Not long ago, John Irvin was selling women’s shoes in the Nordstrom at the Pentagon City mall, pulling down about $20 an hour.
Now he flips houses in Northern Virginia — scooping up short sales, rehabbing them and aiming for a quick sell. He has sold three homes and says he netted more than $30,000 in profit each time.
“If I do one house every quarter, I’m making $125,000 a year — at 25 years old,” Irvin said. “All my other friends, they have a 9-to-5 job. They make probably half of what I’m making right now. It’s kind of like hitting the lottery.”
Flipping earned a bad reputation during the housing boom thanks to speculators who bought and sold millions of homes in search of easy profits. But the practice is gaining popularity again as the nation’s real estate market shows signs of life. The number of flips rose 25 percent during the first half of 2012 from the same period a year earlier, according to research firm RealtyTrac, and the gross profit on each property averaged $29,342.
RealtyTrac Vice President Daren Blomquist said the resurgence in flipping offers another indication that, in many parts of the country, housing prices have finally stopped falling.
“There are flippers in any market, but a market where home prices are appreciating is much more forgiving for flippers than a market where prices are depreciating,” Blomquist said. “We have turned that corner in a lot of places in the last six months, so that’s going to attract flippers.”
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Senior Director, Coldwell Banker New Homes Division
With over 200 condominium, townhome and loft projects successfully marketed
“Fewer properties for sale with such remarkably low interest rates make it a great time to buy and not a bad time to sell”