10 Ways to Find a House to Flip

Tell all ya friends and neighbors!

If you’re trying to jump into the world of flipping houses, the first step is finding one. Here I’m sharing 10 ways to find a house to flip so you can jump in and get your hands dirty!


How To Find a Flip House

Flipping houses is never something I saw us doing, but it came down to Jordan begging me and me getting so annoyed I told him to stop talking about it and just do it.

Isn’t that how all dreams start? With a lil’ magic and whining?

You too may be flirting with the idea of becoming a house flipper.

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If you want to flip houses for a living or as a way to have a supplemental income, the first step is to find the home you want to flip. So I wanna talk about ten ways to find a house to flip. 

We don’t expect you to be Sherlock or his good buddy Watson to get the deets on your next obsession – ahem, I mean hobby. So instead, use any of these ways coming straight from the horse named Jordan’s mouth.

How To Find Your First Flip House

MLS (Multiple Listing Services)

One of the most useful tools for finding a house to flip is to use an MLS. Multiple Listing Services are real estate databases that cooperate with numerous real estate agents and brokers.

The best thing about searching an MLS for a suitable house to flip for profit is that you get access to a large list that includes listings on homes in the entire area.

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But you can’t get your hands on an MLS list for free. And most MLS databases are only available to brokers and licensed agents. The rules may vary by area, but they’re usually based on NAR (National Association of Realtors) procedures.

As a buyer or investor, you might be able to get access to some local lists by requesting the info from real estate agents you have in your network.

Drive Around

Another way to find houses to buy with the intent to flip and resell for profit is to get into your car and take a drive.

You can start by exploring your neighborhood and watch signs announcing “For Sale” or “In Foreclosure.” 

Or you can take notes on properties that look abandoned or uninhabited. Then, you can research to track down the owners and make an offer, but that will take a little detective work. Not impossible, but just a bit harder.

Mailbox Trick

Did you know that if the mail goes too long without being picked up, the USPS will put a vacant sticker inside the mailbox?

We’re not recommending that you commit a felony through a person’s mailbox. But a realtor can help you find out if houses are empty. 

You might also be able to call USPS for information on a specific address. Your local tax office or courthouse may be another solution.

Psst. Did you want to know how to flip a house with NO MONEY? Read all about it in my post!

Join FB Groups

Ease your guilt for spending so much time on social media by joining realty groups on Facebook. You can search for groups by city, county, or state. 

But you can also join real estate fan pages, private groups by users, and many more searches. You can often find new groups and make further connections when you’re in these groups.

Ask Around

One of the oldest and most reliable tools is word of mouth. People won’t know to help you look if you don’t tell them you’re trying to flip a house! You can ask around about vacant houses for sale.

exterior of flip house

You might also want to ask about properties in foreclosure, estate holdings, abandoned or condemned. While you could ask the neighbors or make inquiries online, you can also visit your tax office, courthouse, or Register of Deeds.


It may seem a bit morbid, but you can also browse the obituaries to find empty houses that you can flip. When a relative dies, the remaining family is often eager to unload their inheritance and move on.

You may have to wait a bit longer for these if an estate has to be settled or you have to go through probate.

Estate Sales

Estate sales usually occur after someone’s death. And after someone dies and all of their stuff is auctioned off, the house is often the next thing to go.

You can find advertisements in local newspapers, online Facebook groups, signs posted in yards, and paper flyers. 

Visiting estate sales can also help you establish new networking connections, which leads me to my next way to find a house to flip.

Real Estate Agent Networking

Networking means that you develop connections with other people that share similar interests. For example, you can start networking with real estate agents when flipping houses. This is a bit easier for us with Jordan since he’s a realtor, but you can also attend any events to just make those connections yourself.

Having one or more real estate agents that can feed you tips and leads can give you access to more real estate listings. You might even be able to gain access to their MLS. 

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But while you should be establishing relationships with various real estate agents, don’t forget other professions that you’ll need to flip a house. Mortgage lenders, real estate lawyers, and hard money lenders are all assets to cultivate for finding houses to flip. 

While you can do in-person networking, another choice is to focus on networking groups on sites like LinkedIn and Facebook. Before you jump on any offers listed by strangers, vet any people trying to make business connections. Online is a nefarious place to meet scammers, especially if they can tell you’re a newbie.

Online Marketing and Search Sites

Online marketing is a useful tool that you can use to find vacant or foreclosed properties that you can invest in as a house flip.

Real estate sites like Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor can be excellent sources of search engines that turn up results based on specific search parameters or location. 

You can customize your search based on parameters like a house’s square footage, zip code, bathrooms, number of rooms, or yard size. 

Monitor Foreclosure Listings in the Newspaper or Online

Foreclosures are an excellent source of homes to flip. You can find property auction sites and bank listings that provide details of foreclosed properties.

Fannie Mae’s Home Path is one of the most popular online auction listings. The upside of flipping a house that’s been foreclosed on is that you can usually pick up properties for cheaper costs. But, unfortunately, most lenders want to offload the properties and recoup any money from the sale which means it may take a lot longer to close. 

exterior of flip house

You can also look for foreclosures listed in newspapers. But when considering foreclosures, a point to remember is that you may have to pay cash for the purchase, as with most auctions.

This of course isn’t an exhaustive list, but these methods should get you right on track for finding your first house to flip.

By the way! I’m super excited to be one of Google’s paid early testers for their Thank with Google pilot program.

Thank with Google is an experimental feature that allows amazing people like you to purchase a virtual sticker that helps support the creator behind the site (me!) to show appreciation in a monetary way.

Your choice of sticker equals direct income that will go to support my site and my plan is to put this money into giving back to my community through charity.

You can find the Thank with Google feature in multiple places on my site. If you do try it out, let me know what you think!

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