Free Downloadable Chore Wheel: Divide and Conquer Your Apartment Cleaning

One of the most difficult situations roommates face is deciding who will take care of what chores. Obviously, each roommate is in charge of keeping his or her bedroom and bathroom clean, but what about common areas? Who does the dishes and who vacuums? Before you and your roommate resort to fisticuffs over who will take out the trash, consider an easier, more peaceful solution: A chore wheel. This simple DIY project will take you less than 10 minutes to create, and when it’s done, you’ll have an easy way to divide up household chores. You and your roommate(s) will trade off tasks so everyone does their part and no one is stuck with the chore they hate for very long.

Ready to pitch the pigsty? Download and assemble our free chore wheel to restore order to your apartment.

What you’ll need:

  • Chore wheel templates (download links are below)
  • Cardboard
  • Glue
  • Scissors
  • Permanent marker
  • Hole punch
  • Paper fastener

free downloadable chore wheelfree downloadable chore wheel

Making the Wheel

Step 1: Download one of the following chore wheel templates, depending on how many people live in your apartment.

  • Two people: If your household consists of you and just one roommate, download this template. Your wheel will contain either six or eight chores – your choice.
  • Three people: If your household is you and two roommates, download this template. Your wheel will contain six chores.
  • Four people: If your household is you and three roommates, download this template. Your wheel will contain eight chores.

Step 2: Print out the chore wheel template you downloaded. You don’t have to print in color, but doing so will make your chore wheel a lot prettier.

Step 3: Cut out each circle.

free downloadable chore wheelfree downloadable chore wheel

Step 4: Glue each circle to a piece of cardboard.

free downloadable chore wheelfree downloadable chore wheel

Step 5: Cut the cardboard to match the circle. Now you should have two circles with cardboard backing.

free downloadable chore wheelfree downloadable chore wheel

Step 6: On the bigger circle, write your name and the names of your roommate(s) in each section. On the smaller circle, assign each section to a different household chore. You might label it like this:

free downloadable chore wheelfree downloadable chore wheel

(Betty is my fictional roommate.)

The exact labels are up to you, and they depend on what sorts of cleaning your apartment needs. For example, if your apartment has stairs, you might put “vacuum stairs” in one section, but if not, you might use that section for “dust bookshelves” or something else.

Try to keep big chores on opposite sides of the chore wheel. For example, doing the dishes can be a big task, but taking out the trash only takes a few minutes. Try to make sure each roommate will take on a similar workload each week.

Step 7: When both circles are labeled, punch a hole in the center of each one. You can use a hole punch or bore a hole in each circle with the pointy end of a sharp knife. (Just remember to place a cutting board underneath, and be careful!)

Step 8: Push the paper fastener through the hole to join the two circles together.

Your chore wheel is complete!

Using the Chore Wheel

To use it, just twist the top wheel so certain sections line up with each roommate’s name. That person will be in charge of those chores for the amount of time you choose together. For example, this week I’ll be in charge of taking out the trash, vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, while Fictional Roommate Betty will clean the kitchen, dust and pick up the living room.

free downloadable chore wheelfree downloadable chore wheel

You can switch it up every week, every other week, or as often as you like. Now our responsibilities are reversed.

free downloadable chore wheelfree downloadable chore wheel

You could also move the top wheel one wedge at a time instead of flipping it 180 degrees. You and your roommate(s) can decide what works best for your household.

More advice on the Apartment Guide Blog:

How is your chore wheel working out in your apartment?




Apartment and Home Heating Tips

There are few utilities that can really put a dent in your bank account quite like heating your apartment. While you want to have your apartment at a comfortable temperature during the winter, those bills can really pile up when you’ve got your heat going full blast. So do you resign yourself to just wearing several layers of sweaters and a coat inside?

Never fear — with’s handy DIY apartment and home heating tips, you can ensure your pad stays toasty while you save money on heating this winter.

