Experts: House-Flipping on Rise in North Texas

Investors say it's not as easy as it looks on TV

By Tammy Mutasa
|  Monday, Mar 11, 2013  |  Updated 7:04 PM CDT
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Real estate experts say investors are taking advantage of the recovering housing market and looking to make a profit flipping houses.

Tammy Mutasa, NBC 5 Garland Reporter

Real estate experts say investors are taking advantage of the recovering housing market and looking to make a profit flipping houses.

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TV shows may make flipping houses look easy, but experts warn there are heavy risks involved.

Investors are taking advantage of the recovering housing market, buying cheap houses in areas such Garland and Mesquite, renovating them and then selling them.

Experts say the number of such "flips" is increasing. NetWorth Realty said about 50 percent of its investors are flipping house this year, compared with about 30 percent last year.

"The mortgage market has loosened up a little bit because the economy has stabilized a little bit, money is so cheap from lenders," said Mark Bloom with NetWorth Realty.

"Part of what's great about North Texas and great about Dallas and, more specifically, Garland and Mesquite, they are really stable markets," he said. "You have a large population of buyers. You have fairly built-out space -- there's not a lot of open space, there's not a lot of open land -- so you have to buy pre-existing housing."

But investment managers warn that flips can turn out to be flops.

"I find people make their big mistakes when they don't do their homework or when they don't know the rules when they go into the game," said William Dendy, attorney and investment manager.

First-time investor David Ling said he hopes to turn a diamond in the rough in Garland into to a profitable gem.

"I hope to gain as much experience as I can with this first property and have some fun doing it and make some money," he said.

Ling said he hopes to sell his investment house for $175,000 and make a $30,000 profit -- but not without investing at least $50,000 in the rehab work.

He also said he did his homework before deciding to invest.

"It's important to minimize your risk and be educated in whatever you want to do," he said. "In real estate, before, I didn't just wake up and decide, 'Hey, I want to buy a property.'"

Experts say renovation work should be done right and in the right time frame before expecting a good deal. Investors should have enough cash to buy the home, renovate it and carry it until it sells, they say.

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