How to Finance a Fix-and-Flip Investment Property

Fix and flip projects are the start to many real estate investor careers. While the premise is simple, there are many variables that can change the way your project will go. Talking to an experienced mortgage and real estate broker can make the difference in strategizing the best fix and flip project for you.

Key Takeaways About Fix-and-Flip Loans

Need quick answers to your fixer upper questions? Here’s the key facts you can take on the who, what, how, and why of fix and flip investment loans. 


  • Fix-and-Flip loans are a category of loan programs that allow you to buy and renovate a property to sell for a profit
  • A key factor of these loans is your draw schedule, or how often funds are released for the funding of the renovations
  • Understanding your property’s neighborhood, recent sales, and comps will help you strategize a profitable project.

What is a Fix-and-Flip Loan?

A fix and flip loan is a financing tool specifically designed for investors who buy, renovate, and resell properties for a quick profit. Unlike traditional mortgages focused on long-term ownership, fix and flip loans are short-term solutions with faster access to funds.

Here’s the key difference: a traditional mortgage is secured by the property itself, and loan approval hinges on your credit score and income stability. Fix and flip loans, on the other hand, often consider the after-repair value (ARV) of the property as much as your financial background. This focus on the property’s profit potential makes fix and flip loans a valuable option for investors who see diamonds in the rough.

So, when is a fix and flip loan a good fit? This financing option shines when you find a property with solid bones that needs cosmetic upgrades or repairs to reach its market value. Fix and flip loans provide the capital to buy the property, make necessary improvements, and hold onto it until a profitable sale.

Get Expert Insights On Your Loan Options

Steve Abo and his team of mortgage strategists will help you find the right program for your ideal home, market, and goals.

How Does a Fix and Flip Loan Work?

Turning a rundown property into a profitable flip requires a strategic plan and the right financing. Here’s a breakdown of how fix and flip loans work to fuel your real estate ambitions:

The Fix and Flip Loan Timeline:

  1. Pre-qualification and Property Search: Before diving in, connect with a fix and flip lender to understand your borrowing power. With this knowledge, you can target properties that fit your budget (purchase price + renovation costs).
  2. Purchase and Secure Funding: Once you find the perfect fixer-upper, secure a purchase agreement. Your fix and flip lender will typically require an appraisal to determine the property’s after-repair value (ARV). Upon approval, the loan funds are released.
  3. Renovation Phase: This is where the magic happens! With access to loan funds through a draw schedule, you’ll finance the renovations that will elevate the property’s value. Draws are typically released based on the completion of specific renovation milestones.
  4. Exit Strategy and Repayment: The ultimate goal is to sell the property at a profit that covers the loan amount, renovation costs, and your desired return on investment. A successful exit strategy involves realistic pricing and a strong marketing plan to attract buyers quickly. Once the property sells, the loan is repaid in full, and you pocket the profits!

Accessing Your Loan Funds, a.k.a. Draws

Fix and flip loans don’t provide a lump sum upfront. Instead, they utilize a draw schedule. This system ensures the funds are used as intended and minimizes the risk for the lender. You’ll work with your lender to establish a draw schedule that outlines specific benchmarks for accessing the loan funds. For instance, a draw might be released after the roof replacement is complete or upon reaching a specific stage of the renovation.


Exiting Your Fix and Flip Loan

The most common exit strategy for fix and flip loans is a quick sale on the open market. By effectively renovating the property and strategically pricing it, you aim to attract buyers and achieve a profitable sale. The sale proceeds are then used to repay the fix and flip loan in full, with any remaining amount representing your return on investment.

Fix and flip loans provide a financing roadmap for investors to transform undervalued properties into profitable flips. Understanding the timeline, draw system, and exit strategy is crucial for a successful fix and flip journey.

Financing That Dream Property Could Be Closer Than You Think

Fix-and-Flip Financing Process

  1. Pre-qualification: Getting pre-qualified is a smart first step. It provides a ballpark estimate of how much you can borrow, allowing you to focus your property search on realistic options. During pre-qualification, lenders will consider your financial history, including credit score and assets.
  2. Gather Your Documents: Once you’ve identified a property, assemble the necessary documentation for your loan application. This typically includes tax returns, proof of income, bank statements, and a detailed business plan outlining your renovation strategy and projected timeline. Get more detailed outlines of the qualifications you’ll need to plan for in our guide.
  3. Find a Property: The crux of a loan like this will be the property. Working with an expert will make finding a neighborhood, identifying comps, and choosing the right target property a simpler process. Learn more about the criteria we review when evaluating an investment property.

