Home Flipping Goes High-end

November 28, 2012

Where are today's home flippers? It turns out they're cavorting among the rich and famous.

The practice of flipping took a hit as the economy soured over the last few years, experts say, but as the market improves, home flippers are spotting opportunities at the highest end of the housing market.

The Chicago Tribune reports that high-end home flips "may involve foreclosures, or outdated or damaged homes." It cites the examples of Judy Garland's childhood home, bought for $5.2 million last year and recently resold for $6.77 million; Dennis Quaid's former home, resold for $11.2 million in September after he sold in 2011 for $9.2 million; and Rihanna's $4.5 million home, which was recently put back onto the market at $9.95 million.

The article notes that a tight inventory, particularly in California where many of the top-end homes are located, is helping flippers score top dollar. For homes priced at over $1 million, the inventory stands at 5.8 months, down from 10.7 months a year ago.

And buyers are looking for over-the-top features in flipped homes, the Tribune reports. "Elevators are in high demand in big houses, as are land, privacy, and views. Must-have amenities include dual bathrooms off the master bedroom, spa tubs and showers with rain heads and multiple body sprays." Flippers must create a house that buyers are "blown away with," the Tribune quotes Paul Esajian, the owner and chief financial officer of San Diego-based FortuneBuilders which flips homes and educates and coaches investors.

Source: "House flipping gets an expensive twist," Chicago Tribune (11/26/2012)

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