WalletHub’s Best Places to Flip Houses

Where are the best places to flip houses in America?  While they don’t have an actual crystal ball, WalletHub recently looked at over 170 American cities, using over 29 different criteria such as market potential, cost and quality of life to come up with a list of the best places to find flips.  However, for all of you wannabe Tarek & Christinas out there, they do caution that it’s not quite as easy as it is on TV:

If you’re among the millions of HGTV viewers who’ve seen an episode of “Flip or Flop,” you’ve probably thought about the thrill of gutting a house and turning a five- or six-figure profit. But the process isn’t as easy as the professionals on television make it look. Any experienced home flipper would caution you that transforming a fixer-upper into a profitable property is a difficult process.


Source: WalletHub

Click here to read the full report on WalletHub.com.

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Best Housing Markets for Growth and Stability

Smartasset says that two major factors, “growth and stability” are key indicators of a property’s value (good and bad) as time marches forward.  Naturally, owners want a stable environment where the value will grow over time and not risk pushing them underwater if they have a mortgage.   That being said, Smartasset ran the numbers to find metro areas that are the best bets for growth & stability. They compared home value data for every quarter over a 25-year period through Q4 2018.

Click here to read the full report at SmartAsset.com.

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Shortage of Labor Still Hurting Affordability

We have had several posts about labor shortages in the building industry over the past couple years and the problem doesn’t seem to be getting better, despite a good economy.   According to a recent builder survey from the National Association of Home Builders, labor and subcontractor shortages continue to remain widespread and are putting additional upward pressure on new home prices.  Their survey listed 15 specific occupations with framing crews experiencing the greatest manpower shortages.  Indeed…

Click here to read the full report at NAHBnow.com.

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Role of Housing in the Longest Economic Expansion

The lessons learned from the so-called “Great Recession” will be many and the housing market is no exception.  A new report from CoreLogic says the housing market was the “Comeback Kid” for its evolutionary role during our current economic expansion.  They attribute stable job growth, mortgage funding and underwriting for the housing market’s recovery from its historic crash.  Their report digs further into these factors and analyzes the market’s performance during our current period of economic expansion.

“Homeownership is considered a crucial step to wealth accumulation. However, the Great Recession tested this long-held belief.”

“…In addition to a more encouraging market, changes in homes and buyers have made flipping more sustainable – professionals are flipping older homes with the median age of the homes being 39 years.”

Key takeaways:

  • The number of homes with negative equity has decreased
  • Total home equity hits new record
  • Since 2010, the housing flip rate has increased significantly
  • Strong recovery for home prices and rents

Click here to read the full report at Corelogic.com.

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20 Best College Towns to Buy an Investment Property

COLLEGE; belushi.comRedfin reminds us that college towns are consistently some of the best places to own investment properties in America.  To that end, they looked at college towns across the country using several metrics such as affordability, walkability, and the price of education relative to its quality & value.  Their data came from U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities Rankings list.

“Demand for rental properties in college towns remains high due to steady demand. From new students to university faculty coming in each year, you’ll never find yourself scrambling to rent out your place…”

  1. Binghamton, NY – Binghamton University – SUNY
  2. Syracuse, NY  – SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry and Syracuse University
  3. Buffalo, NY  – University of Buffalo
  4. Gainesville, FL – University of Florida
  5. Athens, GA – University of Georgia
  6. Champaign, IL – University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  7. Baltimore, MD – John Hopkins University
  8. Tallahassee, FL – Florida State University
  9. Cleveland, OH – Case Western Reserve University
  10. St Louis, MO – Washington University in St. Louis
  11. Columbus, OH – Ohio State University – Columbus
  12. Pittsburgh, PA – University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University
  13. Rochester, NY – University of Rochester
  14. New Haven, CT  – Yale University
  15. Provo, UT – Brigham Young University – Provo
  16. West Lafayette, IN – Purdue University – West Lafayette
  17. Philadelphia, PA – Temple University and the University of Pennsylvania
  18. Troy, NY – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
  19. Albany, NY – University of Albany – SUNY
  20. Lawrence, KS – University of Kansas

Click here to read the full story at Redfin.com.

