I’ll start out by admitting that I’m a homebody. Big time. I tend to prefer being at home to just about any other activity in the world, and I really dislike upheaval at home. So when I say I don’t understand House Flippers, please understand that it comes in part from that place.
I’ve been watching a lot of TLC’s “Flip That House”, and I’m finding myself torn.
I really like the idea of fixing up blighted areas and of halting the sprawl by reusing existing home properties versus the steady conversion of farm and forestland to housing tracts. That seems responsible to me. It reeks of good stewardship, community planning and social investment–all things which I favour.
What I dislike is the part of the Flipping trend which ends up pricing most homes out of reach of the people who live in the area and thereby disposessing them of their property. I can’t help but think some of these flippers have contributed to the current mortgage crisis in a way.
The other day I watched a man buy a home in Watts for ~$270K, trick it out and sell it for ~$500K. In Watts.
I understand the desire for profits, and I’m not naive enough to believe the world has Money Faeries who drop bundles of cash on people for no reason. Folks aren’t likely to fix up houses in blighted areas for nothing.
The median household income in Watts, California is $17,987. The median household income in Nashville is $39,797, more than double that of Watts. How are folks at that income level supposed to afford houses with a half-million pricetag?
I guess I find myself wondering if it’s actually good stewardship when your tactics end up pricing property out of most folks’ reach.