Flip This House… But Isn’t Flipping Illegal??? Not the investor’s ethical kind!

Everyone is an investor in some form, fashion, or another. You may own stocks, bonds, have a bank C.D., or own real estate. There’s many ways to make money in real estate – rent, leases, appreciation, and more.

During the housing boom, flipping houses was almost a national pastime. Shows like Flip This House, Flipping Out, and Flip That House attracted huge viewing audiences, and nearly every book in Amazon’s real estate top sellers category had the word “flipping” in its title.

If you mention house flipping to a real estate or law enforcement professional, however, they are more likely to think that you are talking about committing a crime. To them, the word “flip” is a nasty four-letter word. HUD (the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development) declared it so when it released its FR (Final Rule)-4615 Prohibition of Property Flipping.

So, is flipping good or bad? Legal or illegal?

Well, that depends which form of flipping you’re talking about. The illegal variety consists of selling a home multiple times over a relatively short period in order to artificially inflate the home’s value and cash out the inflated equity. To begin, a con artist will purchase a home (typically a dilapidated property that costs very little).

He or she will then obtain an inflated appraisal for the property – by finding an appraiser willing to go along with the scam, stealing an appraiser’s identity to forge a fake appraisal, or using a phony appraisal document. The con artist can then apply for a loan for the inflated amount. (Or, the con artist will apply for the loan and then, with the help of a cooperative loan officer, obtain the inflated appraisal to present to the lender.) In either case, the con artist usually takes out the loan in the name of a straw buyer (someone who owns the home in name only) or by using a fake or stolen identity.

Eventually, the house flipper either sells the home to somebody who is unaware of its true value or abandons the home.

That’s illegal flipping in a nutshell.

Legal flipping consists of buying a home for less than its true market value (usually at least 20 percent less), fixing it up, and then selling it at or near its true market value. This fix-and-flip approach is the type of flipping they do on TV shows like Flip This House and Flip That House. It is a shrewd and honorable way to earn a buck in real estate.

As a consumer, knowing the difference between the two types of flipping is important. Know the illegal form of flipping so you don’t break the law or get stuck with an overpriced piece of real estate that’s being used in a flipping scheme. Know the legal form of flipping, so you can fix and flip your way to wealth in real estate.

About the Author: Ralph R. Roberts, GRI, CRS is an experienced real estate investor and consultant and the author of Flipping Houses For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons).

In working with The POLTROCK TEAM, you won’t have to worry about becoming the prey of an illegal flipping scheme when you’re looking to buy a home or land in the mountains. It’s extremely important, no matter where you are, to work with a Realtor who’s looking out for your best interest so your investment doesn’t become a bogus one.

If you’re looking to invest in the mountains and want to do the legal flipping by purchasing a great property to make money in the short term or long term, let us know! We come across great values, not every day, but regularly and need people who are looking to invest. Call us us today and let me know! Not only that, subscribe to our blog and you can find out great values as we come across them!

John and Jessica – The POLTROCK TEAM – RE/MAX of Murphy, NC – Real Estate in the mountains of North Carolina – www.MyMurphy.comJohnPoltrock@gmail.com – Call (877) 837-3002 and demand The POLTROCK TEAM!!!