my flipping houses vision board

Why Do You Want To Flip Houses?

Danny Johnson / 90 comments

Today, I was called a piece of $%#! and a coward several times (by the same person). The coward came in because I hung up the phone after the first barrage of insults. What was my offense? I sent him a letter asking if they are looking to sell a house. Granted it was sent to a probate lead so I can understand how the letter may have come at a very difficult time for the individual. Though, it is still not an excuse for the behavior exhibited. Whew. I hope he did not go on a rampage afterwards.

The reason I bring this up is two-fold (bifold?).

1. You have to develop tough skin in this business. – There will be times when contractors and callers will push very hard on you and you have to be able to let it roll off your back. You have to be able to move forward and not let it bother you. The benefits are far greater than the negative situations that sometimes pop up.

2. You need to know and keep in mind why you want to flip houses. – If you don’t know why you are doing something, you are not going to be doing it for very long. When starting flipping houses you are going to have to learn a lot and likely be pushed outside of your comfort zone most of the time. This uncomfortable feeling and dealing with the uncertainty and self-doubt that most of us experience is enough to make most people quit before they’ve even given themselves a real chance to succeed.

If you sit down and actually really think through and are honest with yourself, and write down why you really want to flip houses, you will be in a much better position to push through the trying times. I mention writing down what you decide because when we write things down, it works to make us articulate our thoughts better. Having written goals and reasons also enables us to have something to look at from time to time that keeps us on track.

So many people just do things on autopilot day in and day out. Not much changes. When you really know why you are doing something and really know what you want, life becomes a lot more exciting. When Melissa and I feel like we need a push, we sit down and write down what we really want and then talk about it. This honestly gets us excited again and we become much more productive. We do this almost yearly and it really helps us with making sure we are heading in the right direction.

I’m always reminded of something I had read about a group of people chopping down trees. These guys were just working all day chopping down trees with their nose to the grind stone. They sure were hard workers. Staying focused and really getting the job done.

The problem was they were in the wrong forest!

They were working very hard but at the wrong things. If only someone had climbed up a tree and looked around and decided on where they were supposed to be before they wasted all of that effort, they’d be much better off.

Why do we flip houses?

Some of you might be curious as to why we’ve decided to flip houses. The incredible potential for huge profits of course is what most people think of, but it goes way beyond that.

We do it because it gives us freedom. We are in charge in our lives and in charge of our destinies. There is no fear of being laid off or having to do things we don’t want to do. We decide what we do and when we do it.

We are able to be home most of the day and to be there for our kids. This is huge. We are privileged to be there for them and are always able to make it to their games and recitals. Our schedules are completely flexible.

With respect to goals, we now have a way to work hard now so that we can retire early and do the things we want to do while we are still relatively young. This has really helped me to stay motivated and focused.

The picture for this post is my vision board. I highly recommend that you create one. The idea came from the DVD The Secret which I feel is a must have. If you don’t own this dvd, you are truly missing out. This DVD will change your life!

The vision board is a collection of things that represent what we want. It is something that changes over the years and we update it when we re-evaluate where we are.

The great thing about the vision board is that we are constantly reminded of what we want. People that go through life not really articulating what they really want are, for the most part, lost and lack direction. It’s never too late though. No matter how far fetched or crazy some of the things are, put them on there. Anything is possible.

Even without looking at my old vision board very often (really hardly ever), something crazy happened. I hadn’t looked at it in a long time and one day stopped to look at it.

Most of the things I had on my vision board had come to be.

I was stunned. Even though I had not conscientiously worked at each item as one would when working down a to-do list, I still accomplished much of what was on my board. When I had first put the pictures up, I really had some doubt about whether I’d ever really do those things. One of the pictures was of an airplane. It represented my desire to become a certificated private pilot. That was something I didn’t think I would ever be able to make time for and actually achieve. But, it happened. While working on getting my ticket, I was not thinking about the picture hanging on the wall. It truly is amazing and I hope this is hitting home for a lot of people.

So, why do you REALLY want to flip houses?

