Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC.

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The Lindsay’s Advice

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Welcome to our advice blog! We understand how hard it is to get answers when you know little about a subject. We here at Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC want to help our clients and potential clients understand the business of selling and buying homes. We want to give you the information to work with so that you get the best deal possible. Come back and visit us often and follow us for updates on new articles.



Seasonal Maintenance in the Pacific Northwest

If you live in the Northwest you know that the weather here keeps us on our toes. We have learned a lot about season maintenance while embarking on creating Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC. Not doing seasonal maintenance can lead to costly repairs in any home no matter what the age. Here is what we have learned in terms of what a homeowner can do to keep up with seasonal maintenance.

Spring and summer maintenance in the Pacific Northwest is fairly easy. Lately we haven’t had many harsh winters so when spring gets here homeowners only have to deal with maintaining the property. The spring/summer maintenance should include;
• Lawn Care – This is the time to feed that lawn and deal with yearly moss. Winter months often bring a lot of wet weather so moss can be a real issue. There are a number of products that can help in this area.
• Pressure washing – Again moss is often the culprit here too. Winter months bring moss to the sides of buildings. Pressure washing can get rid of structural moss and should be done at least twice a year.
• Yard pruning – Spring is the time to get at those wild trees and bushes in the yard before root systems take a stab at your concert work. Proper spring pruning can help maintain your yard so that the plants don’t overtake anything.

Your maintenance list for fall/winter is longer. Certain maintenance tasks should be completed each fall/winter in order to prevent structural damage, save energy, and keep all your home’s systems running properly. Preparing for fall and winter in the Northwest means gearing up for wet weather and there are a number of regular maintenance things you can do to help in this area.
• Check your drainage – Walk slowly around the house and inspect the ground where it meets the foundation. Soil should not be touching siding and should slope away from the house, dropping at least 6 vertical inches over the first 10 feet. This ensures less water damage.
• Clean gutters- It’s imperative that your gutters are ready for the heavy workout they’ll receive from winter rains in the Pacific Northwest. Most homeowners will need to clean their gutters several times because the leaves won’t be finished coming down until the first big winter rain.
• Have your furnace checked – Schedule a fall appointment to get your furnace ready for winter. There are many fall checklists out there, download one and follow it. Servicing your furnace can save you money and protect your home.
• Moss…again – Moss on the roof can be a very bad thing. Fall is the time to apply moss-killing granules or liquid solution to your rooftop. Buy the granules that are made especially for roofs and apply the roof granules in a bead along each side of the roof ridge. Moss can cause roof leaks and a new roof is expensive.

These are just a few of the things you should do in order to keep up with seasonal maintenance. As a person who purchases homes to flip them we find that many of the homes we inherit are victims of folks not doing these important seasonal tasks. If you find that you have more questions regarding seasonal maintenance feel free to contact us by clicking here and contacting Courtney or Kate with Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC…they are absolute experts.



5 Things Not to Do When Flipping Houses

Most people don’t get excited about mold, wood rot, warped floors, and a dated bathroom but to a seasoned flipper, this house full of flaws can mean turning a profit. One man’s ugly home just might be another’s diamond in the rough….at least that is the way we see it here at Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC.

Flipping in the Pacific Northwest is what we do and we do come across others who flip homes as well. This is a nationwide trend…buying a house at less than market value, spending some money to fix it up and reselling it at a higher price. But in as much as it can be a great way to invest there are some things that, as a flipper, you have to be careful of.

Here are 5 do’s and don’ts of flipping that we have learned over the years.
1. Don’t go over Budget – it’s important to stay within your budget and purchase “at the right price” from the start. Additional costs can come later in upgrades to the house or contractor costs.

2. Don’t get too attached – Don’t get attached to a house when you walk in. This is a tough one. Kate and I have renovated more than one home that at some point we thought…hey this could be great for our family. You can’t flip the house if you move in.

3. Don’t Ignore the Upgrades You Really Should Make – Some properties don’t need much going in, they need only the bare minimum. It’s great when you can get away with putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls or add carpets and call it done but if it needs more TLC…do it. If the bathroom needs new plumbing or if the kitchen needs new appliances spent the money to make those necessary upgrades. It’s going to add to the house’s value in the end.

4. Don’t Buy a Home without Getting It Inspected First – A few cracks in the foundation or a leaky window might be easy fixes but they could also be major problems. It is important to get an inspection before purchasing a home, even if you have already put in an offer, is very important before going to closing.

5. Research the neighborhood – Researching the area a home is in is vital. You could renovate to your hearts content and add all the bells and whistles you want but if the neighborhood is someplace no one else wants to live you are sunk. On the flip side of that coin…what if there is stiff competition in that neighborhood? If there are several homes in the area that have been on the market for a long time…take that as a sign and move on.

