out there flipping houses. I’ve discovered I need find something that presents a challenge that other people (flippers) don’t want. And I have to get creative to solve a problem in a way many end buyers will love.

2. What are the key steps to successfully flipping houses?

The key steps are:

A. First, hire a great real estate agent who is an expert in the area you’re looking in, and knows a thing or two about fixer uppers
B. Buy a fixer upper at the right price, and make sure there are good comparable houses for the price you plan to sell if for fixed up.
C. Get solid estimates for the work that needs to be done, and hire dependable contractors to do the work

D. Hire a cost-effective designer, or be one yourself. This is not a time to try out your super specific design ideas. You want something that will appeal to most
E. Get it done, and do it quickly without compromising quality. My goal is 4-8 weeks. If this is your first flip, don’t go over 3 months. Ideally you want to buy the fixer and sell the fixed up house in the same market.
G. And finally, sell it. Don’t nickel and dime the buyer who places their offer. You will often give more than you want to. That’s okay if you’re making enough money on it.

3. What should real estate flippers have in place to make sure the process runs smoothly

A great real estate agent, dependable contractors, a personal support network, and a reliable financial source.

4. What’s your best advice for working with and managing contractors? How do you cut ties with a bad contractor legally?

Very good question. I’m professional, and I hire professionals. That doesn’t mean the best price, because WHEN shit hits the fan, you want to know you can count on them. I hire a mix of contractors who do the work themselves, and larger companies who have crews. Equally as important is I work with people who specialize in fixers, not new construction.

I’m in this for the long haul, and most people who want to get into flipping houses usually want to do more than one. So, if I cut ties with a contractor, I usually give them more than I think they deserve and just agree not to work together again.

Lastly, reputation is important, and frankly you’re very exposed when you flip a house. If they want to make things difficult for you, they can. Most of the time when you want to part ways, they do too. So, shake hands and agree to be done.

Interested in Part 2? Check it out here.

Bobby Curtis
Principle Broker
Licensed in Oregon
Licensed Contractor
CCB# 215071


Bobby Curtis

Principal Broker | OR


Meet Bobby Curtis.  Buying agent. Listing agent.  Renovator.

A down-to-earth Midwesterner, Bobby graduated from the University of Michigan, and headed to Portland in 2004. He began a career in the pharmaceutical industry focusing on sales, marketing, and consulting.  In those five years, he was even lucky enough to roam around Europe for short assignment in Switzerland. When he came back to Portland he took some time to discover what he was really interested in. Homes. More specifically, architecture, restoration, and entrepreneurship. After getting his real estate license in 2011, he purchased his first house in Portland to restore, redesign, then sell. Bobby rolled up his sleeves and started in on what would become his real career interest – transforming distressed houses into stand out homes by discovering the beauty of each unique property. Since that time Bobby has bought and restored several houses each year in Portland, both large and small, with great success.  Armed with extensive first-hand knowledge of restoration, Bobby offers his clients an exceptional eye to pinpoint property potential and value.  Whether you are searching for a complete fixer property, or a shining, buttoned-up stunner, he is skilled and enjoys guiding clients through the process of finding the perfect place. If you are selling your home or investment property, Bobby showcases his clients homes like he was selling his own. That kind of attention to detail will present all of the property’s best features.  It's because he has bought and sold properties of his own each year, that he better understands what it’s like to be in his clients shoes, and to navigate through the current real estate market. As an experienced broker and professional, Bobby is able to negotiate the best price and terms for his clients. If you’re looking to get a sneak peak of Bobby in action, you can watch him on an episode of First Time Flippers on the DIY Network, where he helped his mom flip her first house. Or you can catch him on KATU’s Afternoon Live daytime talk show once a month, discussing Portland Real Estate and House Restoration. Check it out here Contact Bobby at: 503-502-3066 Licensed Contractor #215071
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