My wife and I buy houses that are available at a bargain, and we fix them up and sell them for a profit. We got the idea from a television show that airs here. Apparently, it is also a popular thing in the States. I have a cousin who lives there, and he tells me they have TV shows about flipping houses too. It is not a bad way to make a living if you do it right. We do not have any of the drama they have on the TV shows. We buy flooring, roofing and gutters in Perth, and we get electrical, plumbing and lots of other materials at home centers. I worked for years building homes, so I can do a lot of the renovations with the help of my wife.
We keep our labor costs low by doing as much of the work that we can on our own. We hire others when the work is extensive or will take too much time. You do not want to be paying on a mortgage as it will eat into your profits. There is a fine line of getting a house for a bargain and getting one that is going to end up being a money pit. The best thing I have found is experience. After your first time flipping a house that ends up requiring much more extensive renovations than you were prepared for, then you learn what to look for to avoid it happening again.
I do the inspections on potential properties. We learned early on to have a full checklist with a scoring system. Once the house drops below a certain score, we pass on it. We look closely at the infrastructure of the house. You do not want a place with a rotting frame. You can cover up a lot of things, but you want to have a reputation of selling homes that are solid and have renovation work done that will last.