Menu Close

IRA Financial Group Blog

COVID-19 and House Flipping

COVID-19 and Flipping Houses
3 Minute Read

Many people have been in the house since March, giving them plenty of time to realize their home’s faults.

Key Points
  • Mortgage Rates are near historic lows
  • House flipping can be profitable
  • People are tired of being in small apartments

People Have Been Stuck In Their Homes

With the advent of COVID-19 people have been sheltering in their homes for months, whether they live in apartments, RVs, single family homes or mansions. And that’s plenty of time for people to decide that the apartment they live in is too small, too tiny, too cramped, or conversely, too big, and wasting space.

Being inside for so long it has occurred to many that they might be able to do their jobs, schooling and working from home, even long term, and there are many companies that agree. More than meaning just that they can work from home, if they can work remotely permanently or mostly, they may be able to relocate elsewhere.

Apartments vs. Homes

Owning a home instead of renting an apartment has long been the American Dream, somewhat out of reach while wage stagnation has been such a large factor in the economy. Many have settled for living in tiny apartments they could afford rather than taking on home ownership and debt they felt they didn’t need.

But now, if remote work is possible from almost literally anywhere, there’s no pressing need to stay in an apartment in New York City with three roommates. If home ownership is still out of reach, it can yet be approximated by renting a home instead of an apartment. Renting a house can give you the backyard and the driveway, and even a lawn or garden, outside the city, sometimes close enough to commute, but without that being a necessity, it widens the area of rental home search.

Real Estate Markets

Many markets are currently loaded with people looking to rent homes instead of apartments. “Like new” houses are ripe for renting out once house flipping is complete. Flipping houses involves buying a property at a discounted price due to neglect or disuse, improving it, and then immediately selling it for a profit.

The speed of renovations may have slowed due to COVID-19 but COVID-19 and house flipping are inextricably linked. If your state has loosened lockdowns, it can be a great time to look for and flip houses in markets where city apartment dwellers can find homes with more space.

In New York City, it’s not unusual for someone to move in with their spouse in a studio or one bedroom and then start their family in that small space. Working in the city, with long hours and a potentially long commute, many instead try to live as close as possible to their office since so much time is spent there. If long hours at the office can actually be established and experienced at home, as the COVID-19 crisis has proven, there no longer need be a whole family in a tiny space.

Limited Inventory

With limited inventory available to rent, house flippers can bring existing homes that they’ve updated to market. Mortgage rates are at near historically-low numbers. New construction is at a stand still. With COVID-19 uncertainties, many are choosing not to list existing homes at this time.

Renters and buyers are still looking at houses, though they’re looking at them online. Some online realtor companies are also getting into the house flipping game. When staging houses for sale or rent, it’s important to make sure there are plenty of high quality, 3D pictures with excellent lighting. While not everyone is comfortable making decisions based only on online information, it will likely be the first thing potential renters and buyers do.


These days, investors are buying more than one out of every ten homes in the United States. One example is Cleveland, where the median in metro Cleveland is under $170,000. Rental properties are more popular than ever , with investors bringing in rents to pay for their investments.

As restrictions ease and states open back up, the demand to work remotely and nicer places to do it from will likely only grow.The real estate market may get hotter in areas normally used to sales, but as rental hubs, as investors buy and flip homes. Using a Self-Directed IRA or Solo 401(k) can maximize your assets and your options.

Related Articles