These are just a few of the things that we, as season flippers, have learned through our boots-on-the-ground experience. We have given a lot of advice out to others who are interested in what we do and we have answered a lot of questions along the way. Do you have a question about house flipping? Call us Courtney at 206-486-5015 or Kate at 503-675-6575 or visit our website at Let us help you!





Reasons to Consider Quick Selling Your Home

Yellow Ribbon Ventures, LLC helps people every year get out from under homes that they need to sell quickly. In today’s tough economic times more and more property owners are discovering that it is hard to get out from under a home that is need of massive repairs, are in foreclosure or need to be sold quickly. Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC contacts property owners and try to help them in the quick sale of their home.

  • We have discovered that there a tons of reasons why folks come to us to sale.
    Ugly or Property is Disrepair – Let’s be honest….sometimes home repairs take a back seat to life. Medical bills, the house payment, the kids…all of this gets in the way of spending that cash to fix up a home. You can literally wake up one day and find that you live in a home that has fallen in such disrepair that there seems no way out. We purchase homes like this all the time.
  • Death in the Family – One of the saddest experiences I have had in the house flipping business is being told by a woman whose husband had just passed away that she had no choice but to sell the family home. Although we hate to see this situation, it does happen. We arrange for a quick sale for those who have lost loved ones, a spouse or a parent, and just need to get out from under the property.
  • Foreclosure – More and more people are finding themselves in this situation. The big housing bust caused a lot of problems for the average homeowner. If you discover that your home is about to foreclose you can call us and we will help you get something out of it before the bank are the only people benefiting.
  • Military Move – Now this is something that I am intimately familiar with because, I too, am military. Sometimes the state of the world makes a military move necessary. In a situation where you own a local home but have just discovered that they are sending you to Guam for 7 years you may want to unload that home. We can help with that.

These are just some of the reasons folks find themselves in need of a quick sale and there are many others. We love helping in any of these situations and the extra plus for us is that we can take that property, fix it up and then put it into the hands of another family who needs a home. If you know anyone who is in any of the situations listed above or who needs to quick sale a home for any other reason contact us, Courtney or Kate at 206-486-5015 or 503-675-6575 or visit our website at Let us help you and those you love!



3d man tied with text 'fraud' after committing crime.

House Flipping and Fraud – Protecting Yourself

Professional property flippers usually have a professional’s understanding of the law. Property flipping is totally legal but that doesn’t mean that all house flippers are honest. As a house flipper you will run into trouble if you attempt to use deception to trick a seller, financier, or buyer into the deal. Today states DAs are still rigorously enforcing applicable laws – especially laws against various forms of fraud. Here at Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC we follow the letter of the law and do everything we can to be transparent with our sellers, buys and financiers. We also do everything we can to protect ourselves.

So what is fraud in terms of house flipping? Fraud is when you make a false statement. What makes a false statement fraud is when another person has reliance on that false statement and it does some type of damage. Basically, for someone to commit fraud against you, they must tell you something that is intentionally false or misleading. Often times in the House Flipping industry we have come across flippers who will use false statements to obtain property. They will tell the property owner that there property is worth less than it is or tell a buyer that a property is more stable than it is.

Folks dealing in real estate have what is called a “Duty to Disclose”. This means that they have a duty to disclose all known property defects. There’s generally no obligation to conduct a full and detailed inspection of the property, but some states do impose a checklist of features that the seller is expected to be familiar with prior to the sale; Washington State is one of those states. If you deliberately omit material information concerning property defects, the buyer may come after you with a lawsuit later – and possibly have a case. As flippers make sure that you ask all of the questions you need to in order to ensure that disclosure.

As a property-flipping professional, you need to defend yourself against two possibilities, getting defrauded and being accused of fraud. The best things to do is conduct a thorough due diligence at every step. Don’t take shortcuts or fly by the seat of your pants. Protect yourself through escrow because many of the people you will be dealing with are strangers. The best defense is to conduct your business on the up and up, and document your moves including any material disclosures. If you do disclose defects or find them as you are getting ready to purchase a property, do so in writing – and get the buyer/seller to initial or sign off on the document.
A House Flipping professional has a team of experts to back them up. Here at Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC we have professional contractors and legal professionals who advise us every step of the way. We don’t guess…we find the correct answers. If you have questions about house flipping or are interested in selling or buying a home give Courtney or Kate a call at 206-486-5015 or Kate at 503-675-6575 or visit our website at Let us help you!



Finding the Perfect Plumber

One thing that flipping homes does is it teaches you how to find the perfect team in terms of doing the renovation work. Part of the reason why Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC is so successful is because we have found the right people for each job. Too often we have seen other businesses not put the effort into finding the experts or attempting to do something themselves in order to save money…this is a recipe for disaster. We here at Yellow Ribbon believe that if you want the job done right…you have to hire the right person to do it. But how does one do that? Well here is how we found the perfect plumber!

