A Booming Real Estate Market

1059 Words5 Pages
In a booming real-estate market, making money investing in homes is easy. Buy a house, slap on a new coat of paint or replace the carpeting and ride the appreciation train to a quick, profitable resale a few months later. When prices decline — as they have in the Puget Sound area over the past two years — the scenario changes. Most home investors disappear, as the risk is too high that property won 't be worth more in a few months. The few who remain have experience and investment partners or other funding sources to avoid the loan process. They also know how to fix up homes fast and cheap, to keep expenses low. "It 's a definite science," says longtime Bellevue investor Will Heaton, who 's partnered with other investors to buy 15 homes this year. "If you don 't know what you 're doing, you could lose money." In hot markets, home investors are often derided as speculating "home flippers," and criticized for driving up prices. But with prices down, investors say they 've been welcomed, particularly in neighborhoods where foreclosed homes sit empty. Most local real-estate investors are still on the sidelines, waiting to see prices trend upward again, says Katherine Swanberg, president of the investor group Real Estate Association of Puget Sound (REAPS). "We think 2010 will be the turning point," she says. Until then, investors braving the current housing market say that if you 're patient and buy right, there is still money to be made buying and reselling homes. Here
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