DIY Apartment Home HeatingDIY Apartment Home Heating

Additional Tips to Make It Work:

1. Check Those Windows

  • Double check with your landlord or apartment community on adding weather stripping, plastic sheeting and/or if storm windows are available for your apartment. You’ll want to ensure that you don’t do anything to harm getting your deposit back.
  • Blinds are great at helping to regulate heat, but curtains can also help keep out the cold during the evening. Make sure you keep them open during the day so the sun can help maintain the warmth in your apartment.

2. Work That Thermostat

  • Don’t think you can invest in smart home technology for your apartment? Think again. You can get smart home technology for your apartment even if you’re renting, and take it with you when you move. Look at getting a smart thermostat that you can control remotely, or that can even be programmed to your specifications.
  • Keep an eye on your heating bills to compare rates from month to month. Knowing that you’re going to have higher usage than last month due to a cold snap can help you plan ahead.

3. Get Humid

  • Finding it impossible to place a shallow pan of water near your heat register or radiator? Investing in a humidifier can really help with your heating. Added bonus: it’s great for helping with dry skin in the winter.

4. Roll Out the Red Carpet

  • If you have hardwood floors in your apartment, or find your kitchen or bathroom tile just a bit chilly in the winter, invest in some rugs to add a layer between you and the cold floor.
  • Rugs aren’t just limited to hard flooring, either. An additional rug can really help if your carpets are a bit on the thin side.

Sweater & Slipper Combo

  • It’s a fact, turning that thermostat down will make it chillier, but that’s what your winter clothes are for. Wear a cozy cardigan around the house, and ensure that your feet are covered.
  • Turning the heat off at night? Make sure your bedding is ready to rock the cold with a few extra blankets and some warm PJ’s.

Do you have a top tip for keeping toasty during the cold winter months? What’s your best advice for not running up your heating bill? Let us know below!




What to Do If Your Apartment Floods

Flooding is, to put it mildly, no fun. Between the amount of damage typically done, the stress of dealing with repairs and trying to get back to normal, there’s a lot to cover.

While we can’t help you deal with the stress directly, these precautions and additional information should give you a better idea of what you’d need to do before, during and after you have a flooded apartment.


The first thing is preparing for the possibility of any kind of damage by getting renters insurance that includes a flood policy covered under the National Flood Insurance Program.

The whole thing is usually no more than a few hundred dollars per year, and it covers you from floods, fire and theft. It isn’t a legal requirement, but some property managers will ask you to get it. Considering the low cost for the level of coverage you’ll get, it’s worthwhile.

Catching problems before they happen

To address the possibility of water damage and a flooded apartment more directly, keep an eye out for drips and leaks. You also want to watch for the appearance of water stains or mold growth, signs of a previous water leak. This includes checking the walls and ceiling when it rains and periodically looking at faucets and pipes in the kitchen and bathrooms.

Report anything you see to your property manager since these are issues they’ll need to repair. Make sure you have the emergency phone number for your building saved and accessible. It isn’t only good for flooding, but anything that happens unexpectedly and needs immediate attention.

Securing your belongings

While the likelihood of a flood is low, it’s still a good idea to keep valuable items away from the most obvious places they’d get wet. “The easiest way to keep smaller items safe is with a waterproof, fireproof box. These safes come in a variety of sizes. You will want to consider what items are most important to you before deciding on the size,” says Soil Away, a disaster restoration company.

Keep items like electronics off the floor if they’re near the kitchen or bathroom as well. These strategies both protect your valuables and also give you more time to get to things if the water is rising and you need to grab and go.

flooded apartmentflooded apartment

During the flood

When the flooding starts, get everything you can away from the path of the water. Take what valuables you can and move them into your car, into another room or into a neighbor’s apartment — anything to keep them dry.

Next, call that emergency maintenance number you’ve saved, as well as the management company itself. They should respond immediately, but if not, you may have to take matters into your own hands, contacting a plumber or other repair person.

