Fix and flip home investments are hot on the market right now. The biggest appeal to fix and flip ventures seem to be its high rate of profitability. With a flipped home, an investor can make tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they invested initially in a relatively short period of time.

The idea of a quick financial turnaround is more than tempting for many, but the reality is that it doesn’t come without a price. Flipping a home takes a lot of time and effort, and it may not even sell at the price you expect. Like any real estate investment, fix and flip ventures have their risks. These are the essential things you should know before you invest in a fix and flip home.

Learn the basics of real estate

By investing in a fix and flip venture, you’re participating in the real estate market. Choosing the right home at the right time for the right price takes skill and practical know-how. If you have little prior experience in real estate, consult a friend who works as a real estate agent or consider taking real estate classes to learn what you’re getting into.

A professional can teach you all of the ins and outs of real estate and property law, investment strategies and more regarding real estate. By educating yourself ahead of time you avoid falling into common pitfalls. Real estate classes will inform you on how to make the right investments to get the most out of your money.

Wait for the right deal

Don’t get too excited when you see your first deal. It’s better to think through your options with an even keel than to jump into a financial investment right away. Seasoned real estate agents will wait for the perfect offer to make the most out of their purchase. Many novices make the mistake of buying the cheapest home they can find.

Don’t let the fight against the clock make you jump the gun to make a purchase. Instead, browse for the perfect location at the right price for its value. An expert understands how much they should spend and how much they can expect to make in a short period of time.

Be ready to get your hands dirty

Homes don’t renovate themselves. If you want to flip a home on the cheap, get ready to do a lot of dirty work. Renovations can cost tens of thousands of dollars and even more if you hire a contractor. When you purchase a home, there’s always a risk that you missed a crucial detail–perhaps the plumbing is busted or the foundation is cracked.

You can never be completely prepared for every detail, but you should go in knowing that in order to get maximum profit you have to put in quality work. If you’re not handy with a hammer, find someone who is. Create a network of professionals who will help you renovate your investment.

Stick to a realistic timeline

Despite the hype, most homes don’t turn a profit overnight. It takes a lot of time and effort to get the most out of what you put in, so the more you put in the more you’ll get out of it. You should treat your investment like a full-time job from start to finish. You may have to wait months to find just the right property and then another year still renovating it to sell.

Other factors like renovation permits can put a wrench in your plan and make the process take longer. It’s also important that you take time to find the right method of finance for your needs. Hard money loans, for example, are a great option for first-time investors who want a quick turnaround.

Search for finance locally such as hard money loans in Los Angeles to find the best deal at a reasonable rate. Remember that as soon as your hard money loan goes into effect, the clock is ticking before you must pay it back.

Flipping a home isn’t nearly as glamorous as it seems on TV, but with proper planning it can be well worth it. Take this into consideration before you jump into your first house-flipping venture.