mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

MadAnthony's new TV obsession...

This weekend, while I was on the treadmill and making poorly thought attempts to fix stuff around the house, I found my latest TV show obsession - Flip This House (and Property Ladder) on TLC. They are the shows of the housing boom - shows that profile people who buy properties, fix them up, and sell them - sometimes for a profit.

It's kind of funny that I've found it just as the real estate market seems to be slowing, but it's interesting. Of course, as much as MadAnthony would love to flip real estate, there are two things that make it unlikely that it will ever happen - the fact that MadAnthony is pretty much broke, and the fact that he has trouble getting doing anything that involves tools without hurting himself and causing property damage. But I do like to buy stuff and sell it at a profit, and watching this is the logical extension.

It's too bad I don't have the money to buy an investment property - I have reason to believe that rental property in a certain area is likelty to become a great value based on a piece of less-than-public information, but I lack the funds to do anything about it.

But one interesting thing about Flip This House is seeing what houses are worth in other places. It really puts into perspective what people say about the Baltimore housing market being overvalued. Sure, prices are way higher than they were a couple years ago, but they are still way lower than homes in other parts of the country. One of the shows I watched involved a guy who bought a 1400 square foot house in California - a couple hundred square feet bigger than MadAnthony's townhouse - for $495,000 - well over twice what MadAnthony paid for his. But the flip this house house was gutted to the beams - everything inside was ripped out. Sure, this house had a yard, but MadAnthony's house has walls and appliances. And the guy who sold it was able to make a sizable profit, even after dumping $50,000 into it.

Then again, it works both ways - the one I'm watching off my RePlayTV DVR right now was in San Antonio, TX. They paid $225,000 for their house, which needed some cosmetic improvments but was quite livable, and was on 3 acres. That amount in Baltimore will buy you a townhouse slightly nicer than MadAnthony's, but not by much.

So I guess the moral of all this is that the old realtor's adage is right - there are three things that are important in determining the value of a piece of property - location, location, location. The question becomes trying to figure out if a location will remain popular and increase in value.


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