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SFR Growth Not Slowing Down

Rents for single-family rentals (SFRs) increased 3% year-over-year in May according to CoreLogic’s latest Single-Family Rent Index (SFRI) report.  The index measures rent changes among single-family rentals using a repeat-rent analysis to measure the same rental properties over time. CoreLogic says rents have been climbing steadily since 2010 with annual increases over the past 12 months fluctuating between 2.9% and 3.2%.

Key findings:

  • Rents for lower-priced homes increased faster than those of higher-priced homes.
  • Phoenix once again outpaces other metros for rent increases.
  • Houston and Orlando had the largest deceleration in rent growth in May.

Click here to read the full report at CoreLogic.com.

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Home Rehab Uncovers Stash of Beer Cans & Whiskey Bottles Worth Thousands

We’ve seen it before….there can be treasures or even crazy things hidden in the walls of your next flip.   Now we’ve come across a story from Kansas City’s Fox4 about a homeowner having some rehab work down on her house.  When the workers were doing some tuck-pointing on an exterior column, they discovered a trove containing hundreds of 70+ year-old beer cans, whiskey & bourbon bottles, and assorted spirits.  Apparently a former resident from the 1940’s didn’t want anyone to know about their drinking habit so they created a secret chute to hide their evidence in a porch column.

“It was a jackpot of 1940s — every variety of whiskey and bourbon you can imagine. Tons of old vintage beer cans. Many of them in amazing condition,” Molder said. “There’s collectors and now, overnight, I have an extensive collection.”


Click here to read the full story at Fox4kc.com.

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“Mom & Pops” Dominate Real Estate Investing

According to a recent special report form CoreLogic, home purchasing by investors has reached its highest level in nearly 20 years.  Their report, Investor Home Buying, took a deep-dive into investor’s homebuying activity all across the nation.  Among their findings was the fact that the increase in activity wasn’t from the big institutional buyers, but rather from smaller investors “mom-n-pops” who are just getting into the game – perhaps like many of you reading this post! They also suggest real estate investors are meeting the needs of the entry-level market.  Indeed….

“…investors appear to be focusing in the starter-home tier, giving first-time homebuyers a run for their money while also chasing homes in markets with relatively high rents…”


Click here to read the full report at CoreLogic.

Click here to read the story at Keeping Current Matters.

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Zillow Improves Zestimate’s Accuracy

We’ve had several posts about Zillow’s Zestimates over the years so this latest development piqued our curiosity.   However, a recent episode of Real Estate News for Investors reports that Zillow unveiled a new version of its Zestimate home valuation tool that’s supposed to be much more accurate than previous versions.  In fact they claim that the error rate is now less than 2% thanks to the ideas it collected in its recent million dollar contest to make the platform smarter.

“Among the improvements that Zillow made to the Zestimate is the use artificial intelligence to analyze photos and automatically determine the value of upgrades. It does this with a type of machine learning called “neural networks” combined with “computer vision.” …”


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Airbnb Fights Back Against Ban in New Jersey

Short-term rental king Airbnb is fighting back against a New Jersey suburb of New York City over a recent ordinance severely limiting the ability rent out units.  According to the Hudson Reporter, Jersey City, NJ adopted in ordinance in June that city officials say doesn’t ban short-term rentals, but imposes regulations and restrictions on they say is “an out-of-control” rental market that has allegedly created a shortage in long-term rentals and has caused long-term rental rates to rise.  Indeed, Airbnb has deployed canvassers to collect 10k voter signatures to put the issues before voters this November.  Stay tuned.

“Local governments are tasked with representing the needs of their constituents and bettering their communities…When they fail to do so, constituents want the chance to be heard. That is exactly the situation here in Jersey City, where lawmakers hastily passed an ordinance that will jeopardize the livelihoods of thousands of Jersey City residents.”  Airbnb said in a statement.

Click here to read the full story at the Hudson Reporter.


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