First and foremost it is important to check to make sure that they have a plumbing license. You don’t want to hire some fly-by-night guy to do the important work that will protect your home from flooding. Make sure that they’re licensed and carry full insurance that protects you and your neighbor’s property in the event of a catastrophe. If is also important to get two or more references and read online reviews; you can even ask to see some of the work they have done. Nothing tells the truth quicker than seeing what a person has done in the past and in this age of internet information it is easier to follow up than ever before. Read their Facebook page and twitter feed to see how they are interacting with their customers; it will tell you a lot.

Another important piece of information is how long they have been in business. At the very least, this tells you whether or not they might disappear on you. Theoretically, reputable companies last so the longer they have been in business the better. Don’t be afraid to get more than one bid/quote for the job. Ask the company that is more expensive why their price is at that level, so you can determine if there is a difference. Sometimes the more expensive company may offer better service so it will be worth paying a little extra. While you are at it ask about their guarantee. Is it money back? Is it limited in any way? Is it written on your bid/quote? Plumbers who are good will put their money where their mouth is.

Finally, ask around. Neighbors or nearby friends may have an idea of who in the area is the best. The best way to find a good plumber is to have referrals from people you trust and who have had prior experience’s that are positive. Ask a friend, relative, or colleague you trust for a recommendation. Another thing you can do is get a referral from another contractor. If you’ve had a good experience with another professional, such as an A/C repair technician, a roofer or an electrician, try asking them for a referral. If they’ve been working in the industry for a while, chances are they’ll have some contacts.

These are the basics to consider when looking for the right plumber and many of these guidelines also translate to any contractor or service you may want to hire. Because we do so much work in the area of renovations we have a list of reputable folks that we use and we often recommend them. If you have other questions about how to hire someone for this type of work feel free to call Courtney or Kate at 206-486-5015 or 503-675-6575 or visit our website at Let us help you!




Flipping a Home – Does it Hurt or Help?

Here at Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC we have talked to a lot of home owners. There are many great questions to ask when it comes to real estate investing and we get asked them all. One of the many questions we get asked is should I consider flipping my property? We also get potential investors who also ask, why flip houses? And still we get asked, does it hurt or help to flip my property? While there is no one answer…here is what we have learned in our experience of flipping houses and making a profit while doing it.

While it is a great deal of work many people around the world purchase houses each and every day for the purpose of flipping those houses. The main reason for doing this is profit but there are some much deeper reasons than that for many who are interested in flipping houses. For instance some folks…and we are some of these…enjoy working with their hands. Purchasing a property in need of light cosmetic repairs and retouches is a great way to get in there and work. We here at Yellow Ribbon Ventures have an even deeper reason that this however….we want to help families get into a home. When you go in and flip a house you are putting your work into creating someone else’s dream. We are taking something that may have been plain, ugly, or drab and turning it into a beautiful home. I know…I know…it seems a little romantic but it makes us feel good.

Let me stress that while we enjoy it, flipping homes is not for everyone. It is a lot of work and it takes time and commitment. In terms of whether making the decision to flip your own property, in our opinion, it can only help. There are a lot of homes out there right now that are in sad disrepair with owners who feel buried. Why not let us take it off your hands and do some good with it? In our experience there has been no down side to making the decision to flip a home. It saves your credit if you are underwater; it gets you out of taxes for a property that is in disrepair and…at the end of the day…you get to sleep better at night knowing that someone else is enjoying a home because you flipped yours.

There are some businesses that are simply driven by profit; that is not the motivation for Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC. While there really isn’t anything at all wrong with that we prefer the promise of a payoff that is about more than money. Remember, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what your goal in flipping houses is. What matters is that you show up day after day and do the work. That’s what we, here at Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC are all about…boots on the ground for a better tomorrow for a family somewhere who might not otherwise be able to enjoy their dream home.

If you are a property owner who is looking to get out from under a home that is in need of some TLC or if you just need to diversify…call us Courtney at 206-486-5015 or Kate at 503-675-6575 or visit our website at Let us help you!



The Best States to Flip Houses

Not every state in the United States is a good place to flip houses; some are better than others for many different reasons. According to the Wall Street Journal investors bought more than 156,000 homes in 2013 in order to flip them. The art of fixing homes up and quickly reselling them for an average profit of $58,081 has caught on like wildfire for those looking for a quick return on a simple investment. Home flipping is popular as the housing market recovers.
There are a number of reasons why some states are better than others in terms of flipping. The number of homes available, the costs of those homes and how the market is all determine if flipping homes is profitable in a given state. Currently there are six states where home flippers are making decent profits.

