REAL ESTATE INVESTING TRENDS
2018’S BEST STATES TO FLIP HOUSES IN THE U.S.
Cynthia Bankston // August 1, 2018
house flipping before and after
Real estate is a numbers game, and flipping houses is one of the most number-intensive challenges in
this sector. Fix-and-flip investors focus on undervalued properties with potentially dramatic gains given
adequate and efficient remodeling. The property may be undervalued due to financial hardship on the
part of property owners, foreclosure and personal circumstances that make a quick sale necessary.
Undervaluation may also be due to less-than-stellar physical conditions that may be resolved easily
given time and resources.
There is more to successful house flipping other than inventory. Market conditions should also favor
sellers when it comes time to unload the property when rehab is completed. In general, property values
in the area should be trending up for the foreseeable future to make sure that repair and remodeling
costs can be recaptured quickly. As such, the location of the property is a primary consideration to
ensure that the project can be managed efficiently with labor and construction materials readily
available at affordable rates to ensure expeditious completion. Shorter turnaround times from purchase
to sale of the remodeled property is an indicator of success and profitability of house flipping.
Here are some of the more lucrative markets for house flipping in no particular order.
For home flippers, return on investment or ROI is one of the best indicators of productivity and the
extent that time and resources should be committed to a project. ROI accounts for the acquisition costs
as well as sunk costs to bring the property up to standard for a profitable sale. At 141.6 percent, New
Jersey, especially in the Atlantic City area, has one of the highest ROIs for property flipping. Listing prices
average $372,916 with an estimated average profit of $102,300 according to information from
GOBankingRates. It takes approximately 207 days on average to flip a property from acquisition date to closing.1
Infrastructure, efficient transportation and its proximity to New York and Philadelphia will ensure that
the housing market in New Jersey will remain a desirable market for the foreseeable future. Housing
prices for new homes continue to rise, and millennials are moving to the suburbs to stretch their
housing budgets. Additionally, mortgage rates remain stable, driving the demand for home purchases.
Florida will always be on the list of “Best Places to Live” because of its year-round tropical weather and
the fact that residents pay no income tax on their earnings. Property flipping can generate an ROI of 83
percent, which is generous considering that it takes about 151 days to complete a flipping project. With
listing prices averaging $406,803, profit expectations average out to $59,917 for a project.2
The most viable cities for flipping houses are Jacksonville in north Florida, Tampa in the west-central
region, Orlando in the east-central area and Miami in the southern section of the state. Some of the
changes affecting the demand and supply of housing in Florida includes realignment of the military’s
presence and influence in Jacksonville and Tampa, increasing tourism and in-migration numbers
affecting Orlando and Miami and other Florida cities as well.
Chicago row houses
There will always be some interest in the heartland. Chicago remains a stable anchor of the Midwest
economy, and urban/suburban sprawl has created opportunity niches for house flippers in various
areas. Expect the ROI on property flipping to average 110 percent with an average turnaround of 196
days. Listing prices for residential properties average $277,163 for an average profit of $77,317.3
Housing prices in Illinois have stabilized after the frenetic rise in previous years, creating an opportunity
for buyers with the right resources. Home flippers can take advantage of this market by leveraging their
ability to buy and rehab foreclosure properties efficiently and quickly.
Ohio is one of the Midwest states beset by reduced housing inventory and higher prices in recent years.
Especially in the right location and community, the demand for real estate reached unprecedented
levels. The ROI on flipped properties averaged 90 percent.4 Expanded job opportunities and economic
growth is fueling the demand for housing in Ohio, notably in the central area near Columbus. The
housing market is expected to remain stable as the population continues to grow.
Virginia’s proximity to Washington D.C. has long been the draw to its housing market. It is said that
Virginia is the affordable housing solution for Washington D.C.’s sky-high housing prices. As such, this is
a market that will continue to move regardless of political developments in the Capitol, which means it
is a point of interest for house flippers. Expect an average ROI of 99.3 percent for property flipping in
this state. Turnaround averages are 198 days for a profit of $109,617 on house flipping projects.5
Virginia provides the perfect opportunity for flipping because a significant portion of the population is in
constant flux due to job changes and reassignments based on political events. Expect many
opportunities to pick up houses at below-market prices when owners have to move quickly.
GETTING STARTED IN HOME FLIPPING
Home flipping TV shows often demonstrate how easy it is to get in the game. The truth is, the most
successful flippers have to do a decent amount of preparation to stay ahead of the market.
1. UNDERSTAND THE MARKET.
Housing prices are cyclical and so are demand and supply. Make sure that you understand market trends
and the factors affecting the market. Study these factors in the context of your own goals. For instance,
understand how quickly the market is changing and how such changes will affect the turnaround time
for your projects.
2. SET YOUR GOALS.
Your business plan should specify your ROI expectations. Before acquiring a property to flip, figure out
how expenses will impact profit and if the project is within your risk parameters.
Do your due diligence work to make sure that you have a reasonable expectation of completing a
flipping project efficiently. Make sure you have enough information about any issues that may affect the
condition of the property. Have a plan in place for digging up this information especially for foreclosures.
4. JUMP IN.
There is no better time to get started than right now. There are hundreds of properties on Auction.com,
many of which may be of interest to you. Browse the listings to get an idea of what’s currently available.
If you have a target location because you already know the area, focus on those properties, but don’t
ignore adjacent locations. The market is moving. Are you ready to move with it?