I urge you to leave a comment below about why you want to get into this business. Even if the reason is already mentioned by somebody else, mention it yourself. The purpose is to write it down and experience what it means to truly think about where you are and where you want to be and for what reasons.

So, why do you want to flip houses?

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90 awesome responses to “Why Do You Want To Flip Houses?”

  1. Ed on

    Wow Danny, This is powerful $h!t. I don’t have a vision board, but I’ll be making one this week. I work in a “golden prison”, great paying job with great benefits, but zero flexibility. My desire to pursue REI has stemmed from me changing the way my brain thinks over the past few years. I am the model employee. I show up on time, work hard, produce results, and don’t raise a stink over much of anything. My 11 year career has provided well for my family and I, but I have painted myself into a corner. I am afforded no freedom, no creative outlet, nor any ability to adjust my work schedule.
    I have worked hard to introduce a new way of thinking to my brain and I will achieve freedom and the ability to see my family more through REI. Thank you for your posts & site, it’s a life changer.


  2. Amy Bly on

    I have rehabbed one house to rent, and absolutely loved the creative freedom and design work I got to do. I was excited every day to make the 45-minute drive to the property and check on contractors or measure and take photos and figure out the flooring, cabinet, paint color, and tile decisions. That is why I love staging and decorating homes as well, but the thrill of finding the “right” property and knowing it’s YOUR baby to nurture is the reason I hope to do more rehabs or flips in the future.

  3. Mindi on

    I love the freedom and flexibility of being self-employed. I love being able to create my schedule, write my business goals and take the initiative needed to see them come to fruition. Working for the bossman never allowed me to express myself or use my gifts and abilities to their full extent. Most important, I want to flip houses so I can provide a home for so many who cannot afford it otherwise. I love being able to give to other people and see improvement in their life and a smile on their face. I want to be a blessing to so many because God first blessed me.

  4. Jay on

    To this very day I’m still witnessing my parents struggle as they live pay check to pay check to keep a roof over our heads and get out of debt. The amount of stress they go through is depressing. They never have time for anything relaxing because of the constant struggle to survive.

    I want to flip houses because I want to help them retire already. I don’t want the future family of my own to live like how they did. I simply want us all to be free.

  5. Doug on

    this has been one terrific blog and a great help to me. I thought there was a silver bullet or secret hand shake to make it in this business. I have learned you don’t have anything I don’t have ie a plan (I have a plan similiar to yours), door hangers (I have door hangers), web site (I have web site) etc. Unfortunately the one thing you have shown that I have not used is your discipline and tenacity. Your blog does sometimes seem to be repetitive but hey that is what this business is about! That is actually the lesson to learn. Having a plan and doing it over and over and over. Not try once then change because we don’t get 10 deals out of 15 leads. I have become discouraged when I’d send out letters or drive for dollars and not get a good lead or make 15 offers and not get a deal. Your has just reinforced this is a numbers game. Finally you have taught it is ok to say “no” to a deal. Thanks for that.

    I want to be a real estate investor because I have many years in coinstruction management and dealing with people. My jobs has required I travel way too much. As I get older I see this as a way to use my skills and abilities in my home town without traveling and without the constraints of working for other people.


  6. Jean Norton on

    Excellent article Danny! This is a tough business regardless of the strategies. Someone mentioned tenacity – that’s the magic word here. If you make a mistake, don’t let it deflate you…learn from it and tweak your approach.

  7. Shane in TX on

    Great Responses so far.

    Why do I want to flip houses? Originally, because I watched Armando on Flip this House and said “I can do that”, not knowing anything about the business, and it sat in the back of my mind. I work in the Audio Visual business, and I’ve set up and “worked” several sales meetings and manager training events for lots of companies over the last few years. When I first started in this business, I loved it, because it was fun messing with all the lights and sound, and video systems and learning how it all goes together. But the hours and quarterly work ups and downs, are horrible for a family man, especially trying to put my wife through school. I’ve seen so many people come through the events I’ve worked that have “flexible” jobs, that pay well. Lots or good self help speakers (nice free self help for me). And with many of them, I say “I can do that”. Yet I haven’t done anything, for fear of not having enough $$ to feed my family if I quit my NOT-SO 9-5.