While you wait for help to arrive, try to get things under control. Attempt to seal the leak if you can reach it and have the right materials. Use plastic bins or any other containers you have to contain as much water as possible.

After the flood

Unfortunately, the stress of a flooded apartment doesn’t end once the leak is fixed. Now you have to try and pick up the pieces, get things repaired and get back to life as normal. Sorting this out involves insurance claims and a close review of the terms of your lease.

Since you have to establish who handles what, there can be some confusion, so it’s important to know what general areas are more likely whose responsibility.

Documenting the damage

The first step after a flood is documenting all the damage that occurs. This is both for your insurance company and for your property manager to have. Take photos of both your damaged items and visible damage on walls or ceilings. Save all damaged property until an insurance adjuster is able to come out and document the damage. Don’t throw anything away until they give you the all-clear.

Establishing responsibility

Damage to the building itself normally falls under the property owner’s insurance. The actual structure and anything that comes with the unit like carpet or appliances are also covered. You’re responsible for your personal property, and having flood damage as part of your renters insurance should make dealing with that easier.

Exceptions to this breakdown occur when flooding happens because your property manager didn’t fix a known issue. In that case, they may end up paying to replace your own property. The opposite is also true if something you did caused the flooding. In this instance, you might have to pay for all the damage, including damage to the building itself. If there’s any conflict, don’t hesitate to consult a lawyer.

Terminating the lease

If the flooded apartment ends up with too much damage to remain livable, you may have the right to terminate your lease without penalty. If your property owner has another, equivalent apartment available, you could try and negotiate a move into that unit, signing a new lease. You could also try and work out a temporary living situation while your apartment is getting repaired.

Your lease should have a section on termination, but you can also research the local renter laws in your area to get a better idea of what your rights are. If you can’t work out a deal with your current property owner, it may be best to find a new place to live altogether.

flooded streetflooded street

Common causes of flooding

Flooding can happen anywhere, beginning from a natural phenomenon or from within your own apartment. Common sources of flooding include:

  • Heavy rain: “Heavy rainfall is more than 0.30 inches of rain per hour,” according to Weather Shack. Rain at this rate can overflow streams, drains and even entire sewer systems. This backs everything up, sending water overflowing into homes and apartment buildings.
  • Clogged or frozen pipes: Plumbing is often the internal culprit when it comes to flooding. Clogged pipes mean water can’t drain properly, so it comes back up into sinks, bathtubs or toilets. In the extreme cold, pipes can freeze, as well. When they thaw, they can end up bursting, sending water spraying. Issues like these going unchecked can lead to flooding.
  • Drainage basins in urban areas: Large cities like New York and Los Angeles use concrete drainage basins, which don’t provide a place for groundwater to get absorbed. In heavy rains, these basins can overflow, creating street flooding that can spread into the first few floors of buildings.
  • Leaky roofs: What may start out as a small crack in the ceiling can quickly become an access point for water to drip down if it’s not addressed. Any small imperfection in your ceiling should be reported immediately to your property manager for repairs.

“Just in case” is enough risk to prepare

Nobody likes to think about the disaster a flood could cause in their home, but it’s a risk to think it could never happen to you. In fact, 14,000 people in the U.S. experience some kind of water damage at home or at work every day according to Water Damage Defense.

Whether a little leak or a full-on deluge, some preparation and a deeper understanding of how easy it is to be ready, can help you can get ahead of the stressful situation that’s possible from a flooded apartment.

Read more about keeping your apartment safe:




Simple Ways to Unclog a Toilet Without a Plunger

There are quite a few maintenance issues that can pop up around your apartment, which you can easily take care of yourself. With the right combination of know-how and tools, you should succeed in making most simple repairs. However, what happens when you’re missing an essential tool?

