I have continuous opportunities to visit with folks who want to buy homes, do repairs, and sell them for a nice profit in a brief period of time. It is a common ambition now, with the popularity of television shows that show the process as a psycho-drama, with cigar puffing "investors" who strut around preening for the camera and never get dirty.
We REALTORs who enjoy watching a little real estate-oriented TV have always known that House Flipping shows portray the real estate industry about as accurately as Star Trek portrayed NASA. Any semblance of reality is purely coincidental. There is a lot more to renovating a home than bellowing "Aaaarghhh" and swinging a sledge hammer into a wall.
Well, we now have seen a little reality injected into the realty flipping fantasy from Atlanta's Fox 5 News. In two aired segments, and in his blog, investigative reporter Dale Russell skewered A & E, and their use of Sam Leccima, as representative of the process, and profits, of fixing and flipping houses.
Amid allegations of fraud, sales that never occurred, and general tawdry business ethics, it is difficult to tell who is more at fault, Sam Leccima or A & E.
Folks it just doesn't work like you see on TV. That is entertainment. Reality is, you must project numbers, including all holding and transaction costs, buy homes that have the potential for curb appeal and give them that appeal. You will take on immeasurable risk in the process. If you do not have deep pockets and/or excellent credit, and significant construction experience, you are quite possily a financial disaster waiting to happen. And there is a ton of competition in the game. If you spot a deal, you can bet the rent that many others already have seen it.
It was great to come across this story, to document that it just is not that simple. are there other shows? Sure, there are. And I would be grateful if you could tell me how they are closer to Reality.