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7 Scenes From the Now Super-Hot SoCal Flip Scene

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Hey, it's that time in the housing recovery when everyone declares that flipping, which helped destroy the housing market, is back. Yay! There is, however, a big difference this time--while the housing bubble of the mid-aughts lured amateur flippers to get in over their heads, now it's mostly professional investors, often paying in cash and in many cases working with foreclosures or other types of houses (e.g., major fixers) that scare off regular buyers. According to the Wall Street Journal, "In California, the number of homes sold in recent months that had been flipped--or bought and resold within six months--has reached the highest levels since late 2005 ... While flipping is re-emerging nationwide, brokers say it is happening most in California, where home prices have risen sharply over the past year." (There's a very short supply of houses on the market now, which is driving up prices.) Tell us, flippers, what are you up to?:

-- A San Diego real estate agent "who flipped about 25 homes last year for himself and clients": "Competition for homes 'is reaching bubble proportions, and I'm very wary of it.'"
-- He's repping "a colleague" who paid $675,000 for a foreclosed house in San Gabriel; he put in new appliances and landscaping, and listed it a month later for $867,000. So far: no offers, and it may need a pricechop, but that seems like an outlier.
-- In Ladera Ranch in southern Orange County, one flipper spent $600,000 on a short sale, painted the house, gave it new floors, and flipped it asking $755,000.
-- That same fellow says he flipped 20 houses last year, double what he flipped in 2011.
-- NPR checks out a flip in Glassell Park--"a green stucco house" built in 1979. A group called Dossier Capital bought it a few months back as a short sale for $390,000. They redesigned the kitchen, upgraded the appliances, painted, and put in new floors, a new driveway, and landscaping. They've now listed it for $719,777.
-- "Dossier targets up-and-coming neighborhoods and has real estate agents looking for distressed properties they can fix up and flip. 'Typically, our houses are in escrow first week ... 'maybe even the first day that it's listed'," says one of the investors.
-- Meanwhile, in buyerville: "We'll see a house, and then ... within a week, it's already sold," says one woman on the hunt.
· Flippers Ride Housing Wave [WSJ]
· Once A Boon For Investors, House Flipping Is Back [NPR]