Here’s a scenario: It’s Sunday evening in your one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment. A few friends come over for a casual dinner. After the meal, you’re all sitting around when one guest comes out of the bathroom with an uncomfortable look on their face. “The toilet won’t flush…sorry.” No problem, you think as you go for the plunger. Until you remember you don’t currently have one. What do you do now?

Head to the kitchen

bleach being poured into measuring cupbleach being poured into measuring cup

For an immediate fix, simple household items are all you need. Regular dish soap that you should have sitting on your sink and some hot water may do the trick. Pour about half a cup of dish soap directly into the toilet and let it sit for about 30 minutes.

This works because the soap helps lubricate the clogged pipe allowing materials to go down easier. At this point, you can try flushing and see if that works. If not, grab two cups of hot water and add it to the bowl. Make sure the water isn’t boiling. Water that hot can crack the porcelain. If it’s a tough clog, you should use the soap then water before attempting a flush.

For really tough clogs, your kitchen can still be your best resource. If available, try combining bleach and powdered dishwasher soap. Combine two or three cups of regular household bleach with about one cup of powdered dishwasher soap and pour into the toilet. Wait about 10 minutes before attempting to flush. This method is also good to try if you’re dealing with a very full toilet.

Go organic

baking soda and vinegarbaking soda and vinegar

Working in the same way the dish soap does, only with a different set of ingredients, use this mixture with hot water to unclog your toilet. Combine one cup of baking soda with two cups of vinegar. Be prepared for the mixture to fizz as it’s working.

Let it sit for 30 minutes before adding the hot water, then flush. This option is especially good if you have a septic system. Bleach and certain soaps can harm septic tanks.

Grab a closet staple

wire hangerswire hangers

Ending up with a particularly stubborn clog may mean abandoning your kitchen and going to your closet for the right supplies. Take a wire coat hanger, like the ones from the dry cleaners, and straighten it out.

Then, with a little muscle, push one end into the clogged area, giving it a few prods. You should feel the clog start to loosen up before you flush and watch things get sucked away.

When you need to be discreet

jar of epsom saltjar of epsom salt

Should you find yourself in a situation where you don’t want anyone to know you’ve clogged the toilet, common bathroom items may handle the issue. Keep things discreet by using these to handle your clog:

  • Bath Bomb: if you can find one, simply drop it into the bowl and watch it dissolve over a few minutes. Like with the dish soap, it should loosen things up and allow you to flush.
  • Epsom salts: check under the sink for this bathroom staple. Sprinkle in a decent amount, watch it fizz like the bath bomb and hopefully get results.
  • Toilet Brush: while not as sturdy as a plunger, it can be used in much the same way. Push the brush into the drain hole as best you can and give it a few good pumps. Don’t forget to rinse the brush thoroughly as the clog drifts down the drain.

Remember – no plunger, no worries. Your toilet will flush clear again thanks to a variety of items typically found around your apartment.




How to Turn Your Bathroom into a Spa-Inspired Escape

Your home should feel like a calm and comfortable space where you can unwind, relax, and recharge. Here are tangible ways to let the soothing qualities of a day at the spa inspire your bathroom decor.

1. Aromatherapy: Choose scents that match your desired mood and intention. If you are stressed, nervous, or can’t sleep use scents like bergamot, chamomile, cinnamon, lavender, clove, rose, sandalwood, or vanilla. If you are feeling a bit melancholy, use scents like clary sage, cypress, or marjoram. Tired and fatigued? Try cinnamon, cypress, eucalyptus, fennel, lemon, peppermint, sage, or spiced apple. Learn more at Underground Health, then set up a collection that makes scents for you!

2. Vanity: You’ll feel like a celebrity when you do your makeup at your vanity. As an extra perk, you can keep all of your beauty products and jewelry organized and accessible.

3. Mood Lighting: Skip the florescent bulbs. Your lighting affects your mood. Take some cues from the New York Times article, LEDs Change Thinking About the Light Bulb.

