Flipping Success Stories in and around Lehigh Valley

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Photo credit: Feverpitched
By Joelle Andersen, TOMO

Celebrities and HGTV have made flipping houses look like an easy (and fun) way to make some money. Celebrity flippers like Diane Keaton, Ellen Degeneres, Courtney Cox and Jennifer Aniston, and the list of famous flippers goes on and on, have been very successful flipping houses.

But what if you are not a celebrity? Is it still worth it? Tomo, a real estate and mortgage company, wanted to know and uncovered some flipping insights that could help with your next investment property. One thing we know for sure, finding cheap homes will maximize your profitability and is the first step.

We looked at homes in Lehigh County and the surrounding towns that have been bought and sold within 90-365 days (the same property exchanging hands twice between 90-365 days). We then analyzed a sampling of these homes to see if they were in fact renovated and what was renovated. In the end, we came up with this short-list of flipping success stories. Check them out yourself:

Address Initial Purchase Price Resale Price % Change $ Increase
400 Sunset Dr, Pottstown $85K $270K 218% $185,000
88 Cherry Ave, Trappe $169K $465K 175% $296,000
649 Walnut St, Pottstown $123K $278K 125% $155,000
75 Hess Ave, Hellertown $207.5K $385K 86% $177,500
190 Royal Manor Rd, Easton $225K $370K 64% $145,000

If this list inspired you at all, and you’re seriously interested in flipping homes, we uncovered a few tips to start you on your way:

  1. DON’T buy high. As we mentioned above, the most important rule for house flipping is to find cheap homes for sale to maximize your profitability. Start your search here for cheap homes in Lehigh county
  2. DON’T flip a house that is an HOA. If you want to flip a house, we advise staying away from any buyer obstacles like HOAs, not everyone wants to add a monthly cost to their life, even if it is a perk. Thankfully you can search for homes with no HOAs in Lehigh County.
  3. DON’T spend money renovating a Mother-in-Law suite, or something else just as unique. If you are going to spend your money on updating this feature, you may not see a return on your investment. Stay away from niche updates.
  4. DON’T try to sell your flip with a renter attached to it. Once again, you don’t want to create any obstacles for potential homebuyers. Being a landlord is not everyone’s dream.
  5. DON’T put most of your renovation budget into outside areas like a pool and hot tub. You are limiting your market of potential buyers since not everyone wants a pool (i.e. families with small children). You want to cast the widest net as possible and appeal to the most potential buyers.
  6. DON’T buy a house with an awkward layout if you aren’t going to fix it. Renovating the roof, adding a fresh coat of paint, adding new appliances and bathroom fixtures are definitely all good updates. But if the rooms are awkward and you don’t change the layout, you may not recoup your investment. Our advice, if you get a good deal on a home with an awkward floor plan, only buy it if you plan on renovating the flow of the house (i.e. to an open floor plan). Talk to an architect and crunch your numbers with that in mind before you buy.
  7. DON’T over-renovate and over-spend for the neighborhood. We found many flip failures that were the most expensive houses on the block. Just don’t buy a home, after you budget for all the upgrades, that will become the most expensive house on the block.

Flipping houses can be rewarding with careful planning, due diligence, and a solid understanding of the local market and renovation process. Always prioritize thorough research and prudent financial management to maximize your chances of success. Good luck and happy flipping!