Consumer Watch: House flipping versus house flopping

Mesta Park, Heritage Hills, Crown Heights, Edgemere Heights, and the Plaza and Paseo districts are some of the popular flipping neighborhoods in Oklahoma City (KOKH)

Oklahoma City’s revitalization is changing the face of many districts in the metro, and creating fertile soil for the growing number of people wanting a turn at flipping the look of a neighborhood.

Much of the revitalization in the OKC urban core started with MAPS projects or investors with a vision for a part of the community, now that has grown to individuals wanting to do their part, and make money doing it. It is perhaps no coincidence that the interest in house flipping increased with the popularity of a multitude of house flipping shows. The thing is, shows may not tell the whole story, and people house flipping for the first time can end-up overwhelmed.

FlipOKC owner Jarred Smith started house flipping a decade ago. At this point in his career, Smith works on several homes at once.

“I remember buying my first home or buying my first rental property. You kind of jump over that hoop and then, after a time, it is like, I don't know, another new shirt or something,” jokes Smith.

Popular flipping neighborhoods include places like Mesta Park, Heritage Hills, Crown Heights, Edgemere Heights, and the Plaza and Paseo districts. There is a lot of potential in buying something like a $100,000 home, and selling it for $250,000 or possibly more.

“If you have great neighborhoods, and then properties that need revitalization, then buying and remodeling and selling makes sense," says Smith.

There is no denying that this investment is a lot of work. Renovation costs can become overwhelming, and profits will depend on how much you can sell the home for. Smith recommends budding house flippers learn as much as they can before starting a flip and while they have only a few projects on their plate. Though he is no longer working on tile on his flip projects, there was a time he did a lot of the work himself, so it is also smart to know something about the trades needed to complete the flip.

The rise in house flipping popularity has started a different kind of business too. There are often ads for house flipping classes around the country. Though it may be a way to learn about business opportunities, the Better Business Bureau warns consumers should do some homework before paying for these seminars. These programs can cost thousands of dollars to attend, and you may not get what you pay for. Tips before paying top dollar for a seminar include considering the cost versus what you are supposed to get out of it, researching the seminar online and seeing what previous attendees have to say, and having refund information in writing. If that refund information is not in any of the provided documentation ask for it, but make sure it is in writing.

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