4. Calm Colors: Use the principles of color psychology when you choose your paint colors. In an interview with WebMD the color consultant Leslie Harrington recommends painting the bathroom in shades of blue, green, or turquoise. These colors, “give a sense of being clean and fresh — and calm.”

5. Little Luxuries: Incorporate little luxuries like, fresh flowers, a heated towel rack, pretty soaps and storage containers, a bath pillow, bath salts, fluffy bathrobes, and an additional shower head.

6. Storage Space: Keep your bathroom clean, open, and clutter-free. Recent studies have shown that clutter causes stress. Don’t let a mess ruin your at-home oasis.

Now the only thing left to do is to draw a bath, pick up a good book, and relax.


6 Natural Home Decor Ideas

Contribution by Andrea Davis, HomeAdvisor

6 Natural Home Decor Ideas image 1

Can’t get enough of the outdoors? If you want more of it in your home without maintaining a jungle, then consider alternatives. Here are some top ideas for homeowners wanting that extra touch:

1. Add natural elements: One of the easiest ways to incorporate the outdoors indoors is literally to add it to your home decor. It might be pebbles, wood, straw, leaves and other pieces in smaller amounts throughout your home. You could also add photographs, paintings and framed pieces of wood or leaves to the walls of your home.
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2. Assemble flowers and plants in pots: If you are willing to do the maintenance and manage the upkeep, you can add potted plants to your home. This adds elements of color and natural fragrance to your home. You might avoid real plants if you have severe allergies and do plastic versions to be safe. You should also be aware of any plant varieties that are poisonous to your pets.

3. Install natural flooring: If you have tile, laminate or vinyl floors, you can have a flooring installer replace them with hardwood, cork, bamboo or other natural flooring materials. They feel warmer underneath your feet, and they are organic and biodegradable compared to what might have been in your home before.

4. Make the most of your windows: Your windows are for more than a beautiful view. You can let in natural light by opening them or replacing heavy curtains with light, see-through drapes. You can also let in fresh air and the scents of the outdoors. If you’re worried about pests or debris, install new screens.

6 Natural Home Decor Ideas image 3

5. Use outdoorsy colors: Another option is painting parts of your home with naturally-inspired colors. Some color options include green, blue, yellow and brown. There are also neutral tones like white, tan and beige to evoke cleanliness. Whether you paint an entire room or just a wall, you can complement the room with elements like plants to make it seem more outdoorsy.

6. Consider stenciling: You can also stencil outdoor-related images onto your walls. Maybe it’s trees, leaves, the sun, moon, stars or an entire landscape. You can do random stenciling or theme it by room. The end result will be a design that attracts visitors and complements the outdoor landscape.

Your interior can get closer to the outdoors depending on how much money or time you want to spend bringing the elements indoors. The end result will be a natural, seamless transition from the beautiful landscape outside to the same relaxing feel inside.

Photos courtesy of DesignMine


5 Ways to Make Your Home Cozy for Fall

It’s officially fall! Break out your sweaters, boots, hot apple cider, and other fall essentials. Make your home cozy and comfortable so you can enjoy family game nights, carving pumpkins, and curling up with a good book.

5 Ways to Make Your Home Cozy for Fall image 1

Use these tips to make your home snug and homey.

1. Candles: Lighting a candle, especially one that gives off a fall scent, such as pumpkin or apple spice, will help you relax after a long day. Scented candles fill a room with a sweet or spicy aroma, give an extra bit of light, and add a calming effect to your house. They instantly make any fall night cozier. (For safety never leave burning candles unattended).

2. Plush throw blankets: Placing a fleece or knitted blanket on your couch will instantly add a warm feeling to your home. Curling up under a blanket on a cool night, while your scented candles are lit, makes all the difference. As an added bonus, this is a great way to add color and decoration to your furniture.

3. Switch your curtains: During the summer months, you keep your window treatments as light as possible to cool off your home. Now with a cold breeze in the air, warm up with a heavier material. This adds natural warmth and coziness to the room. Go the extra mile and make the curtains a deep, warm color like chocolate brown to really bring the season into your home.

