House Flippers Return, Still Finding Profits
More investors are taking on the risk of flipping homes, despite falling home prices and sluggish real estate markets across the country. But investors say there are still profits to be made in the house flipping business.
Nearly 1 million homes were bought as investment properties in 2010, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, and a record number of buyers purchasing properties with cash currently are flooding the market.
Flipping homes for profit is easier in rising markets, but not many markets are reporting increases in home prices, analysts say. In Washington, D.C., Justin Konz of RestorationCapital says his clients are going through four of five properties a month and are making gross profit margins of 35 percent or higher.
Where to Find the Deals
Flippers mostly are finding their homes through foreclosures auctions, REOs, and short sales. They seek homes at rock-bottom prices that will have low fix-up costs, no more than about 5 percent or 10 percent of the purchase price.
In Florida, where investors are finding it more difficult to flip homes because of the drastic drop in prices and high inventories, flippers are targeting inner-city properties that are being sold at steep discounts. For example, some of houses are selling for $30,000 when they once sold for $200,000.
Perry Henderson, a real estate agent and investor in Austin, Texas, says the biggest opportunities in flipping are the “ugly” houses that have lingered on the market or “old houses that somebody’s grandma lived in for 40 years and didn’t do anything to. Now, she’s passed away and her family wants to sell quickly.”
Real estate investor Brian Fuller, who with partners buys and sells more than 200 properties a year in the San Diego area, says he’s drawn to the “biggest eyesore on the block.” He says they then “ turn it into the best looking house there. We’re helping pull up values in the neighborhood.”Source: “Vulture Investors Flipping Their Ways to Big Profits,” CNNMoney.com (April 13, 2011)
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