    So, the wife and I are at half-priced-books a few months ago looking for something, and I ran across Armando’s original Flip and Grow Rich book. I read it cover to cover that night. Gleaned lots of things, but realized immediately how he’s just trying to sell his system. so I set out to find out on my own, without his $1000 system. then I found and bigger pockets, and tom tarrant, etc. and I follow all religiously. And now, I know, I can make my visions for my family come true. It just takes perseverance, patience, and an ability to deal will with adversity of all types.

    Best part is, I don’t have to quit my job to get started. NO MORE FEAR.

    I can do this. Thanks Armando. (That’s a joke). πŸ™‚

    Thanks Danny. Yours has proven the best motivation for me so far.

  8. Tony on


    I’ve read the secret and practice many of it’s teachings but I’ve never created a vision board. I’m going to put this at the top of my “to-do” list.

    To everyone else, a vision board is much more than just posting things you want on a board and looking at them. It’s a way of thinking.
    I too highly recommend “The Secret” book or DVD to everyone.

  9. Sharon Vornholt on

    Danny – I have had vision boards for years. They will change your life if you have one and use it to think about your desires. When you look at pictures of those things you want or words that express who you want to be, your subconscious works on getting those things for you.

  10. Con on

    Great blog entry Danny! I want to be successful at real estate investing so that I can have more time to spend with my two daughters, quit my JOB, take my family on vacations, and generally have more freedom to do what I want.

  11. Brooks on

    I’m in real estate because even with all of the stress and disappointments that inevitably come my way, for me a mediocre day of working for myself has been better than most great days of working for someone else.

    PS – good luck with the “Spartan 300” 8pack πŸ˜‰

  12. Chris Booth on

    Danny I really liked the analogy about the men working in the wrong forest. Whats it all for if your focusing your energy in the wrong place. I’m at a fork in my life as to what I want to do and this is the direction I want to take. I’m in the drywall biz but I love to fix things that are ugly and make them nice again, what better job than flipping houses.I feel very passionate about it and loved the advice and knowledge your sharing here. It does feel great to finally write it down. Thanks again.

  13. Kyle on

    Danny, I’ve just finally caught up reading your entire blog. I started a word document and kept adding bits of information and advice I’ve learned from reading your blog and it’s now 23 pages. Thank you so much! I haven’t started investing or flipping, but I plan to very soon. I want to flip houses because I want my efforts to determine my success. With working for someone else, I can put in all my effort and not really have anything to show for it, other than the normal paycheck. With real estate investing, the more effort I put in, the more success I will have. It’s all up to me.
    I do have a couple of questions not related to the above mentioned subject. First, I know you mentioned using land trusts with the houses you buy. Do you buy them in your own name and then transfer the deed to a land trust? Is there a LLC factored in anywhere? I’m not quite sure how all of that works, especially when it comes to tax time. Since I’m brand new to this, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around the actual steps that you take throughout the whole process, especially when wholesaling. Could you walk me through the process, from working with the title company, to home insurance, to getting utilities in your name, etc. I understand the rehab process and finding lending and contractors, but it’s the behind the scenes things that I don’t understand. Hope all that makes sense. Thanks again for the tremendous amount of knowledge that you are imparting to us!

  14. Bryan Scott on

    Hey Danny,

    Thanks for what you do. Having listened to a bunch of “gurus” in the marketplace, I find your approach to be geniune and straight-forward. Plus, I don’t hear that familiar “sucking sound” as dollars fly out of my wallet for books, tapes and mentoring expenses. Just straight talk from experience. That’s pretty nice.

    Anyhow, question for you concerning your websites. I went into to look around. What a nice website! Did you do this yourself? If not, can you drop the name of whomever did, so I can do some business with them on my site? If you did, wow! Will you sell the template so I can save some time putting my site together?

    No worry of competition as I live in Denver. Thanks much in advance for your reply. Talk later, Bryan Scott.