4. Add a fabric table runner: Sitting down at your dining room table can sometimes feel too formal and bare tables don’t add anything extra to the room. Change the dynamic by adding a seasonal table runner. This brings a homely feel and makes any family dinner feel more festive.

5. Layer your area rugs: Putting more than one area rug in a room will give an added cushion, perfect for lounging on the floor and watching television on a chilly night. More than one rug also means more warmth so the chill that wooden floors bring won’t be an issue this season. Opt for a color like orange or brick red to tie the look together.

Incorporating these fun, cozy fall ideas into your home is a great way to change up your decor, while also creating the perfect atmosphere for you and your family. Now pour some hot chocolate or hot apple cider and gather around for game night.


How-To Guide: When You Should Do-It-Yourself vs. Hire a Professional


Finding a house that meets all of your must-haves and nice-to-haves is an amazing feeling and turning that house into your home is a process you do over time. In the era of “Do It Yourself” (DIY), many home buyers are looking for ways to make a huge impact on a smaller budget. However, there are times when it might just be better to leave some projects to the professionals. These are some things to consider when you’re deciding to either DIY or hire it out. 


The bulk of most projects, no matter their size, is the cost of labor. By paying for someone else to take on the project, freeing you up to do other things, you’re also paying for that person’s knowledge, skill, and time. As an added bonus, because you pay a professional, they may be able to reduce the material cost because they have a bulk discount rate wherever they purchase their supplies. Doing it yourself on the other hand, not only saves you the cost of labor, but you can also save by using the home improvement stores’ 0% financing and promotions or other sales as they arise. 


When you decide to take on a project it’s most likely after a lot of thought, research, and saving up the money. Hiring a professional means you’re at the liberty of when they can get you onto their schedule. Depending on the season and what it is you need, your wait could be weeks or months down the road. Taking on the project yourself, you can work on the project around your schedule and timeline. Which means it could take a little bit longer depending on work schedules and other functions, but if you’re ok with that, it may be worth doing it on your own. 


Home improvement projects can be as simple as switching out the hardware on cabinets and door knobs to more complicated projects like a room addition. Some home improvement stores offer workshops where they teach things like how to tile. Even searching on YouTube and Pinterest you can easily find step-by-step tutorials for many home improvement projects. As you do more DIY projects, you gain more skill knowledge that builds with the more you do. The more you do a project, the faster you naturally become. Hiring a professional means you’re paying for their skill based on years of experience and training. 

Tools and Equipment

Even if you don’t have the right tools or equipment, you may be able to borrow from a friend or neighbor, or even rent them. Before you purchase a tool, consider if it would be a good investment for future projects. Having the right tools and equipment to complete the job correctly makes a world of difference. 

The Value of Your Home

Not all projects will add a huge return on investment (ROI), but some may be just for an improvement for your taste and decor style. Some projects can have a great ROI, like exterior renovations or kitchen remodeling for example, however, before doing a project ask yourself if it could ruin the value of your home.

This is especially important if the project you’re thinking of doing requires any permitting. Not having the proper permits and approvals could cost you more down the road; requiring you to hire a professional to fix whatever it is that was done incorrectly. Also, consider if the project requires altering the structural integrity of the home, such as anything dealing with the foundation, roof line, and moving walls, and if the answer is yes, consider hiring a professional. 

While there is a sense of pride from completing a project yourself, it’s important to pause to make sure doing it yourself is the best decision. If after you consider all of the factors– cost, time, skill, tools, and the value it will add to your home, then go ahead with the project and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Otherwise, it may be money well spent to hire a professional.

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Brooke has a lifestyle blog called Cribbs Style and currently lives in Charleston, SC. This wife, mom of two almost tweens, and mom of three fur children enjoys all things DIY and organizing. When she’s not helping others tackle the chaos of life, she’s either working out, at the beach, or just enjoying time with family and friends.



