Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Christina and Tarek El Moussa of 'Flip or Flop' | Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Christina and Tarek El Moussa of Flip or Flop | Scripps Networks Interactive

Tarek and Christina make it look so easy. Buy a fixer-upper in a desirable neighborhood, do some quick renovations, and watch the money roll in. But house flipping is rarely as straightforward as it looks on shows like HGTV’s Flip or Flop.

Flip or Flop, First Time Flippers, and similar programs make it seem like anyone can renovate a home for profit, which could be one reason why home flipping is at a six-year high, according to data from RealtyTrac. Those five-figure earnings (house flippers made an average of $62,000 per sale in the second quarter of 2016) combined with a growing number of sellers listing fixer-uppers for sale, can make flipping seem like a smart move.

Earning money as a flipper isn’t a piece of cake, though. Not only do you need to buy the right property and come up with the money to pay for the rehab (and the inevitable unexpected expenses), but you also need to taking into account holding costs like property taxes and selling costs like commissions and title and escrow fees, Marty Boardman, a real estate flipper, told the Arizona Republic. All those costs eat into your imagined profit.

“The most common mistake is assuming that flipping a house will be easy and fast,” Phillip Seagraves, an assistant professor of real estate at Middle Tennessee State University, told WalletHub. “Complications often arise, repairs take longer, buyers disappear, permits are delayed, and partners disagree. A project that seems like a no-brainer can quickly turn into a big, costly headache.”

The wild world of realestate flipping isn’t for the faint of heart. But if you’re going to try your hand at turning a dilapidated home into a million-dollar listing, you may have better luck in some cities than others. WalletHub analyzed 19 key metrics including purchase price, remodeling costs, and quality of life in 150 cities to find out which were most amenable to home flipping.

Would-be house flippers should head to the Midwest or Texas, where six of the 10 best house-flipping markets reside. The worst places for hopeful flippers are on the East and West Coasts. Six of the 10 worst cities for house flipping reside in California, and the other four are in New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey. Here are the 10 best cities for house flippers, according to WalletHub.

Median home listing price data from Zillow.

10. Laredo, Texas

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Street scene in Laredo, Texas | Visit Laredo via Facebook

  • Total score: 65.23
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 58
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 44
  • Quality of life rank: 46
  • Median home value: $119,500

9. Boise, Idaho

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Capital City Public Market, Downtown, Boise | Visit Idaho via Facebook

  • Total score: 65.59
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 80
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 11
  • Quality of life rank: 29
  • Median home value: $201,500

8. New Orleans, Louisiana

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

A home being renovated in New Orleans | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

  • Total score: 66.58
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 1
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 37
  • Quality of life rank: 101
  • Median home value: Not available

7. Tampa, Florida

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Tampa, Fla. | iStock.com

  • Total score: 67.82
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 7
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 18
  • Quality of life rank: 62
  • Median listing price: $263,000

6. Lubbock, Texas

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

A painting of Buddy Holly in downtown Lubbock, Texas | Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

  • Total score: 67.88
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 19
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 34
  • Quality of life rank: 39
  • Median listing price: $183,150

5. Lincoln, Nebraska

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Nebraska State Capitol | Nebraska Tourism

  • Total score: 68.17
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 18
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 38
  • Quality of life rank: 22
  • Median listing price: $176,950

4. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Downtown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

  • Total score: 69
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 10
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 13
  • Quality of life rank: 58
  • Median listing price: $179,990

3. El Paso, Texas

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

El Paso, Texas | iStock.com

  • Total score: 69.16
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 117
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 10
  • Quality of life rank: 43
  • Median listing price: $154,000

2. Fort Wayne, Indiana

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Fall in Fort Wayne, Indiana | Visit Fort Wayne via Facebook

  • Total score: 69.37
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 90
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 14
  • Quality of life rank: 47
  • Median listing price: $115,900

1. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Flip or Flop? 10 Best Cities for House Flippers

Trolley in Sioux Falls, S.D. | Visit Sioux Falls, South Dakota via Facebook

  • Total score: 73.38
  • House-flipping market potential rank: 66
  • Renovation and remodeling costs rank: 8
  • Quality of life rank: 8
  • Median listing price: $214,900

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