  15. alfred beilin on

    hello all the best to yous for 2012

  16. Matt K on

    Good post Danny.

    I need to make one of those vision boards for my office!

  17. Bruce on

    I have been doing research and am going to hire a virtual assitant, they can be anywhere from $3 to 8 an hour. They can do many of the jobs we do now so we have more time with our family. The Four Hour Workweek book is a good resource. Also Brian Haskins has a course on it. One of the companies is that have pretrained assitants. Anyway google it (virtual assitant) and look for yourself, I think it will be a good way to be more productive.

  18. Amy Bly on

    I just read your post of 12/14 re: Land Trusts, and wonder if you could explain WHY you buy properties using a Land Trust? What are the benefits and reasons for doing that instead of just buying in your name? Thanks in advance!

  19. Laci Baig on

    I am a very…. against the grain type of person. I have always been into business and earning money since I was very very little. I used to sell pine cones that I stole from the neighbors, and rocks that I cleaned. In college I got my hands on “Rich Dad Poor Dad” and it changed my outlook on life. I just graduated college with a marketing degree, and I have my first job in sales. I can NOT work a 9-5 job for the rest of my life that controls my life- my schedule- my dreams- my future- my family. I, and my husband, want to be in control of our lives and our dreams. I want financial security. I want to be able to work hard, but then let my money eventually work for me. Why should I live this precious life going to an office 40+ hours a week? Even if I flip houses and work 50+ hours…. I will be with my husband, learning, and earning what I deserve.

  20. nathan on

    Hello Danny,
    This is a great website!!
    The reason i want to invest in real estate is because I really love to take old homes and make them look new again. The pride from putting the finished product on the market is great. I have loved doing work around my homes for as long as i can remember. I also want to be succesful in the real estate to prove people that if you put your mind to something anything is possible. There are plenty of people that will tell you that you are crazy for flipping homes…..untill they see check from a succesful flip. I have wanted to flip homes since high school, I never gave up on that dream. 18 years later I have 1 rental property, have fix and flipped 1 house ( sold in 5 days), and just finished another and have it listed, all within the past year. It feels good to write that down.

    Don’t give up on your dreams!!!!

    Thanks Nathan

  21. Bailey on

    Downsized for the 4th and final time.

    Purpose: to leave a legacy. to be an example of success and self-sufficiency for my family, outside and away from the go to school, get a job, 401k, and retire with the company 9-5 nonsense.

  22. Armando on

    I decided when I heard some one say there are 8765 hours in a year, and everyday we spend 8 of them making someone else’s dream come true…. Not me, not anymore.

  23. Adam S. on


    You want to flip houses because you are sick of looking over your shoulder when rumors of layoffs start circulating again. Wall Street is a shell of itself and still expects long hours, grueling daily multi-tasking, surprises and backstabbing while dangling a bonus ‘carrot’ in front of you that disappears come time for payment in a sea of excuses. You commute 2 hours each way to work leaving you with little time for your 6 year old boy, 3 year old girl, and 7 month old baby boy. Your father spent a lifetime building houses only to lose everything when his business collapsed and was diagnosed with cancer in April a few years back. You are a project manager, a leader, and love real estate, love your family, and have every resource to be successful in this business at your fingertips.

    Do it for your wife, your kids, your dad, your family. But most of all, do it for you. You are not happy and need to change. 2013…make 13 lucky again.


