get massive appreciation from your real estate, then it’s a risky time to buy,” he said. “From the standpoint of holding long-term it’s still a great time to buy.” Garcia sees south Florida as one of the riskiest mar- kets in the country to flip properties. “If you bought five years ago, the market would work in your favor. But not today. It’s a combination of buyers not being able to get financing and inventory staying around longer,” he noted. “Most of the investors we see in sin- gle-family, other than the big hedge funds, are mom and pops buying turnkey stuff and you don’t see much of that in south Florida.” While flipping properties may not be the right strategy in the southern part of the state, in central Florida, Billy Ross is busy flipping and wholesaling properties in the greater Orlando metro area. “There are lots of fix-and-flips, lots of rehabs in the five-county area including Lake, Seminole, Osceola, Volusia, and Orange counties,” said Ross, president of Sell That Florida House. “We like to be in and out. A quick rehab and appeal to the broadest buyers possible. We like to have it under contract in 14 days after completion at pretty close to list price.” At the moment, Ross and his firm are doing 10-12 deals a month. So his construction crews are always working, going to the next project right after completing

their current rehab. “If you coordinate the contractors tight on a good schedule, there’s no reason to have a cookie cutter rehab go more than 40-45 days. Sixty days is pushing it. Our average rehab is $30,000-$35,000,” Ross said. Ross buys below market and prefers to stay below the area’s median price point which ATTOM reported at $225,000 in 2018. Staying in that price range, he does not see any risk to his business model. If Ross sees any risk at all in his market, it’s in owning rentals. He does not believe now is the time to be buying a lot of rental properties in his market. “The market is correcting, not really crashing,” he said. Compared to other parts of the state, Obadiah Dorsey sees his market in the north – specifically Jacksonville – to be much more of a blue collar part of the state. “It’s a different animal in that respect. Much more afford- able and not quite the same product,” said Dorsey, co-found- er and CEO of Freedom Home Buyers. “We’re getting a fair amount of investors coming in and buying. It’s a uniform product that cash flows without breaking the bank.” Doing roughly 20 deals a year, Dorsey describes his business model as a wholesaler who cherry picks about 10 percent of his properties to fix and flip and another 10 percent to buy and hold as rentals. “We spend a lot of time and energy going into the

76 | think realty housing news report :: june / july 2019

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