Find an “Investor Friendly” Contractor.
The best way to find a good contractor is through a referral from another real estate investor, house flipper, or property manager.
- Always get multiple bids from different contractors to ensure you are getting a good deal, but don’t assume the cheapest is the best.
Types of Contractors
- Low-end Contractors: These are the guys who have a few tools and will do work for you on the side. They are typically not licensed, bonded, or insured, and you’ll have very little recourse if they do something wrong. I’d recommend staying away from these guys if at all possible, except maybe simple jobs like mowing lawns, putting up signs, etc.
- Average Contractors: These are the contractors that are licensed, bonded, and insured but typically work for themselves or for smaller companies. They are accustomed to working with real estate investors and property managers, so their rates are reasonable. I use these contractors for the majority of tasks.
- High-End Contractors: These are the high end finish contractors who are building million dollar homes and renovating shopping malls. These are the guys that charge $2,000 to paint a bedroom because they have clients who will pay it. I’d recommend only using these guys sparingly on jobs that require high quality work (like countertops, fireplaces, etc.)
- Be sure to get all bids in writing, and get them in detail.
- If the contractor says they will paint the exterior for $2,500, does that include the doors?
- Does that include pressure washing? Get down to the nitty-gritty and get it all in writing; it will save you and the contractor a lot of stress in the future.
- Are you using a General or Sub-Contractors?
- Also, determine how you will pay the contractor for the work they do.
- If estimating rehab costs is not in your list of skills, I’d recommend checking out The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs, which comes free with The Book on Flipping Houses by J Scott.