House flipper to speak at workshop

PIQUA — Lifelong Piqua resident Skip Murray of Murray Property Investments will be the featured speaker at the “Fix It or Flip It” workshop on Feb. 9, offering advice on property improvements and flipping houses.

Positively Promoting Piqua (PPP), and the Awesome Foundation are co-sponsoring the public “Fix It or Flip It” workshop on Saturday, Feb. 9, at Upper Valley Career Center to talk to home buyers about the how to’s of rehabbing. Participants will also have the opportunity to take a bus ride to evaluate two properties for hands-on advice about prospective flipping or fixing.

Murray, who also currently works as a sales manager of Shaffer Metal Fab., flips houses — buys houses, makes improvements to the house, and then resells it — in his free time. Getting into flipping houses was a natural progression for him as a real estate investor, following in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps of valuing property investments.

He has flipped nearly 30 homes, looking at a time frame of less the half a year for each home from the time of purchase to the time to resell it.

“I try to get it turned around in four to six months,” Murray said.

Murray said that he focuses on houses under $100,000 to flip. He works on upgrades that get the homes move-in ready, whether it is new windows, a new roof, or electrical work, and he does not focus too much on big style changes for the home, such as granite countertops.

“Primarily, my focus is on the first-time home buyer,” Murray said. He said that he aims for flipping houses to offer to those first-time home buyers that are affordable and remodeled in which the buyers can have confidence that are safe and do not have any major issues.

When asked what the most challenging part of flipping houses is, he said, “the unknown.” When purchasing a new house to flip, he is not always necessarily aware of all the challenges that he may come across in the house.

“I’ve run into significant mechanical issues,” Murray said. Those issues could include HVAC problems, electrical or plumbing issues, or unpermitted work previously done to the property.

Murray also does not do all that work alone. “I generally do use a team of people,” he said.

Murray will also be advising participants at the Feb. 9 workshop about how to look for and work with reliable contractors and other professionals on home improvements.

“There’s a number of things you want to do to protect yourself,” he said.

Murray said that the most rewarding part of flipping houses is seeing the transformation after he’s finished improving the house and “turning it into a livable, marketable” home. He said this goal is “transforming houses into homes.”

During the “Fix It or Flip It” workshop, Murray will talk to participants about things to consider when they are about to improve their homes or if they are thinking about flipping houses.

“You got to think about what your exit plan is,” Murray said. Home owners considering making home improvements should think about how long they plan on staying in that home, as they may not get a return on their investments into the property if they plan on reselling the home in a few years.

“Most likely you won’t be get your money back on some of those improvements,” Murray said.

Murray advised home owners to “know your market.”

He will also go over aspects of what would make a house a good candidate for flipping, discussing comparisons between the purchase price of those house to the after rehab value. Key elements to consider will include renovation costs, closing costs, building a team of contractors, and more.

Murray said if anyone has ever thought about making a home improvement or flipping houses, “this would be a good seminar for you.”

Also joining Murray during the “Fix It or Flip It” workshop will be Aaron Morrison, code compliance coordinator for the city of Piqua and Joe Shaffer, loan originator for Mutual Federal Savings Bank.

Morrison formerly worked in Miami County for more than 15 years and was previously employed by the Miami County Engineer’s Office and part-time with Lowe’s Home Improvement. He will share information on the code compliance and permitting process, the top five violation types, and share before and after examples of property maintenance/code violations in the city of Piqua.

“For many, the purchase of a home may be your greatest financial asset,” Shaffer said in a press release. “Whether this is your first or fourth home or an investment, it should be a smooth transaction.”

Shaffer was tasked with residential lending in January 2018 and is available to originate purchase and refinance transactions with fixed or adjustable rate loans. He will also explain first-timer buyer loans, home equity lines of credit, and fixed rate second mortgages.

The workshop will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 9 in the UVCC Commons area and will be open to the community at $10 per person, which includes coffee and donuts, a boxed lunch, and access to numerous local vendors whose expertise is in home improvement.

According to Event Chair Cindy Pearson, the first 100 registrants will receive a bus ride to tour two available properties ready to be flipped. Door prizes will also be awarded throughout the event.

To register for the workshop, visit and search for “Fix It/Flip It Workshop” in Piqua.

In addition to Pearson, other members of the planning committee include PPP steering committee members Dan French, Margaret French, Chris George, Mike Gutmann, Doug Haines, George Atkinson, Kazy Hinds, Sharon Semanie, Amanda Brown, Jeremy Hittle, and PPP Coordinator Ginny Wood.

By Sam Wildow

Piqua Daily Call

Reach Sam Wildow at