Have you ever thought about getting into real estate and making a fortune like some of those people do on TV?  

"I think the common street version of house flipping is when someone finds what's largely undervalued home.  A home that needs some improvement or a little love and they buy low and sell high," said Scott Hughes of the Northwest Louisiana Association of Realtors.

It's one of the most popular shows on television -  HGTV's Flip or Flop - and these folks do exactly what Hughes just described 

To end their show they say things like. "We made $60,000. Time to go find another house to flip!"

The trend of buying a fixer upper, making some repairs and "flipping it" to someone else is making a comeback across the country.  According to the real estate website Trulia, more than 6 percent of home sales last year were "flips."  

They say that's the highest number in a decade.  The ArkLaTex is also seeing an increase.

"Shreveport has become sort of a hot market for this because like many markets around the country we are actually seeing inventory tighten up.  When you're seeing less homes for sale, when you're seeing buyers having to search longer for houses it does create a flipping opportunity," said Hughes.

"There is an uptick in foreclosures in our market. Because of that there is an abundance of properties available for purchase. Our investors are then looking at an opportunity to purchase them, fix them up, so that they can then become available for home owners or for renting or for a number of options," said Karen Baker, Realtor Coldwell Banker Goslee.

The Northwest Louisiana Association of Realtors doesn't track the number of houses flipped but they do track houses that have been repossessed. So far this year about 1,800 houses have been sold in this market and about 10 percent were homes that had been repossessed.  According to Hughes, that is up from previous years. 

Now with a strong spring housing market and shows on HGTV that make flipping look glamorous and easy, some might be thinking that's a good way to make some money.  It can be for some, but it is anything but glamorous or easy.

"I think reality TV makes it look so sexy. You pull up in your brand new sports car and you walk around the property for a few minutes and your construction guys come in and out, next thing you know you're cashing a big check. It's nothing like that! Flipping a house is dirty business. You 'A' have to be capitalized; any business needs money. So you're going to have to have money to get into this. So many people think I'll do this, I'll buy this house, I'll flip in 30 days and I'll sell it 30 days later. So they're thinking 60 days. Often times you may have to carry a house for a year," said Hughes.

"We were selling a property on Friday, the investor had flipped and sure enough there was a $700 repair that came in during the walk through because of a chimney stack, and so just things are going to pop up. So always have your contractor set aside, your finances set aside again the assistance of a good realtor to help you understand the market and what you could actually flip it for is essential," said Baker.

According to Real Estate experts home price increases in 2016 were the quickest we've seen in the past 3 or 4 years.  That kind of increase adds a layer of protection for flippers and unexpected expenses, which is another reason more investors are getting into the flipping business. 


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