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House flippers criticised after selling $260,000 home for more than $1.2m: ‘Greedy and delusional’

Renovated home’s million-dollar markup sparked a debate about house flipping

Meredith Clark
New York
Saturday 22 July 2023 13:32 BST
Drew Barrymore cries while renovating her home after finding hidden window

A New York home that originally sold for $260,000 has sparked outrage online after house flippers listed the newly-renovated property for more than $1.2m.

This week, TikTok user @baviddoughy shared a video of a Zillow listing for a single-family home in Beacon, New York – just 55 miles north of Manhattan. In the clip, he explained that the original Cape Cod-style home was sold in June 2020 for $260,000.

Now the home has hit the market again, only this time for a whopping amount.

“Welcome to a game called, ‘Guess how much it is now,’” said @baviddoughy in the clip. “This goes out to all the greedy, delusional house flippers and corporations in my area who are buying houses like this and doing too much.”

The original, 83-year-old residence initially had two bedrooms and two bathrooms. After it was purchased in 2020, the so-called house flipper “gutted” the residence and turned it into a “contemporary take” on the classic 1940s Cape Cod.

In comparison, the TikToker made a point to show the other, much smaller homes in the neighbourhood. For example, the house next door to the completely renovated property sold for just $377,000 in December 2020.

Now, the flipped home has three bedrooms and three bathrooms, with a finished basement and an outdoor patio in the backyard. “As you can see, whoever or whatever bought it gutted it completely and started over,” he said, while claiming that the interior was “giving midlife crisis, recently divorced”.

“Here’s the fun part,” the TikToker added. “It’s on the market again, after all of these renovations, and I want you to guess how much they put it on the market for.”

After much hesitation, he revealed the shocking price jump: “The answer is $1.25m.”

The video instantly went viral on TikTok, where it received more than six million views in less than a week. However, the listing’s million-dollar markup sparked significant conversation about house flipping and the affordability of the real estate market.

“My jaw dropped,” commented one TikToker.

“Wow. I felt silly guessing double the original price,” another said.

“And the crazy thing is it was only three years ago,” one user wrote, while another person replied: “Crazier is that we thought the market back then was bad…it’s just getting worse and worse.”

Meanwhile on Twitter, one person shared: “This is literally my hometown and why I can’t afford to buy anything there.”

“My heart breaks for your generation,” another TikToker said. “Home ownership and sometimes a decent rental are out of the question. It’s BS!”

According to the National Association of Realtors, the median home price in the US has risen to $413,800 – the second-highest price it’s ever been. Rental prices have also risen 26 per cent since February 2020.

Not only are homes more expensive, but rising mortgage rates have also created an unaffordable housing market. The rate on a 30-year mortgage averaged around 6.78 per cent as of 20 July, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac. Two years ago it was close to 2.78 per cent.

As a result, increasing mortgage rates are leaving buyers with very few options: pay hundreds of dollars more for a mortgage, buy a smaller home and choose to live in a less desirable neighbourhood, or drop out of the market until rates come down.

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