Saturday, November 17, 2007

Would Utahns watch other Utahns flip houses?

Saw this on the other day:

A show about Utahns flipping houses? Does anyone even do that any more? Actually, I take that back. One of us recently bought new kitchen cabinets and countertops from some people who bought a house in Murray to flip (their ninth). The house had sat. And sat. Eventually, someone made an offer--for the original purchase price. Fine, the owners said, then you don't get the improvements. Hence VoU1 crawling around, unscrewing cabinets, prying off granite counter tops, and generally not having a good time.

In spite of the housing slump, reality-estate shows are still hot. We admit to having watched Flip That House, Flipping Out, Property Ladder, Curb Appeal, and Real Estate Pros. Okay, and Sell This House, Designed To Sell, Get It Sold, Desperate Landscapes, Sweat Equity, and every home improvement show ever shown on DIY Network. We're not flippers, but you never know what you might pick up for your own remodel.

Most of these shows are unrealistic. Flip shows don't mention utilities, mortgage payments, commissions, insurance, and other profit eaters. Fix-up shows cite material costs that basically equate to finding them on the side of the road. Flip This House turned out to be a total scam, with fake renovations and buyers.

These shows have a lot of yelling ("You don't know what you're doing!"), stupidity ("Our budget for the whole remodel is $10,000"), and questionable behavior ("Just cover it up; we're not going to live here.") Do we really want to see that from our neighbors? I guess they could try to circulate the show nationally. Because there might be some network somewhere that only has 23 1/2 hours of real estate programming.


y-intercept said...

The worst time to go into a market is when the market is saturated. The fact that marketers were making an over-exuberant rage about house flipping in the last two years was a very strong indicator that the market was saturated.

Conversely, the best time to move into a market is during a slump. There is a large number of properties (and unfortunately foreclosures) in the market today. So, now would be a good time to start thinking of going into the house flipping market.

Of course, house flipping has one great flaw. Many house flippers play the game where buy and entry level house then upgrade it to a mid level house. So they basically take a home from a sellers market to an oversold buyers market. Not a wise move.

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