HGTV has become one of the most watched channels on cable thanks to a bevy of creative house flippers, people who buy older real estate at low prices, renovate, and sell for a hefty profit. And they usually do it in only half an hour!
It’s not that easy, for several reasons. First among them is that real estate has tightened up around the country as we bounce back from the recession, making flipping, generally defined as buying and selling a home in the same calendar year, much closer to the margins. A new nationwide survey finds 53,638 single-family homes and condos were flipped in the second quarter, which is 5.6 percent of all home sales during the period. That rate was down from 6.9 percent in the previous quarter and unchanged from a year ago.
Real estate expert Alex Doubet of DoorHomes.com thinks the aftermath of Harvey may open more opportunities in the Houston area. “I think any time you see a major disruption in a given geography, there is opportunity to be found, and that is what flippers are looking for,” he tells KTRH News.
But the popularity of flipping homes as seen on HGTV makes the work look easy and the money alluring. “When HGTV starts doing shows about things, you need to be careful because that means that awareness is not increasing a little bit but is increasing exponentially,” he advises.
We won’t know exactly how Hurricane Harvey will impact real estate in Houston for a while, and it could be an attractive environment with flippers with available cash capital to invest. Otherwise, says, Doubet, buyer beware.
Returns nationwide have decreased for three consecutive quarters.