Types of Fix and Flip Loans

The world of fix and flip financing offers a variety of loan options to fit your specific project needs. Understanding the different types of fix and flip loans empowers you to choose the right tool for the job. Here’s a breakdown of the most common options:


Loan Programs and Brokers: Navigating the Options

Many lenders offer fix and flip loan programs, each with its own terms and requirements. To find the most suitable option, consider working with a mortgage broker. Brokers act as intermediaries, connecting you with a variety of lenders and programs that match your needs.


Hard Money Loans: Fast Funding for Experienced Investors

  • Explanation: Hard money lenders are private entities or smaller firms that offer quick access to capital for real estate projects. They are ideal for experienced investors who may not have perfect credit scores or require financing for time-sensitive deals.
  • Advantages: Fast closing times and flexible underwriting guidelines make hard money loans attractive. Lenders often focus heavily on the property’s ARV (after-repair value) rather than solely on the borrower’s credit history.
  • Disadvantages: Hard money loans typically come with higher interest rates and shorter loan terms compared to other options. Additionally, some hard money lenders may charge origination fees and other points.
  • Common Uses: Hard money loans are a good fit for quick turnaround projects, properties requiring extensive renovations, and situations where traditional lenders may not be suitable.


Private Money Loans: Building Relationships with Individual Investors

  • Explanation: Private money loans come from individual investors seeking higher returns than traditional savings accounts. These loans are based on a negotiated agreement between you, the borrower, and the private lender.
  • Advantages: Interest rates for private money loans can be lower than hard money loans, and the terms can be more flexible depending on the agreement. Additionally, building a relationship with a private lender can lead to future financing opportunities.
  • Disadvantages: Finding private lenders requires effort. Networking with real estate professionals, attending investment clubs, or using online platforms can help connect you with potential lenders. The approval process may also be less standardized compared to traditional lenders.
  • How to Find Private Lenders: Explore real estate investment groups, attend industry events, or leverage online platforms that connect borrowers with private lenders.


Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) for Fix and Flip:

  • Eligibility: To qualify for a HELOC for fix and flip purposes, you’ll need significant equity in your primary residence. HELOCs are lines of credit secured by your home’s value, allowing you to access funds as needed during the project.
  • Advantages: HELOCs often offer lower interest rates compared to hard money loans. Additionally, you only pay interest on the funds you use.
  • Disadvantages: Using a HELOC puts your personal residence at risk. Market fluctuations could impact your home’s value and your ability to repay the loan. HELOCs also typically have variable interest rates, which can fluctuate over time.
  • Considerations: Carefully evaluate the risks involved before using a HELOC for a fix and flip project. Ensure you have a solid understanding of the real estate market and a realistic plan for repaying the loan.

The Difference Between Fix and Flip and Traditional Loans

Not all loans are created equal, and understanding the key differences between fix and flip loans and traditional mortgages is crucial before diving into your real estate investment journey. Here’s a breakdown to help you choose the right financing tool:

Qualification Requirements:

  • Traditional Mortgages: Focus heavily on your credit score, income stability, and employment history. A strong financial background is essential for securing a traditional mortgage.
  • Fix and Flip Loans: While credit score matters, fix and flip lenders also consider the property’s potential (ARV – after-repair value). This allows investors with solid renovation plans to qualify even if their credit score isn’t perfect.

Interest Rates and Loan Terms:

  • Traditional Mortgages: Typically offer lower interest rates due to the lower risk profile associated with long-term ownership. Loan terms are typically 15 or 30 years.
  • Fix and Flip Loans: Come with higher interest rates due to the shorter loan term and inherent risk involved in flipping properties. Fix and flip loans are designed to be paid off within 6 to 18 months.

Flexibility of Funds:

  • Traditional Mortgages: Funds are disbursed in a lump sum upon loan closing and can only be used for the property purchase. Renovations require additional financing.
  • Fix and Flip Loans: Utilize a draw schedule, allowing you to access funds in stages as renovation milestones are met. This ensures the loan is used for its intended purpose.

Exit Strategy:

  • Traditional Mortgages: The expectation is that you’ll live in the property for an extended period. There’s no pressure to sell quickly.
  • Fix and Flip Loans: The goal is to renovate and sell the property within a short timeframe to maximize profits. A clear exit strategy and understanding of the market are crucial for success.

Traditional mortgages are ideal for long-term homeownership, while fix and flip loans are specifically designed for investors seeking to buy, renovate, and resell properties for profit. Understanding these key differences empowers you to select the financing option that best aligns with your real estate goals.


