Is Live In House Flipping a Good Real Estate Investing Strategy?

Women Who Money
8 min readMay 28, 2020

Live in house flipping is a real estate investing strategy that can certainly pay off — if you’re up for the challenge.

It’s a slower approach than traditional house flipping. But live-in flips have some unique advantages that can make them profitable.

With a live-in flip, you live in your investment — while you fix it up to sell later for a profit. When done right, this approach enables you to tap into tax benefits that can make it a profitable endeavor.

If you’re wondering if live in house flipping is a good real estate investing strategy for you, read on!

Pros & Cons of Live-in House Flipping

6 Benefits of Living in Your Flip

1. You won’t pay income taxes when you sell (if you follow the IRS rules).

With a typical flip, you pay capital gains taxes on your profits when you sell the house.

For a live-in flip, if the home is your primary residence for at least two of the five years before the sale, you’re exempt from capital gains taxes. The tax benefit is the IRS Section 121 exclusion.

This tax break is great, but it’s worth mentioning that it comes with limits:

  • You can’t have an exclusion from another home in the previous two years.
  • For individuals, the limit of the tax exclusion is $250,000, and for couples, it’s $500,000. Any profit above this is subject to capital gains tax.

There are exceptions to the two-year rule.

Active-duty military are exempt. Also, if you’re required to move for your work, have health problems, or other “unforeseen circumstances,” you could qualify for an exception. (Exceptions need documentation, and each scenario will differ.)

2. You’ll be paying only one mortgage.

You have to live somewhere. When living in your flip, you pay housing expenses on one property. Your mortgage payment and holding costs, double as an investment and cover your housing too — win/win.

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