Investors flipping houses in San Antonio again

Local investors taking advantage of recovering housing market

As the housing market continues to recover from the collapse, some San Antonio investors are getting back into flipping houses.

They're buying up vacant and foreclosed homes and turning them into cash.

Greg Hoppes is one of those investors, he's been flipping houses since 2008.

At the end of December he bought a home on the North side for under $100,000 and started renovating it.

The home was built in the 1960's and needed quite a bit of updating and remodeling, but it's nearly ready for the new owners.

Hoppes estimates he spent about $50,000 renovating the house that he will flip for a nice profit.

"It's not clear on the exact margins yet because we still have work outstanding to do and closing costs are substantial and factor into what you're going to profit out of these homes," Hoppes said. "It will be enough to keep me moving forward with future projects."

Hoppes started flipping houses just as the housing market started to collapse but his background in construction and home building helped him survive the crash.

"Luck played a big factor and support from family and friends played a big factor," Hoppes said. "You have to be smart, you have to do lots of research and there's luck involved but if you do the work up front you can make a profit."

Aaron Cullitan works for NetWorth Realty, a company that helps investors find the right properties to flip, according to him the local housing market is recovering and is ripe for investors.

"The last couple years I think things have gotten stronger, a lot more people are involved in the game," Cullitan said. "It's a great way to make some extra cash. As long as you can buy the property at the right price, that's basically the name of the game."

But Cullitan and Hoppes are the first to admit, house flipping isn't for everyone. It takes lot of work.

You need to have enough money to close and carry a property and make frequent visits to the job site to check on the progress and keep tabs on the contractor.

You also need to know the market and make sure you’re not over renovating a property and be prepared for things to go wrong.

"Things do arise in these properties sometimes, some of them have been vacant for years, foreclosures or whatever the case may be," Cullitan said. "You have to have relationships with contractors, and stay on top of the projects."

Hoppes said he's learned lots of lessons from each house he's flipped. He offered this advice for anyone thinking about flipping homes.

"Do your homework upfront, find trustworthy people that you can work with and they will lead you on the right path."

For a list of recent stories Tim Gerber has done, click here.


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