  24. Nash on

    Danny, Always great info and insights. Thanks for the opportunity to put the “why” into words. First, like many people, I’ve never had an interest in the whole 9-5 thing, for so many reasons. I honestly don’t know how other people do it, but I suppose that’s not for me to figure out. Most significantly, the reason I flip houses is because I have so many creative cravings that refuse to be ignored. Flipping houses is one of the few things I’ve found that fulfills those inherent demands. I love architecture, color, designing, I love taking something old, worn, or neglected and transforming into something pleasing to the eye. I’ve looked at buildings where others (even Realtors) have shaken their heads in disgust and start heading back out the door. Meanwhile, I am standing their mesmerized by what I envision it becoming – inside and out. Gardening is my single most favorite hobby. Demo, for some reason, really floats my boat. The idea of smashing down a wall with the intent of creating a better floor plan or design is awesome. My vision for the completed project tends to fall on the line between classic and trendy and I very much enjoy making that vision a reality. I love people from all walks of life. Flipping homes introduces me to business people, trades people, creative people, annoying people (neighbors, bankers and attorneys πŸ™‚ people who struggle and those who thrive – affording me the opportunity to learn from those who thrive and offer a hand to those who struggle. I enjoy the creative challenge of determining what I need do to have a prospective buyer(s) walk into the house and fall in love with it so that they will enjoy it as their home. I truly enjoy the idea of my creative efforts contributing to people’s home/family experiences.

    Despite that I specifically mentioned attorneys, neighbors, and bankers, for me, one of the most rewarding aspects of flipping houses does come from the people side of things – especially the people who at first impression, I find annoying. I have learned so much about myself from dealing with various people and conflict over the years. There are many delicate situations that arise throughout the process of flipping homes. I’ve learned that in every possible situation, my personal response to people and/or conflict, dictates the outcome. When I was younger and less experienced, I was more reactive and if I’m honest with myself, even a bit reckless. Whereas now, I take my time, think things through and listen beyond people’s words so the real matters can be addressed. I have become more patient, kind, compassionate and my understanding of myself and of others has profoundly expanded. I am not sure if it is accurate that I attribute my personal growth (which continues) to flipping houses, but it has absolutely provided me with opportunities and situations that have made me a better and happier person.

    Thanks again for this opportunity.


  25. Craig on

    Hello Danny. I’m so glad I bumped into your website. Its 2am now and I cant seem to stop reading all the great info you have created with such great responses for all to see. I’ve always wanted to work for myself ( and have done so with automotive in the past) and get paid for using my brain more than my hands. My two favorite books are Think and grow rich and rich dad poor dad. I love where he talks about them putting Mr. Ford on the stand (knowing he only had a few yrs of schooling to try and embarrass him) for him to then say “I dont need to be that smart myself, I only need to be smart enough to hire smart people”! I’ve read so many good books and understand the principles of making good money but haven’t really had the vehicle to do it with. My brother went to college, learned carpentry from a neighbor who took him under his wing and then learned the roofing business. Before long that neighbor showed him how to buy houses cash and he’s very wealthy today more on the landlord side owning many 12 to 16 unit buildings in CT. I’ve always been a little jealous because he has done so well just 1 yr younger than me. Anyway I’m 52yrs old now living paycheck to paycheck and not getting any younger. I want to start this business now to have a better life thats free of a boss and the 9 to 5 and get out of the rat race-which doesnt pay!. I dont care if it takes me the next 5yrs, I’m going to start now. Everything you propose I will note and document going forward. I read your steps to getting started by doing and I understand that. My math is good, I think out of the box, am computer savvy but no regular college. The wholesaling part sounds awesome and not so scary. I’m thinking of taking the complete online course to get a real estate license here in Irving, TX. Questions: 1) Would you say that’s the best place for me to start-the license/course? 2) Were you ever afraid at the beginning about (your first flip or future flips) the houses not selling because of a bad market or did you just stay away from using any of your money to keep from that stress (you know how wifes worry more about money risking more than guys). My big dream is to get a pilots license to fly a helicopter. Ive been doing the RC thing now for the last 6yrs-love it. Look forward to hearing from you and thanks again for all the inspiration,
    Craig C.

  26. Kym Harris on

    I want to flip houses for the freedom and the creativity that the profession offers. i have worked to finish school and to get the new job only to find out that the desire to flip and buy-and-hold property was still there. After reading the posts of others, I know that I can make a career in real estate a reality.

