A home flipping and construction expert wrote in to weigh in on a recent article on flipping homes in retirement. See what he has to say about this real estate retirement trend!
Q: I read your column “Flipping homes in retirement.” I flipped two homes decades ago, and the last one in 1993. I didn’t lose money on either, but it was clearly not worth the time, headache, and uncertainty.
I had worked in the construction business for several years at that time, possessed an electrician’s license, and knew very well the working end of a shovel, so I had a basic understanding of the process. The old saying “Don’t bet the grocery money” rings true in this case, especially for a retiree.
I was in my 30’s when I flipped houses, and young enough to recover financially had I experienced a major loss. I am now in my early 60’s and would not do it. The competition is too keen and the risk is too great for inexperienced people living on fixed incomes to flip homes.
A: Thank you for your insight. And, you’re right. Flipping homes looks easy (not to mention financially rewarding) when you watch shows on TV that glamorize and give you a sense that anybody can handle the process of buying, upgrading and flipping homes.
Our column was an attempt to give a little insight into the process of flipping homes and to give a greater understanding into the process. As you mentioned, if you have the time, money and ability to withstand the process, you might make a go of it. But you better be ready for the downside as well.
We purchased a property years ago with the hope of flipping it. We purchased it as the market was getting red hot and before the Great Recession. It’s now twelve years after we purchased it and we have finally found the right buyer to buy the home at a price that we liked. We had the ability to weather the storm, rent it and wait until the market improved. Not everybody can do that.
As with any get rich quick scheme, if it seems too easy and they say everybody or anybody can do it, it’s probably not true. Thanks for your comment.