Curious what it takes to be a rebel rehabber? At Level 4 Funding, we have the pleasure of helping some amazing people who work in the fix and flip business and sometimes they’re kind enough to share their stories with us. We recently had the pleasure of speaking with Yvette Stevens of Miami Beach Fix & Flip, and she not only gave us her personal story, but some epic tips for those of you who are interested in becoming a house flipper as well.
Yvette Always had a Fascination with Finance and Homes
While she may not have known it at the time, Yvette was being primed for the fix and flip business from an early age. Growing up in Chicago, she often visited her father’s construction sites and fell in love. It wasn’t long before she was begging her parents to take her on tours of the city, so she could soak up the architecture and imagine what it would be like to create similar homes. While other kids were nagging their parents for spending cash, Yvette was happily balancing her mother’s checkbook and paying the household bills. It’s no surprise, then, that when it was time for Yvette to choose a career, she jumped headfirst into lending.
One of Yvette’s current projects: completed stock plan, a 2,721-square-foot beauty
She Decided to Kiss the Corporate Ceiling Goodbye
Although Yvette loved many aspects of her career, particularly reading the plans that came in with loan applications, she wasn’t content to sit still. “Corporate America has a ceiling,” she says, “especially for women.” She rebelled. Using her expertise in both construction and lending, Yvette began transitioning into development in 2005, building homes from the ground up.
The Market Crash Left Her with “Beans”
“Real estate goes in ten-year cycles,” she says. The money, mortgages, real estate, and politics are all tied together, resulting in regular shifts. This, she says, is also the cause of the “steak and beans” lending cycle. During lean times, Yvette has been able to refocus on her career in finance, while searching for development opportunities when the market has been good. Like many others, the crash of 2008 hit Yvette hard. She was working on building an entire subdivision that September, but she managed to climb back up out of it and now does fix-and-flip work too.
When Choosing Fix-and-Flip Properties, Yvette Goes for a Blank Slate
Every fix-and-flip pro has a specialty. For Yvette, her ideal property is one she can tear down to the studs, simply because she loves having a blank slate to work with. “The uglier they are, the more we like them,” she says. Her current project is an older home in a historic district, which comes with rigid requirements for what can be done to the outside of the home, but she doesn’t mind at all. “Construction feeds my creative side,” she adds. Her primary focus is Florida these days, but Yvette researches various markets and finds new opportunities all over the country.
Yvette Offers a Wealth of Advice for Potential Fix-and-Flippers
“It’s not that easy,” she says. “People think they’re going to jump in and make money,” but there’s so much more involved. You have to “live, breathe, and eat real estate.”
“You’ve gotta have some cash.” Even if you get 100%, you’ll need to have money set aside for things like closing and emergencies.
“Look at it like a line of credit.” Lenders look for 20% verified liquid assets in order to ensure the borrower can finish the project. “Be prepared. Everybody wants something for nothing these days, but it just doesn’t work that way.”
“Learn, learn, learn before you earn.” Research your market; don’t jump into it. Get a good understanding of how credit and assets work. Learn about the business and concentrate on a market. Yvette’s a fan of BiggerPockets.com and points out that newcomers may benefit from the free information and tools the site offers, like fix-and-flip calculators.
“Make a lot of offers. Keep throwing them up against the wall until one sticks.” Resilience is paramount because you’ll get a lot of rejections before you find one that’s really a great deal you can work with.
“Love what you do. If it’s not fun, you’re not going to be successful.” There will be a lot of ups and downs when you do home rehabs. Enjoying what you do will keep you motivated and on your toes, even when things are difficult.
If you’d like to connect with Yvette, head over to her LinkedIn profile and say “Hello.” We’ll be covering the stories of other Level 4 Funding clients as well, so pop back over soon for the next installment. You can also reach out to us directly if you’re interested in financing your next fix-and-flip with a hard money loan.
Level 4 Funding LLC Private Hard Money Lender
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