Flipper: A dolphin? An Acrobat? Or a Real Estate Investor

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I've been getting a lot of calls about flipping houses since the WSMV Channel 4 Nashville news feature on one of the bozTEAM flip houses. Seems when they put you on the news, you are the expert. 

The ironic thing is that I tried hard to explain to the news guy that there are so many more expert than our team in this area. And that what we do, while technically flipping, is more like 'responsible renovation'. We are not mostly about volume (we only flip one house at a time - maybe only two or three per year) or mostly about profit (although we do like the money).

Flipping is that thing that investors do when they buy up bargain properties, fix 'em up fast using a formula that they've refined and proven over time, sell 'em, take the profit and move on.

Most flippers work on a few houses at a time.

The smart ones work just on the 'edge' of the areas where prices are going up faster than average.

The smart and lucky ones also make a pretty good living no matter what the real estate market is doing.

Our team is part of a growing trend among flippers toward a more eco-friendly remodel.

Some of us are really concerned about saving those fabulous homes that were build before 1975 by an unparalleled skilled labor workforce. At least in my experience, the house picks me. I do not pick the house. It's the one that HAS to be saved before someone else comes along and bulldozes it. 

Some of us are also really concerned that we have a responsibility to leave the place much better than we found it. The place is both the house and the environment. 

Now, unless you are building from scratch; it is very difficult to build a truly green home. But there are increasing numbers of resources to renovate 'responsibly'. Here are just a few that we try to accomplish in every 'responsible renovation':

 1) Reduce: Make it your goal to use as few dumpsters as possible. Many of the things that come out of the house during demo can be donated to Habitat for Humanity Home Store or sold on Craigslist, Ebay, in Salvage shops or yard sales.
When you pack the dumpster, pack like you would the trunk of your car on a family vacation. Make room for everything. Flatten what you can. Start at the back and work up and out toward the end. I've even been caught on top of the dumpster when it's seemingly full, moving things around to create more space.


2) Reuse: There are lots of ways to do this.

Save the fixtures that might not be right for THIS project, but that you can use somewhere else.

If you're planning some changes at your own home, remove the fixture to be upgraded from there and use it in a flip house. 

Remove nails from larger salvaged boards. Cut the boards down and reuse them throughout carpentry projects.

3) Recycle: Anything that can go in a recycling center should go in a recycling center. Cardboard, paper, plastic, metal. You can even get good money for the some of it. We usually let our workers salvage the old electrical wire gutters, switch boxes and other metal for a little bonus money at the local recycling center. (It can be as much as $50 - $80 per day extra for them!)

4) Insulate! Insulate! Insulate!
5) Use Energy Star appliances.
6) Use low VOC Paint. We are big fans of Sherwin Williams and so is out painter.
7) Use Compact Flourescent or energy saving bulbs

8) Unplug while not in use. This is tough with rechargeable tools. Leave one battery plugged in overnight. When you get to the jobsite, plug in a backup battery while you are depleting the charged one. 

9) Use water saving toilets.  

There are so many more tips. Are you using any of them? Like what? Let's all work together to make little strides at a better world by sharing ideas with the community.

See more about the bozTEAM commitment to the environment at the bozPROJECT blog or at Greening Nashville.

bozTEAM Logo


Comments (12)

Frank Schulte-Ladbeck
Frank Schulte-Ladbeck Professional Real Estate Inspections - Houston, TX
It is great to see what you are doing. I aspire to go into that style of flipping, if I ever do start that line.
Feb 01, 2008 10:02 PM
Herb Hamilton
RE/MAX Preferred Inc. Realtors - Portland, OR
Real Estate Broker ,CDPE, Downtown Portland

Most people when they encounter the word FLIP as it pertains to real estate percieve that everyone is talking about buying a home and imediately re-selling for a huge profit with out so much as lifting a finger. Although this does happen occasionally, it is generally not the case.

Congrats on feature.

Feb 02, 2008 03:36 AM
Stephanie Edwards-Musa
thredUP.com - The Woodlands, TX
knitwit at thred UP
Hi Kimble,  Amazing list!  and Congrats on the News!!
Feb 05, 2008 12:32 PM
Kevin Corsa
H.I.S. Home Inspections (Summit, Stark Counties) - Canton, OH
H.I.S. Home Inspections, Stark & Summit County, OH Home Inspector

Thanks for the info. I see you have even "flipped" your logo at the bottom of your blog...intentional? It got my attention, and made me stand on my head. lol

Jun 02, 2008 11:47 PM
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

I was curious about the logo also....was that intentional?  Cause it surely got my attention.

Jun 03, 2008 12:56 AM
Kimble Bosworth

Thanks all for your comments and, yes, the logo is intentional. Our team tag line is actually, "Flipping Real Estate on its Head."

We also run our print ads upside down. Its kinda fun to go to a local restaurant for breakfast when the Nashville Scene comes out and see people turn the paper over to read our ads.


Jun 03, 2008 01:17 AM
Ron Czecholinski
Natural Choice - Madison, WI

Great post - my wife and I do things with very similar emphasis. I usually cringe, when someone says "so, you flip houses for a living", and quickly explain what I do - I like "responsible renovation". I have started to focus some of my attention on consulting, hoping to encourage other investors to move in that direction.

I would add one other thing to your list and that is green finishing and decorating - cabinets, flooring,staging, etc.

Jun 03, 2008 03:36 AM
Michael "Mike" Miller
My service will move you! Help me, help you!

Terrific list and nice way to run your flips.  Ain't media great!  Being the local expert should get you some new business.  Mike

Jul 23, 2008 01:21 PM
Heather Goodwin
Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission - Shreveport, LA
Results That Move You

I've just found this group, so I'm going to add my comment even though it might not get read.

I love the topic of this post.  My heart's desire is the rescue older homes in a responsible manner.  Thanks so much for the tips on how to do this.

Oct 20, 2008 12:35 PM
Jonathan Zissel
Dale Sorensen Real Estate - Vero Beach, FL

Great post on green flipping, defiantly a strong movement as we move foward!! I have been able to do things in a more green manner but I strongly agree with you in your line that building truly green is very hard on a remodel !! That being said I love how you brought up examples of steps you take others might not think of, !! Energy smart appliances will take you far in energy consumption savings as well as tankless hot water heaters just to add to the great ideas!! Good Luck on your rennovation!!

Dec 17, 2008 10:23 AM
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Kimble,

Thank you for an inspiring post, I too participate in 'responsible renovation' (love the term by the way) and share your love for older better built and detailed homes. You just can't beat the craftsmanship of yesteryear without paying a Kings Ransom. Keep up the wonderful work, congratulations on your TV spot and best wishes!


Jun 05, 2009 07:44 AM
Wendy Tomm
Beyond the Walls - East St Paul, MB
CCSP, RESA-PRO, BBB - Wpg Realtors
Great post. Nice to see your team is concerned with the environment. Love to logo flip too.
Sep 22, 2011 07:52 AM