Fixer-uppers and foreclosures are what most people think of when flipping comes to mind. But it is possible to flip a house without doing any work on it at all. During the real-estate boom of the early to mid-2000s, flippers could buy new construction homes, hold on to them for a few months, then sell them at a profit. Now there’s a trend toward trying to flip houses in new, high-end developments in outlying suburbs. If commercial and retail development. like big-box superstores, spring up, it could bring in droves of residents. But if the situation isn’t perfect — if gas prices rise, for example, causing home buyers to shy away from big commutes — this kind of flipping becomes pretty risky.
So why do people flip houses? And what does the average buyer — and seller — need to know about flipping before investing? How much money can be made by flipping a house? And what kind of moral line do you walk by paying bottom dollar to people who have lost their homes? We’ll address all of these issues as we investigate the art of house flipping.
If you watch home-and-garden cable channels, it looks like everyone is flipping houses, especially in Arizona. “Flip This House” and “Flipping Out” are just a couple of the many cable offerings that sing the praises of buying a house and quickly selling it at a substantially higher price. With this many Arizona Hard Money lenders have been popping up as well, but house-flipping is more like a basic investing lesson:
You want to find a property that is undervalued or in just bad enough shape that you can invest minimal time and money in it before selling it. There are people who have made careers out of buying distressed properties and quickly turning them around for a profit. However, in a real-estate bust, things aren’t quite so easy.