From Unfulfilling Desk Jobs to a $1 Million House Flip
Remember Derek Marlin’s $1 million flip in Episode #317? Today, we’re talking to his partners in that flip, married couple Jesse and Rachel. They walked us through the project from their perspective, and how they turned their house flipping side hustle into their main hustle. Listen to the episode to hear their inspiring story, and get tips about how you can turn your passion into your dream job.

How can real estate change your life?  Our guests today are Derek Marlin, founder of ELEVATION and co-host of our Elevate Your Flip  house flipping series, along with Jesse and Rachel, who teamed up with Derek on his most profitable Partnership Flip ever, a $1 million house in Littleton, Colorado.

Jesse and Rachel are a married couple who were both working engineering jobs right out of college.  They realized they wanted more out of life and started learning about real estate investing.  Thanks to the success of their flips, they were both able to leave their jobs and now run their real estate business full time. 

Three Learning Options!
  1. Listen to the podcast “#377: From Unfulfilling Desk Jobs to a $1 Million House Flip” on the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast
  2. Watch the YouTube video (at the bottom).
  3. Read the blog post. Note, the blog is an executive summary. Get the in-depth breakdown from the podcast or video.

Turning to Real Estate to Get More Out of Life

Two years ago, Jesse was sitting in his cubicle at work listening to the flipping series Derek and I created.  He’d been learning about real estate investing and flipping, devouring every podcast and book he could find.  He and his wife Rachel both had lucrative engineering jobs but knew they wanted more out of life.

One day, while skiing in Breckenridge, they had a conversation about what they could do to create the life they wanted.  Flipping houses was an attractive prospect because it’s a faster way to make money than traditional real estate investing, meaning they would be able to leave their jobs sooner.  Rachel always had an eye and passion for interior design, while Jesse was drawn to the numbers and business aspect of flipping. 

They teamed up with a partner for their first flip and made a profit of $15K.  It wasn’t enough to leave their jobs, but it gave them an invaluable educational experience.

After listening to our flipping series, Jesse enrolled in Derek’s one day ELEVATION Academy that takes people from Point A to Z of flipping.  Jesse appreciated Derek’s systematized and organized approach to flipping, showing him exactly what steps to take and how to repeat them on the next flip. 

Teaming Up for the Flip

Jesse and Rachel set up a time to meet with Derek one on one for additional mentorship.  Just before that meeting, Jesse received an email from a wholesaler about a house in Littleton he was selling.  Jesse knew the house had a lot of potential and was excited to discuss it with Derek. 

Derek also saw the potential in the house and immediately agreed to an ELEVATION Partnership Flip.  Jesse and Rachel bought the house for $490K and Derek funded the renovation. 

In the end, they spent about $230K fixing up the house and were able to sell it for $1M.  Each party made a profit of $86K.  Get all of the details and pictures of the flip here.

Interestingly, the buyers of the flip did their own flip on the house.  They put about $15K of work into the house, converting a bedroom into a closet and added an additional egress window in the basement.  The house sold again earlier this year for $1,290,000!   

"Before" photos of the house
Photos of the house prior to the flip
"After" photos of the house
How the house looked after the Partnership Flip

Turning a Side Hustle into a Main Hustle

When Jesse and Rachel started flipping, they were both working full time jobs.  They called house flipping their 7:30-10:30pm job.  At times, they were busting out window trim in the pitch black because the sun went down before they were able to get over to the property. 

While it was a lot of hard work, they realized that spending a year or two that way is worth it to be able to completely overhaul their lives.  While they didn’t love spending all their free time flipping houses, their sweat equity paid off. 

Their goal was to make enough income to replace their 9-5 jobs, which they accomplished earlier this year.  Now that they have a daughter, they realize the most valuable thing to them is time.  Being able to have that time with their family while working a job they’re both more passionate about makes the initial sacrifice worth it. 

Biggest Lessons Learned

Jesse advises would-be flippers to buy right for today.  Don’t count on appreciation in six months because you can’t control the market.  Determine what the property would sell for today and use that as your metric.  If it does appreciate and sells for more, that’s great, but don’t overpay because you’re banking on appreciation. 

Rachel tells everyone to always have a contingency plan.  At the end of the day, you’re going to run into issues you didn’t expect and you need to be able to overcome them.

Learn More about Flipping

Currently, Jesse and Rachel are working on their 5th flip in the Wellshire neighborhood of Denver.  They recognize there’s an ebb and flow to the market and are adaptable to what it’s giving.  While flipping has been profitable for them, they’re excited to look into rentals and longer-term investments. 

If you want to learn more about their projects or have questions, check out their Instagram or send an email at [email protected]

Derek is excited to host another ELEVATION  Academy in July and is always looking for his next Partnership Flip clients.  To get more information, reach out via website, Facebook, or Instagram and use the promo code EARLYBIRD22 for extra savings .

Go here to download the Fix and Flip spreadsheet.  

YouTube Video

From Unfulfilling Desk Jobs to a $1 Million House Flip

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Chris Lopez
Chris Lopez is a Denver area real estate entrepreneur and investor, as well as the host of Bigger Pockets’ House Hackerz and the Denver Real Estate Investing Podcast.
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