On HGTV or DIY Network, flipping a home seems like a pretty simple concept. You buy a cheap run down house, hire a few contractors to fix it up, and six weeks later you sell it for a huge profit. In reality, flipping a house is a time-consuming, expensive proposition that requires knowledge, talent and patience.
The real money in house flipping comes from sweat equity. If you’re handy with a hammer, enjoy laying carpet, can hang drywall, and install a kitchen sink, you have the skills to flip a house.
Nashville’s Troy Dean Shafer is one of those creative home flippers who renovates historic homes for a profit. His show “Nashville Flipped” premiered in April on DIY Network. I had the pleasure of meeting Shafer in East Nashville where he is working on a current flip.
Shafer purchased this beautiful 1920 Victorian for $180,000 and hopes to sell it for $320,000ish. According to Shafer, the owner of this home didn’t want to sell it to just anyone. She wanted to be assured that the home would be restored to its former glory rather than demolished. Shafer said it would have been easy to build two new homes on this lot (and make twice as much profit), but his love for older homes won’t allow this. “The energy of an older home is priceless,” says Shafer.
Shafer moved to Nashville to pursue music but soon realized he prefered renovating houses. He told me he bought his first flip in East Nashville in 2008 for $28,000. His renovation budget was $40,000. After several months, he sold the house and cleared about $10,000. Since then, he has renovated numerous homes in and around Nashville.
In one episode, Shafer renovates a home originally built in 1875. It’s probably my favorite flip.
Shafer learned about construction from his dad who was in the new construction business in Erie, Pennsylvania.
These days, Shafer is extremely busy. His show is a huge success and he sees every in and out of every project.
With Nashville being a hot market right now comes the concern for house flippers as rapid price growth may be making that initial buy too costly.
I had so much fun meeting with Troy and can’t wait for new episodes of “Nashville Flipped”.