We’ve Got 30+ Years of Financing Investment Loans

Eligibility Requirements for Fix and Flip Loans

So you’ve got your sights set on transforming undervalued properties into profitable flips. But before diving in, it’s essential to understand the eligibility requirements for fix and flip loans. Here’s a breakdown of what lenders typically look for:

Credit Score

Fix and flip loans don’t require perfect credit, but a minimum score is necessary. The exact requirement can vary depending on the lender, but a score in the mid-600s is generally considered a good starting point.


Experience in real estate investing or renovations can strengthen your application. A proven track record demonstrates your ability to identify profitable properties, manage renovation projects, and navigate the real estate market. However, some lenders may work with beginners who have a solid business plan and a qualified team in place.

Property Type

Not all properties are created equal when it comes to fix and flip financing. Lenders typically favor single-family homes in good locations with strong resale potential. Properties requiring extensive structural work or located in distressed neighborhoods might be harder to finance with a fix and flip loan.

Financial Reserves

Fix and flip projects can encounter unforeseen circumstances. Lenders will want to see evidence of financial reserves to cover any unexpected costs during the renovation process. This demonstrates your ability to weather potential challenges and ensures successful project completion.

Quotes Are Cool, But Real Rates Are Better

The experienced team at Abo Capital will run your numbers and get you an accurate rate estimate to help you make an actionable mortgage plan. With a deeper understanding of all your numbers, we can guide you to the best mortgage choice for your short- and long-term goals.

Key Components of a Fix and Flip Loan

Before embarking on your fix and flip journey, it’s crucial to understand the key components of a fix and flip loan. This knowledge empowers you to make informed decisions and navigate the financing process smoothly. Here’s a breakdown of the essential elements:

Loan Amount

Fix and flip loan amounts are determined by considering two key factors: the purchase price of the property and the estimated renovation costs. By presenting a detailed renovation plan and realistic budget, you can secure financing that covers the entire project.

Interest Rates

Fix and flip loans typically come with higher interest rates compared to traditional mortgages. This reflects the shorter loan term and inherent risk associated with flipping properties. Understanding the interest rate will help you calculate your project’s overall profitability.

Loan Term and Repayment

Fix and flip loans are designed to be short-term. They typically range from 6 to 18 months, ensuring you have enough time to renovate and sell the property for a profit before the loan needs to be repaid in full.

Draw Schedule

Unlike a traditional mortgage that provides a lump sum upfront, fix and flip loans utilize a draw schedule. This system releases funds in stages as you reach specific milestones during the renovation process. This ensures the loan is used as intended for renovations and minimizes risk for the lender.

Fees Associated with Fix and Flip Loans

Be aware of potential fees associated with fix and flip loans. These may include origination fees (a percentage of the loan amount paid upfront for processing the loan), closing costs (various administrative fees), and appraisal fees. Factor these costs into your overall project budget.

Understanding the key components of a fix and flip loan empowers you to make informed decisions. Knowing how the loan amount is determined, interest rates are calculated, and funds are accessed through the draw schedule allows you to plan effectively and maximize your chances of a successful fix and flip project.

Get Answers to All Your Loan Questions

No Doc Mortgage Loans for Self-Employed Borrowers

No Doc Mortgage Loans for Self-Employed Borrowers

  Bank statement home loans offer relaxed guidelines versus traditional mortgage loans. If you need to acquire funds in a hurry, you might qualify for an asset-based home loan. Abo Capital helps qualified self-employed borrowers obtain no doc mortgage loans. What...

Private Money Lenders in Los Angeles, California

Private Money Lenders in Los Angeles, California

  Private money lenders offer financing that’s typically unavailable through traditional banks and mortgage companies. Whether you need a bridge loan or to borrow money from an income producing property, a private money lender is a great resource. You can find...

FAQs About Fix-and-Flip Loans

Are fix and flip loans hard money?

While hard money financing makes up a significant portion of loans originated for fixer upper properties, they are not the exclusive loan program used for these properties. You can qualify for other loan types, depending on your personal financial circumstances and the mortgage broker you choose.

What is a good ROI for a fix and flip loan?

While many variables will affect the final profit amount you walk away with, many experienced investors aim for a 50% ROI on their fix and flip properties.

Can I live in a home I bought with a fix and flip loan?

Generally, the answer is no. However, different lenders may offer different options for using the property as a residence. Talking to a mortgage broker about your options is your best option to getting a specific answer for your situation.