  27. Donna on

    What a great subject. Your guidance is down to earth, no pie in the sky stuff! I want to flip houses because of my passion for real estate. I have a creative streak that I can look past flaws in a property, and turn it into an attractive reality. Our family did a few homes that we lived in, and that “was the best years of our lives”. It created memories, with our children, they learned soooo much, and not to mention the large check we got, including the children. It left a positive mark in all of our lives. It really created unity, at least for myself and my family. Thank you,

  28. Tess Armijo on

    I’d like to get into flipping houses because:
    1. Freedom. I have kids and I often have to attend to them on unexpected occasions. Additionally I work far.
    2. Not having to report to anyone
    3. To be successful because I am a hard worker and I know I am capable
    4. Retire early

  29. Ms.Roddy on

    I’d like to flip houses because I’d like to have the financial freedom and security it can bring, but most important I’d like to do it for my family and future children, because I owe it to them to get out of my comfort zone, be fearless and create a future and reality that they can be proud of. So we wont be dependent on the government or anyone else to provide for our needs, also so we can help others achieve the same positive results and give people a way out of unemployment, poverty, and dependency on the government’s resources.

  30. Ruben on

    You’re so right Danny! If there isn’t a strong enough purpose, than you’re not gonna see it through.

    A great book that is making a huge impact for me is The Miracle Morning. You probably heard about it from the BP podcast, or was it one of their blogs?

    In it, one of the morning rituals is the vision board. Well, it’s visioning, and the vision board is one way to practice that. It’s been helping me a lot, especially with my mood and how I act with the kids.

    I created my vision board and journal by customizing a WordPress site. It was just too easy for me to go that route.

  31. Janelle R on

    I want my money to work for me instead of having
    To work for my money! I’ve been working since
    The age if 13, and I’m now 49 & want to be
    My own boss!

  32. Robbin Richardson on

    I want to enjoy the freedom of doing my own thing also, and spending more time with daughter. I also want to buy a new home and a new car for my younger daughter and I, and my adult daughter and my grand kids. They were homeless for a while, and I couldn’t help them. I never want to feel unable to help my family like that again.

  33. JG3 on

    I started my real estate quest to be able to:
    1. Have lifestyle freedom – I love my job (cyber security) and it pays me well, but I need freedom. I have no vacation time left until next year. I was just offered another job for about 15K more the other day, but eventually I’ll run out of vacation there also. I need some Time Freedom.

    2. To provide financially to the next generation in my family
    3. To give MORE to my church

  34. Steve Sanchez on

    Great info/blog Danny! I’m in San Antonio as well, and I’m looking forward to get started. I’ve already gone “driving for dollars.” No responses back, but I’m still hopeful.

  35. Maira on

    Howdy! I’m at wortk browsing your blog from my nnew iphone!
    Just wanted to say I love rreading through your blog and look forward to
    all your posts! Keep up tthe outstanding work!

  36. Christine Raimbault on

    To bring fresh life into vacant and houses in disrepair. To make enough money to support my family and my husband to be able to retire early. To no longer be taken advantage of by my current employer. To be able to live in a warmer climate in the winter due to my disability.

  37. Thomas Q on

    The ability to be with my family. the time it would to afford me to work on other things plus the money it can bring in so that my that the people I care most about can eat. and to help others

  38. Chris on

    Flexibility in each day

  39. Anthony on

    For me, Two words says it all, Financial Freedom, the freedom to do anything, the freedom to be with my family, the freedom to travel the world.

  40. Lanell Boyer on

    Honestly its something that i’ve been wanting to do for a long time its a adventure and a real learning process to get where i want to be in life, and just to be doing something that i love to do on my own time being my own boss.

  41. Taiki on

    I would like to raise a bit more money to make more investments into property whether it is flipping houses or buying and holding as rentals or dabbling into both.
    I think flipping would give a better return in a shorter time period.

  42. Suzie on

    I want to help my family have a better life. I want to experience financial freedom. I want to start a boys club girls club of america in my community and help teenagers stay off from drugs.

  43. Sharon on

    I want to flip houses to beable to spend more time with my family while I also help people who have a hard time getting a job because of their past lives whether it be jail or drugs kinda like a rehab that puts people to work instead of not being able to find or do the right thing