Why Lincoln is a Flippin’ Top Five Housing Market


April, 2017


You buy an old, shabby looking house, because you see the real value hidden underneath it’s shag carpet and pink oven. Tearing it all down takes a few swings of a hammer. Getting the right counters, appliances, and furniture takes a few minutes in the hardware store. Finding the right buyer takes talking to a few people at a open house. Boom! You made $50,000 easy…

Like nearly everything (except the lives of the Kardashians), flipping houses is made to look a lot easier on television than it really is. In reality, having success flipping houses takes significant knowledge of construction, plumbing, local building codes, along with a superior eye for interior design aesthetics. However, those who have those kind of chops in Lincoln, NE are in a superior market to do so, according to the professional finance website, WalletHub’s “2016 List of Best Cities to Flip Houses”. The midwestern city landed in the number five spot behind Oklahoma City, OK, El Paso, TX, Fort Wayne, ID and Sioux Falls, SD.

Sales, Materials, and The Good Life

So, why did Lincoln climb this high in a real estate market ranking? According to Wallethub, Lincoln’s annual housing sales over the total number of housing options in the area is how it initially made its way on the list. Couple that with the fact that Lincoln’s building resources are relatively cheap and the market has a relatively high standard of living, and the justifications for Lincoln as a flatland flipping paradise start to pile up.

Flocking to Flipping

Before you swing the sledgehammer into some side wall with grand schemes of making six figures on your first flip, there’s a bit more to learn about the market. First, it is currently a crowded one. Some realtors with the right skillset are avoiding house flipping for that reason, thinking that the competition is jacking up prices and reducing ROI on fixer-uppers. Second, even when that ROI is solid, it won’t match the numbers on television. Most flippers in Lincoln will snag a place for near $100,000 and not sell it for more than $120,000. That’s not exactly flip one house and ride off into the sunset type of money.

Risky Business

The last point to keep in mind is obvious, but bears reminding: the realty business is tough to predict. Market examiners RealtyTrac have speculated that the Lincoln housing market has reached its peak already. It may be too late to hop in the game. However, ask anyone who believes in the Silicon Prairie and to them, buying now would be similar to getting a place in San Francisco in 2002.

Wherever you fall on the spectrum, analyze the choice to enter the house flipping market in Lincoln carefully, and if you do decide to go, go all in: love getting your hands dirty, attack every challenge, and value every lesson: embrace what Hollywood doesn’t show you.

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