Profit from House Flipping: Understanding the 70% Rule

Profit from House Flipping: Understanding the 70% Rule

3 min max read

You're making strides in the world of real estate investing and considering next steps. So could house flipping be in your future?

Success in flipping houses largely hinges on making informed and strategic decisions, and one of the critical tools for this is understanding the 70% rule in house flipping. In this blog, we're going to delve deep into this rule, its relevance, practical applications, and how it can affect your profit margin.

What is the 70% Rule in Real Estate?

First things first, what is the 70% rule in house flipping? Here's the straightforward definition. The 70% rule is a guideline that real estate investors use to estimate the maximum price to pay for a potential investment property. It suggests that an investor should only pay 70% of the After Repair Value (ARV) of a property, minus the cost of repairs and renovations needed.

The ARV refers to what the property will be worth after all necessary renovations are complete. Different neighborhoods are usually defined by different property classes: A, B, C, and D. Most of the time when flipping houses you'll want to look for distressed properties in B and C neighborhoods. This will help you in executing the 70% rule, while still being able to make a profit on the deal.

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying the 70% Rule

Navigating the intricacies of the 70% rule in house flipping can be challenging, and investors often stumble upon several common pitfalls.

A critical error is overestimating the After Repair Value (ARV). Optimism is beneficial, but realism is crucial. Overestimating ARV can lead to paying too much for a property, thereby squeezing profit margins.

Conversely, underestimating repair and renovation costs is equally detrimental. Always factor in unexpected expenses and potential overruns. A detailed inspection by a professional can provide a more accurate estimate, safeguarding against costly surprises.

Another oversight is misjudging market trends. Local real estate markets can fluctuate rapidly, and what works in one area might not in another. Investors should conduct thorough market research, understanding the dynamics of the specific area where the property is located.

By avoiding these common mistakes, investors can apply the 70% rule more effectively, ensuring profitable and sustainable house-flipping ventures.

70% Rule Formula

Let's break down the mathematics behind this 70% rule formula. Suppose you're contemplating buying a property with an ARV of $200,000. The estimated repair costs are around $30,000. According to the 70% rule, you should not pay more than $110,000 for the property ($200,000 * 0.70 - $30,000 = $110,000).

Why Use the 70% Rule?

Why adopt the 70% rule? For starters, it's a safe bet for mitigating risk for house flippers. The real estate market is tumultuous, and potential profits can quickly erode due to unexpected expenses, market downturns, or longer-than-anticipated hold times. The 70% rule can offer a buffer by allowing for a substantial profit margin, ensuring you're not left in the red even when unpredictable circumstances crop up.

Market Variability and the 70% Rule: Adapting to Diverse Real Estate Markets

The 70% rule, while a steadfast guideline in house flipping, is not a one-size-fits-all formula. Its effectiveness hinges on its adaptability to varying market conditions.

In urban areas, where real estate values are typically higher and market movements faster, applying the 70% rule demands a keen understanding of rapid shifts in property values and consumer trends. Here, investors might need to adjust the percentage slightly lower to account for higher competition and reduced profit margins.

Contrastingly, in rural or lower-cost regions, where property values appreciate more slowly, investors might have more leeway with the rule. The lower property costs can allow for a slightly higher percentage, accommodating the slower market dynamics and potentially longer sale timelines. Understanding these nuances is crucial; the 70% rule should be applied flexibly and tailored to reflect the specific economic realities of each market. This adaptable approach enables investors to maximize returns while minimizing risks across diverse real estate landscapes.


To sum things up, the 70% rule is an essential formula for anyone looking to venture into the house-flipping side of the real estate industry.

It provides a safety net by accounting for uncertainty, helping to ensure that investors make a profit on their efforts - and steer clear of unexpected losses. Use it as a guide when evaluating potential investment opportunities, but never forget to couple it with in-depth research and good judgment.

Now, equipped with this knowledge, forge ahead and find those underpriced gems, repair, renovate, and create value for the next homeowner while preserving your profit margin. Here's to your house flipping and real estate investing journey!

Samantha Ankney

About Samantha Ankney

Samantha has been a media specialist for DealMachine for 2.5 years. She produces, edits, writes, and publishes all media that is distributed to the DealMachine and Real Estate Investing community.