The 14 best places to flip a house

Numbers show higher flipping profit on East Coast

For people who like a serious project, house flipping can be quite the money maker.

In some parts of the country, flippers see hefty profits from their investments, selling their properties for well over 30 percent more than they paid for it, according to new data from real estate company RealtyTrac.

The best counties for flipping are concentrated along the East Coast, but it’s a popular practice across the country. If you’re interested in snagging an inexpensive home and selling it for significantly more than you paid for it, RealtyTrac came up with a list of counties with the best opportunities.

Where to cash in

In order to be considered a good place to flip, the county had to have at least 100 single-family homes flipped between April 2013 and March 2014, the flips had to have at least a 30-percent return on investment, unemployment had to be below the national average of 6.7 percent in March and have an increase in foreclosure activity in the first quarter of 2014, compared to the same time a year ago.

A higher foreclosure inventory increases investors’ opportunities to flip.

14. Middlesex County, N.J.

Average purchase price of flips: $200,015

Average sale price of flips: $264,742

Average ROI: 32.36%

 

13. Nassau County, N.Y.

Average purchase price of flips: $316,060

Average sale price of flips: $422,858

Average ROI: 33.79%

 

12. Monroe County, Fla.

Average purchase price of flips: $311,701

Average sale price of flips: $429,564

Average ROI: 37.81%

 

11. Berks County, Pa.

Average purchase price of flips: $117,846

Average sale price of flips: $162,774

Average ROI: 38.12%

 

10. Montgomery County, Md.

Average purchase price of flips: $347,682

Average sale price of flips: $482,969

Average ROI: 38.91%

 

9. Bergen County, N.J.

Average purchase price of flips: $320,010

Average sale price of flips: $450,492

Average ROI: 40.77%

 

8. Wright County, Minn.

Average purchase price of flips: $105,058

Average sale price of flips: $152,563

Average ROI: 45.22%

 

7. Anne Arundel County, Md.

Average purchase price of flips: $197,355

Average sale price of flips: $291,243

Average ROI: 47.57%

 

6. Saint Marys County, Md.

Average purchase price of flips: $180,411

Average sale price of flips: $268,254

Average ROI: 48.69%

 

5. New Castle County, Del.

Average purchase price of flips: $127,795

Average sale price of flips: $195,246

Average ROI: 52.78%

 

4. Campbell County, Ky.

Average purchase price of flips: $75,253

Average sale price of flips: $127,848

Average ROI: 69.89%

 

3. Baltimore County, Md.

Average purchase price of flips: $131,186

Average sale price of flips: $224,089

Average ROI: 70.82%

 

2. York County, Pa.

Average purchase price of flips: $88,063

Average sale price of flips: $151,871

Average ROI: 72.46%

 

1. Prince George’s County, Md.

Average purchase price of flips: $125,011

Average sale price of flips: $229,275

Average ROI: 83.4%

There are plenty of counties with a higher average ROI on flips than some of the ones listed above, but those locations generally had a sharp decline in foreclosure inventory from 2013 to 2014, so there’s less of an opportunity to make a profitable investment.

Whether you’re flipping or house shopping in a traditional sense, you need to have a good understanding of buying a home and how to get a good price on it (here are some negotiation tips).

You also need to know your credit history, because mortgage lenders look at it carefully when considering you for a home loan. It’s much easier to improve your credit (and become a more attractive borrower) once you understand what you’re dealing with, so take a look at your credit reports and credit scores. 

More on mortgages and homebuying:

Why you should check your credit before buying a home 

How to find and choose a mortgage lender 

How to get a loan fully approved