Crew members of the Orlando based reality show “Zombie House Flipping” are having tough times these days, certainly tougher times than they had a couple of years ago. Between 2010-2016, Orlando, Florida led the nation in foreclosure activity. Today, with a severe inventory shortage of abandoned foreclosures, Zombie’s crew can barely find a distressed house to buy, renovate and flip that makes sense.
Summer, 2016 was height of the Orlando flipping market. 1,041 houses resold within a six month time period of prior sale, according to Attom Data Solutions. Today, that number is down to 837.
Pilgrim Media Group, producers of “Zombie House Flipping,” say that renovations on distressed home are “…riskier, take longer and are more costly.” Additionally, “homes this season were in far worse condition and required far more work.”
Flippers sold homes for $55,000. more than what they paid just six months ago but today’s rising home prices, labor costs and material costs have cut into those profits. Instead of getting a return on investment of 59% in Q1, 2010, an ROI of 49% is the norm in Q1, 2017. Zombie cast member Peter Duke said that costs have increased so much that “…he could make as much as he used to make as a flipper by simply fronting loans to other flippers and collecting the interest on those loans.” Duke continued. “There are even ads on the radio now that say ‘Flip houses with someone else’s money.'”
Scott Wagoner, an Orlando agent, investor and flipper in Central Florida, said that flippers are having to choose distressed/abandoned houses further out from the Orlando area in order to have deals make sense. The future for flippers in Orlando? Wagoner said with a sigh, “At this point, I think you’re almost speculating.”
Zombie crew member Keith Ori agrees. “I found a house owned by a long deceased owner, a house with a ‘walking dead’ vib that was essentially falling down. The asking price for that house? A whopping $290,000., the midpoint price of a May, 2017 sale. Two years ago, that house would have sold for one half of that $290,000. listing price. And, just to emphasize what’s going on now, that house had a pending offer.”