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Philly’s House Flipping Increase + Presentation Strategies

During the “real estate boom” a few years ago, home flipping became a very desirable medium for investments. However, for one reason or another, this did not take off in & around Philadelphia, at the same rate as other urban areas. Prior to the aforementioned “boom,” Northeast Philly saw a very high volume of flips, “largely asian investors from New York City,” aiming to fix up & rent, as opposed to resale. Fast forward to 2013, investors are all over Philadelphia’s up & coming neighborhoods. Let’s explore the particular areas, price ranges & presentation strategies investors are currently utilizing.

1234 N. Mascher Street – Northern Liberties

Philly.com’s Alan J. Heavens highlighted up & coming Philly neighborhoods, such as Northern Liberties, Fishtown, Passyunk Square & Port Richmond, as the target areas for flipping. The “sweet spot” price-wise falls within the “$250,000 to $400,000 range” according to Re/Max broker Chris Somers. The property pictured above, 1234 N. Mascher Street, settled

at $412,000 this past May. Somers also adds that recent flips in Passyunk Square & Fishtown settled within 1 day. Northern Liberties, most notably, has received a significant spike in attention from investors since 2009, with the opening of The Piazza at Schimdt’s.

Seems attractive for investors, no? Well proceed carefully to those who seek involvement. Mark Wade [Prudential Fox & Roach] cites a low supply in Philly for “flipable” properties. He continues that “professionals are really taking over … when a parcel comes available, we are seeing the ‘cash, no contingency’ buyers come to the table,” meaning first-time investors may have difficulties competing [without secure cash financing].

Once an investor has secured their property to “flip,” how does one achieve the aforementioned 24 hour settlement? It’s all about presentation. The Tribune-Review’s Bob Karlovits writes “giving a home the curb appeal it needs to a winner … can be a task that easily costs thousands. But it can be much simpler, too.” Karlovits goes on to discuss several strategies agents & investors can utilize to increase curb appeal & cyber appeal for smoother & speedier settlements.

Recommended strategies include fresh paint, smoothly paved driveway & front steps, an attractive entrance, updated landscaping, clean gutters, and a good mailbox. Such attention to detail helps create a strong, but inexpensive, first impression that can immediately capture buyers in-person, or online. They express to a potential buyer that the house has been taken care of.

“A well-cared-for fron twill put everything in a good lens.” – Jeff Moeslein [President of Dormont Legacy Remodeling]

References:

House Flipping Comes To Philadelphia” [Alan J. Heavens, 7/30/13]

When Selling Home, First Impressions Last” [Bob Karlovits, 8/5/2013]

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