The Real Costs of House Flipping That HGTV Doesn’t Show You


If you’ve ever watched a house-flipping show on TV and thought to yourself, “I can do that,” you aren’t alone. In fact, in 2017 house flipping reached an 11 year high in the US. With the rise in popularity of these “fixer-upper” shows, more and more people are becoming intrigued by this phenomenon. But, there’s one important thing most of these shows don’t reveal: the real costs that can be involved.

As a seasoned house flipper with eight flips under my belt, I can attest that renovating a house involves more than buying a house and selling it for a profit. If you’re considering tackling your first house flip, it’s important to understand all the costs associated– from holding to selling expenses, and the many fees in between, make sure you arm yourself with all of the information necessary before embarking on your house-flipping adventure!

Young woman sanding an unpainted clad wall during DIY home improvements in a view past her husband in the foregroundYoung woman sanding an unpainted clad wall during DIY home improvements in a view past her husband in the foreground

Repair Costs

Repair costs are an obvious expense with house flipping. Kiersten Vogt, a seasoned Northeast Pennsylvania house flipper explains, “I think most rookies underestimate the final price. Everything costs more than someone expects!” From materials to labor, one of the most expensive line items on a flip budget is repairs. Without proper experience and knowledge, estimating the price of repairs can be difficult. Vogt suggests “People should have contractors walk the property and give estimates before they put an offer in or at least make an offer contingent on estimates.”

Holding Costs

One of the hidden costs with house flipping is the holding costs. As Vogt explains, “Holding costs are things like taxes, utilities, lawn care, HOA fees, etc. Holding costs are basically anything you’d have to pay even if the house isn’t sitting there not being worked on or in escrow.” Holding costs can vary based on the timeline of the flip- the longer it takes the flip a home, the more expensive the holding costs will be.

Purchase Costs

Depending on how a flip is financed, there are upfront buying costs. From loan fees, appraisal costs, title fees, and more, investors will have costs before they even start work on Day 1. In fact, those initial purchase costs can be as much as 2%-3% of the purchase price.

Selling Costs

In addition to closing costs when a home is purchased, investors will also pay closing costs when they sell the property. From termite policies, title work, revenue stamps, and more, the expenses associated with selling a house flip can be thousands of dollars. However, as Vogt explains, “Closing costs for sellers are typically lower than that for buyers.” It’s wise to consult a bank and title company to estimate closing expenses before you begin house flipping!

Realtor Fees

While it’s not necessary to have a real estate license to flip houses, it’s incredibly beneficial to use the services of a Realtor to market a flip. In fact, 87% of buyers are using a Realtor to find a home. Using the services of a Realtor does come with a price tag though. Both Kiersten Vogt and I are licensed Realtors in addition to being house flippers, so as Vogt explains “Our realtor fees are quite low because we sell the flips ourselves. So our fees are normally just 2.5% of the sales price. If I didn’t have my real estate license, I’d be paying anywhere from 5%-7% of the sales price!”

Capital Gains

With the appreciated value of a flip property, the goal of house flipping is to make a profit. Unless you’re doing a live-in flip, you will be required to pay taxes on the profits. Exactly how much the government gets varies; however, Vogt suggests “I set aside 30% for capital gains in an account I don’t touch or think about until tax season… if I have some left over at tax time then good!”

Knowing all the costs with house flipping is critical to being a successful house flipper. While there is potential for wealth building and big paydays, without knowing the math before you start, there is also potential for failure!

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Jennifer is an accidental house flipper turned Realtor and real estate investor. She is the voice behind the blog, Bachelorette Pad Flip. Over five years, Jennifer paid off $70,000 in student loan debt through real estate investing. She’s passionate about the power of real estate. She’s also passionate about southern cooking, good architecture, and thrift store treasure hunting. She calls Northwest Arkansas home with her cat Smokey, but she has a deep love affair with South Florida.