When you binge watch enough Flip or Flop, it's tempting to believe that you, too, can take a battered old fixer upper and turn it into the Cinderella of real estate finds. But contrary to what Christina and Tarek's track record might have you believe, not all flips are a smashing success.There's restrictive budgets, for one, and surprise fixes that can set you back in both days and dollars (please, not the foundation!). And then there's the task of settling on a style that'll appeal to the vast majority of house hunters. But even if all of these are handled with the wit of Chip and the ease of Joanna, there's still the fact that not all cities boast the same supply and demand. Fortunately, Realtor.com just rounded up a list of places where the odds are ever in your favor.According to the real estate site, U.S. markets in the Midwest and South tend to be the most lucrative for hopeful house flippers, with many cities sporting a larger selection of older, lower priced homes coupled with strong economies and population growth. The combination of factors creates the perfect scenario for real estate investors—and we're not just talking the multimillionaire variety. Here are the top five Southern cities where your house flipping skills are most likely to pay off.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist (or a team of Southern Living editors who call this magical city home) to tell you that this once-industrial town is on the rise. From its booming food scene to its flourishing economy, Birmingham is making headlines, these days, for all the right reasons. And the upward trend extends to the housing market: according to Realtor.com, home prices here have skyrocketed in recent years. Yet, with a median sales price of $190k in the city and surrounding areas, many listings still fall within the affordable range for investors (many of whom are locals trying to make a few bucks). The booming population means your chances of a quick turnover are pretty good—according to the site, 17.3 percent of home sales within the past year were investment properties, making Birmingham the second most successful city in the country for house flippers.
“Affordable” might not be the buzzword you associate with South Florida real estate—and, for the most part, you’d be right. With a median listing price just shy of $300k, Miami is one of the priciest metro areas that made the flipping list. But a healthy housing market is attracting the attention of a new wave of investors, many of whom have their eye on flipping in-demand single-family homes. And their efforts, it seems, are paying off, with 17 percent of all home sales turning profits for investors.
The Sunshine State’s Gulf coast flipping capital is attractive to investors for a multitude of reasons—great weather, a healthy job market, and proximity to world-class beaches, to name a few. And with near-perfect conditions, including a median home price of $230k, the city is a mecca for amateur flippers looking to wet their feet in the housing market. Judging by the statistics, many seem to be successful, with house flips making up about 16.5 percent of all home sales in the city.
Tennessee’s capital of blues is also a longtime epicenter for the house flipping industry. (In 2016, the city lead the nation in the number of homes successfully flipped, with an average gross profit of nearly $63k.) Today, prospects for investors are still positive: With a median listing price of just over $200k and a strong rental market, buyers have the option of an immediate flip or rehabbing to rent, with both more than likely yielding some positive cash flow into your bank account.
Home to a thriving downtown, a major university, and—oh, yeah—Disney World, Orlando checks all the boxes as an ideal place to own a rental property. And while there are plenty of those who buy for that purpose, there’s also a growing trend of investors who are snatching up older, single-family homes with the intention of flipping. The plan, it seems, is paying off: in the past year, more than 15 percent of home sales were the result of a house flip.