Showing Aussies how to flip houses

THEY left behind corporate careers to embark on a new adventure without even a hammer on their tool belts and now these three women are showing Australians how to flip houses for a profit.

In 2014 Lana Taylor, Erin Cayless and Bonnie Hindmarsh came together to start Three Birds Renovations, renovating homes for a profit. They are now onto their fifth renovation.

For those intending to follow in their footsteps, they stress the importance of planning and research before purchasing a property.

“One of the hardest parts of this whole business is buying at the right price, understanding a sale price and selling,” Erin said.

“We need to understand the location and size of the property so we can go into the project with really clear expectations of ourselves and of what we’re going to sell for.”

Prior to buying a house they ensure they have a clear idea of how the sale will play out by building strong relationships with real estate agents.

“We don’t work out what it is going to sell for while we’re midway through the renovation but before buying we make a commitment on what we’re going to sell it for based on the research we’ve done,” Lana said.

“We look for a 30 per cent increase in value but if you buy at $1 million and want to sell at $1.3 million, you have to be very tight on your budget to make money.”

When it comes to budgeting, they suggest setting aside a contingency amount so that unwelcome surprises won’t break the bank.

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The women behind Three Bird Renovations, Bonnie Hindmarsh, Lana Taylor and Erin Cayless. Picture: Chris PavlichSource:News Limited

They also follow self-set guidelines when choosing a property, judging them on how much value can be added.

“We wouldn’t consider anything where we couldn’t connect the backyard to an entertainment space or living area,” Bonnie said.

They steer clear of houses near train tracks or on main streets and won’t consider properties requiring a development application as the business aims to have homes transformed within a short period of time.

“If we took six months instead of six or eight weeks, with the amount of interest we pay on the borrowed money it would all evaporate, that’s why we do it as fast as we can,” Lana said.

When Erin, Bonnie and Lana launched Three Birds Renovations they had little experience flipping a home.

“We’ve all been friends for a very long time and we were looking for new challenges in our lives,” Lana said.

“Bonnie initiated the idea of renovating houses together and felt it needed Erin, myself and her to make it work because we all have different skills.”

While Bonnie’s parents are seasoned renovators, Erin’s only experience came from improving her own home and Lana’s expertise stemmed from watching renovation shows on television.

Three Birds Renovations’ fourth renovation project in Northmead, NSW before it was flipped.

Three Birds Renovations’ fourth renovation project in Northmead, NSW before it was flipped.Source:Supplied

The result of the Northmead, NSW renovation.

The result of the Northmead, NSW renovation.Source:Supplied

The Sydney based women are the wives of former NRL players Nathan Hindmarsh, Jason Taylor and Nathan Cayless.

Now the trio are onto their fifth renovation and have learned the importance of picking the right tradespeople for the job.

“Have clear expectations of tradies so that they know exactly where they stand, what is required of them and the time frame in which they need to do it in,” Bonnie said.

Donna Hole, head of trade service at Hipages said creating a list of what needs to be renovated so tradies can have detailed information about the project will help them provide the most accurate quotes possible.

“We provide homeowners with three competitive quotes from local tradespeople, which allows them to assess what kind of renovation work they can get done within their budget and compare what services are on offer,” she said.

Their third project in Beecroft, NSW.

Their third project in Beecroft, NSW.Source:Supplied

The result of the Beecroft transformation.

The result of the Beecroft transformation.Source:Supplied

Three Birds Renovations have teamed up with to create a six-part video series on the makeover of a three-bedroom cottage in Baulkham Hills, NSWwithin just 40 days.

The series will explore topics including how to plan and budget for a renovation, how to go about hiring the right tradies and how to assess if a property is the right pick for a renovation.

Visit on Monday August 29 to see the first episode of the series.


PLAN: The planning has to happen prior to buying a property, not once you have the keys. If you start planning your renovation once you get the keys, you’re already six weeks behind.

DO YOUR RESEARCH: Do your research in relation to price disparity. Some suburbs have a range of properties that sell from just over $1 million to up to $2 or $3 million so there’s a huge price disparity and you just need to find your spot in there.

DON’T GET EMOTIONAL: Make sure you don’t make an emotional decision when you’re buying the property. It’s just a business decision and if you have a walkaway point don’t compromise on that.

FIND THE RIGHT HOUSE: Make sure the house ticks all your boxes. Is it in the right area? Does it have a yard? Does it have enough bedrooms or will it allow you to create enough bedrooms?

STICK TO YOUR BUDGET: Set your budget early on and check that it’s realistic. Make sure to have a contingency amount set aside for any unexpected surprises.

Their second project in Castle Hill ...

Their second project in Castle Hill ...Source:Supplied

... and the result.

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