5 Tips to Help First-Time Investors Identify a Major Flip from a Cosmetic Flip

Are you a novice investor trying to decide on what your first flip should be? If so, it is vital to ensure that your first investment property is nothing too major. Here at ZINC, we find that a lot of our first-time borrowers want to jump right into a complex flip. But, we recommend that a novice investor starts out with a cosmetic flip because they are more likely to be successful and a beginner investor will gain experience for a more tedious fix and flip in the future. But, how do you know if you are getting involved in a major flip or just a simple cosmetic flip?

Here are 5 tips to help first-time investors Identify a Major Flip from a Cosmetic Flip: 

  1. Stay Away from Wood Siding– Wood siding on a home often invites pests, this means you will be spending lots of money to replace it. But it’s not just the wood siding that can be infested, other siding products supported by underlying wood structures could also be subject to pests. Also, while the wood siding is supposed to keep moisture out, that is not always the case. Warping and buckling of the siding is a sign of moisture damage. Overall, wood siding can potentially raise the cost of your flip significantly.
  2. Look Out for Curled Roof Tiles– When roof tiles start to curl, it means you will likely need a roof replacement. Curled tiles make the roof vulnerable to water damage, which can cause hidden leaks and even mold! If you are a novice investor, be on the lookout for curled tiles.
  3. Steer Clear of Swamp Coolers– These types of coolers eventually develop water damage and will need to be replaced and converted to HVAC.
  4. Check for Cracks in the Foundation– This leads to a multitude of problems. For example, it can cause leaks, roof issues, problems with windows and doors, and framing issues. If you do not have experience with investment properties, we strongly advise that you stay away from home if there are cracks in the foundation.
  5. Drained Pools will Drain your Wallet – While this may not seem like a big deal, it can actually cause major damage. Drained pools at investment properties are often accompanied by structural issues such as shrinkage in the liner that may tear when refilling the pool. Refilling an old pool is not always as easy as it seems, being left unused for years causes expensive damage.


ZINC recommends that a first-time investor stay away from any type of complex rehab and should focus on a cosmetic flip. A cosmetic flip includes repairs such as replacing: old paint, carpet, cabinetry, counters, and appliances. These cosmetic repairs are perfect for a novice investor and can usually be completed with minimal hiccups. If you are a first-time investor that would like to get involved in a fix and flip, ZINC is here to help! Click Here to Apply Now, we lend regardless of experience.