Washington State
In Washington State the 2013 avg. gross profit from flipping homes was reported to be approximately $89,525. This state boasts a foreclosure rate of 1 in 84, 11th highest in the country. According to the experts investors flipped 2,828 homes in Washington last year.

New York
New York came in a bit higher than Washington with a 2013 avg. gross profit of $91,970. Although their foreclosure rate in lower coming in at 1 in 176 house flipping still appears to have taken hold. Approximately one in 10 property sales in New York were home flips last year alone. The average gross profit in this state was approximately $92,000.

New Jersey
No one saw this one coming….New Jersey isn’t exactly anyone’s first choice when it comes to viable home flipping yet home flips in New Jersey increased from 1.9% of all sales in 2011 to 7.6% of all sales in 2013 and average gross profit was over $118,000.

If there was a house flipping state on the list this year that wasn’t a surprise popular Maryland was it. Home flipping is popular and in 2013 just over 3,522 were flipped for profit. The foreclosure rate in this state is high at 1 out of 64 homes in foreclosure; the 4th highest rate in the country.

Let’s be honest, when you think flipping houses California is the first state that comes to mind. With a 2013 avg. gross profit of $99,999 this is a lucrative practice in the Golden State. More homes were flipped in California than in any other state in the nation in 2013 and it would appear that the numbers for 2014 will match or exceed this.

Massachusetts leads the pack when it comes to home flipping according to Wall Street. In 2013 the avg. gross profit in this sleepy little state was $103,384 but the profits were higher than in any other state. On average flipped homes resold for over $300,000 offering profits of more than $100,000. The foreclosure rate in Massachusetts is low but flipping homes is popular.

Home flipping takes place, of course, in every state in the nation but these states lead the pack when it comes to doing so with a hefty profit. Here in Washington State where Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC flips houses in its own backyard having the option of selling your rundown or badly-in-need-of-repairs property is a wonderful thing. Many people end up with properties that they can’t sell themselves because they have fallen on tough times. Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC can help. Contact us today at to discuss your options!




5 Mistakes That Make House Flipping Hard

House flipping can be fun and it can be lucrative. But many new comers get in a hurry to make a profit and end up failing. There are a lot of mistakes you can make in this business but we are going to look at five of the biggest mistakes investors make and how to avoid them.

1. Money….or the lack thereof…
You really can’t just dip your toe in the water in real estate; it is an expensive proposition. First you have to acquire the property and let’s be honest…that ain’t cheap. While low/no money down financing claims are a dime a dozen, finding these deals from a legitimate vendor is not always. There is also the question of interest which adds to the final cost of the home. You can pay cash eliminating the interest, but you still have to deal with property holding costs like taxes and utilities. The renovation costs have to be considered too. There are a number of considerations cost wise so making sure you have the money set is key to being successful.
2. Time is a Factor and not always on your side…..
Renovating and flipping houses is a time consuming. Finding the right property and then taking all of the steps to do what is required to make money off of it in the end takes time. There are a whole bevy of scheduled inspections to make sure the property complies with applicable building codes and then there is the end game…finding the right buyer once it is all done. The so called experts suggest that you ensure at least a 10% profit on a house that cost $50,000 in order to make it worthwhile. Be sure that you are up to the time commitment.
3. Not Knowing the Business/Skills…..
Many “Flippers” are professional builders and skilled professionals, such as carpenters and plumbers. These folks flip houses because they understand what is needed; they have the know-how. These days however there are a lot of other people getting involved too who know nothing about what it takes. The key to this hurdle is making sure that you put together a good team. Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC employs some of the best local contractors in the business. Don’t try and do what you don’t have the skills to do. Hire an expert or at least a team of them.
4. Seasoned But Not in Property Acquisition…..
Let’s be clear….in the world of house flipping you have to know something about choosing the right property. It doesn’t do you any good if the place you purchase to flip is in the wrong location, at the wrong price. Your house flipping team has to understand the market and what it will take to turn that profit. The deal of a century will do you no good if there is no market for it after everything is said and done.
5. Patience is a Virtue and a Requirement….
House flipping is not something you can do on the fly. Most experts in the field take their time and wait for the right properties. Rushing out and buying the first property you find may sit you right in the middle of a money pit. In order to be successful in this industry you have to have patience and you have to be willing to wait for the right buy and the right sale.

Not everyone is cut out to flip houses. When you are looking for a property to purchase after it has been flipped or if you have a property that is rundown and could be a flip home…do the research.

If you have questions about flipping your home or if you know someone who is interesting in selling a rundown or in-need-of-serious-repairs place click here
and contact Courtney or Kate with Yellow Ribbon Ventures LLC…they are absolute experts.

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