Which type of neighborhood is best for flipping homes?

When looking for an investment home that you eventually intend to flip it is important to remember that the location is just as vital as the actual home.  It is feasible to earn a profit in nearly every area but certain areas make it easier on the investor.

Top Qualities

When people pick out an automobile they focus on the features that are important to them and their current lifestyle.  In a similar manner, you can consider the following neighborhood features when considering an investment property:

  • Homes that sold recently sold quickly and had strong interest
  • Declining numbers of rental properties
  • Homes at least 20 years old that will likely need significant rehab
  • Steady values or, even better, increasing values
  • Average age of homeowner is elderly; these people are potentially moving to better climates or downsizing
  • Increased number of people moving from differing areas; signifies popularity

Three Types of Areas to Examine

In order to assist you in determining where to look for the right homes, here are three types of neighborhoods to consider.

  • Rebounding areas – There are times when an older, well established neighborhood will undergo a major overhaul.  Many of the owners have made the decision to remodel the interior.  In some instances the owners may be undertaking expansive additions.
  • New housing clusters – When an area becomes popular many builders will start developing new subdivisions.  The existing homes in the immediate area could be ripe for flipping.
  • Farming region – Established real estate agents like to focus on an preferred area and call it their “farming area.”  They send out regular postcards and newsletters to the residents so that when a home comes up for sale they usually think of that agent first.  A home investor can follow a similar strategy and be the first to know of a potential home for sale at a discount.

Keeping Your Ear to the Ground

Some investors like to focus on their own zip code or a nearby area.  This makes it easier on them because they already know a bit about the location.  There is no long distance commuting to check out a potential property. Sometimes, neighbors can actually provide a good tip that leads to a purchase.  And the local gossip is usually easy to find.

However, this only makes sense if the area is holding steady or rising.  A neighborhood suffering from falling values, crime, or an imminent new highway is not a good choice, no matter how close it is.

Don’t Get In Over Your Head

This should come as no surprise, but it is also important to remember your financing.  Finding a great home at a 40% or 50% discount is worthless if the home is $50,000 more than you can afford.  Always keep the price in the forefront of your mind since it is a very important piece of the elimination process. If a neighborhood is out of your price range, focus elsewhere.

Following a well-designed plan is important for almost everybody.  Building a business, planning a party and even putting together a family vacation all work more smoothly when there is a good plan in place.  Buying a home for flipping is no different.

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