House flipping shows have been airing for as long as anyone can remember and have gained popularity over the years. These shows appeal to everyone, from new homebuyers looking for some inspiration for themselves to those looking into real estate investing, to people just randomly tuning in while flipping through channels.
Along with the other opportunities the real estate industry provides, house flipping entails the process of purchasing a home, renovating it, and reselling it. The "flip" is the turnaround time from the initial purchase of the home to selling it at the closing table.
With such easy access to the variety of house flipping shows available today, it is important to acknowledge that each will give you a different perspective of the house flipping process. This article will dive into the Flip This House series and how to venture into real estate investing if you wish to explore it further!
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Since house flipping is a well known term in the real estate business, it is pretty clear what Flip This House entails. Created by Richard C. Davis and Charles Nordlander, the series follows real estate investors who purchase, renovate and resell the homes in hopes of making a profit.
To provide you with a little more perspective, house flipping is an investment opportunity in real estate that involves a real estate investor purchasing a home with the intention of quickly selling it for a profit. The flip is considered the quick turnaround time from when the home was purchased to when it is resold.
Whether you have watched other house flipping series or this is your first, you may recognize the stress that may come about this entire process. Why is that? Well, since the house flipping process could range anywhere between a couple of months to a year, there is a lot of pressure to renovate these homes. Getting the homes into the best livable conditions is the top priority in hopes of gaining a big profit after the resell.
Read Also: How To Flip A House - The (ULTIMATE) Guide
As the series does follow various real estate investors, they are based in different teams depending on location and have changed from one season to the next. Let’s get to know the different Flip This House teams and the individuals who do it all!
Charleston Team - Featured in season 1
San Antonio Team - Featured in seasons 2, 3, 4 & 5
Although they may seem like your typical family with their successful ventures, the family later on faced legal issues when Armando decided to sue David and Melina for “having a business model - complete with websites and a three-day bus tour - that he says looks too much like his own and is likely to be confused with it”. In terms of the show, this public split between the brothers caused David and Melina to leave after two seasons.
Despite the internal family issues going on with the Montelongo’s, the team managed to complete many flips and were widely acknowledged by viewers even after the series.
Atlanta Team - Featured in seasons 2, 3, 4,& 5
The team also included Lamont Martin and Angela Wilford, however the cast changed in the third season after Sam Leccima was caught in a scandal claiming his work was staged and fraudulent. A&E denied any knowledge of Leccima’s activities within the series and called for a recast of the Atlanta team in the following seasons. The episodes starring Sam are no longer aired.
The Atlanta team in the following seasons included Angela and Harris Wilford, Scott Tremmel, Danille Anderson, Peter Pasternack and Brian Trow.
New Haven Team - Featured in seasons 3, 4, & 5
Los Angeles Team - Featured in seasons 4 & 5
That cast list was a little longer than usual but it is important to know who you will be gaining information from when you watch these shows. Having background knowledge of their previous work is a great way to see their progress through their real estate journey.
The misconception many, if not all, reality TV shows face is that they are scripted or fake. Well, in this series it may be a little more true than it should be, especially compared to other shows.
There have been some agents featured in the show that have faced complaints, and even lawsuits, for some fraudulent practices in their house flipping practices. However, A&E have released statements claiming they have had no knowledge of these acts and have recast them in the series. Two of the most controversial and known incidents are that of Sam Leccima and Armando Montelongo.
Flip This House Atlanta businessman Sam Leccima was accused of faking home renovations
In 2007, Sam Leccima was investigated for staging fraudulent house sales and renovations. An investigation by Dale Russell on Fox 5 revealed that all of the episodes featuring Leccima was staged.
According to Dale Russell, they "found Sam Leccima didn't even own the homes he was renovating and lied about selling the houses and making big money".
It was also stated that Leccima's real estate license was revoked by the state of Georgia even before he filmed his first episode with A&E. The network denied any knowledge of Leccima's accusations and quickly removed him from the series which led to a recast of the season. The episodes featuring Sam has been taken off the air due to these accusations and investigations.
Armando Montelongo was sued by students of his seminar classes for giving worthless advice
According to Forbes, Montelongo’s secret formula is to “Go deeply into debt to buy distressed properties, fix them up minimally and sell them quickly. ‘People throw money at me to become multimillionaires’”. Although since the release of this article in 2013, when asked to provide successful seminar alums, Montelongo states two in which neither have made millions.
His formula is simple: First, expose people to his system through a 90-minute free seminar. Then funnel them into a second (cost: $1,497 per couple) and, finally, a third: a three-day extravaganza like the one I attended that runs $40,000 for two.
His formula has allowed him to teach the ways in which many could be successful in a house flip, all in which he displays in the series. With his own advice from his seminars, he was found to be the one person who has made millions.
Each attendee must sign a contract that absolves Montelongo and his staff of liability for any financial, investment, legal, accounting, or other professional services. Due to this, it may be hard to tell if other alumni are experiencing the same issues but are limited to any action.
Here's a quick video explaining lawsuits Montelongo has faced:
As of 2018, there have been more complaints against Montelongo and his tactics which has caused more damage to his name. With these issues, it is hard to tell whether or not people have turned up as successful as Montelongo has made it seem. Despite the dubious outcome of others through his business practice, he still has earned millions of dollars through it all.
With these scandalous events surrounding certain cast members from the series, many may be skeptical when it comes to the authenticity and credibility of the show. However, it has been claimed by the network that there was no knowledge of these fraudulent occurrences in the episodes so it can be assumed that the series is free from any of these issues and that any of the issues is to be separated from the show.
Since the series does follow different teams determined by their location, there is not one specific location the series is filmed in. The various teams are based in the United States, featuring locations such as:
Although it may seem chaotic to be filming in different locations for one episode, it is beneficial for the audience to be able to see how the different teams take on the house flipping process. They get to see what the different housing markets are like, how much the renovations may be, the price differences between the homes, the profit after resale, and generally more exposure to the diversity and what each community holds.
Location is one of the most important factors to consider in real estate as it offers its own list of pros and cons when it comes to the home selling market. Weather and the environment of the state alone can play a big factor in what the house may need and how much it may cost. Flip This House is a good source to get to know the differences between locations and how it is handled, especially if you are considering moving out of state.
Flip This House aired its first season in July of 2005. Through legal issues and cast changes, the series made it through five successful seasons in the span of four years. The series then aired its last episode in August of 2009.
There have been no plans in rebooting the series, however, there are many other house flipping shows that are on air today.
With so many reality shows on air today, the authenticity of them is not rare to question. Some of them could be as real as it gets or some can use the reality aspect just to capture and intrigue audiences. What is the reality behind these shows?
In regards to house flipping shows, many are considered to be real in terms of the house flipping process itself. Many, if not all, follow genuine real estate agents and investors and their ventures throughout house flipping.
On the flip side of things, other aspects could be hindered or over exaggerated. Many series, such as Flip or Flop, have admitted that drama in the show is enhanced a little bit to add more intensity to the show to captivate the audiences at home.
Information on the processes could also be a part of the show that isn't as authentic as they make it out to seem. They may be open to showing the real deal of house flipping but may glorify the hardships they encounter on the way.
It is important to know that you should always keep an open mind when watching reality shows. You can gain inspiration from it all, but you should acknowledge that the process may not be exactly as shown.
Although Flip This House is an older series and hasn’t aired a new season in over a decade, it can still be found on different streaming devices and tv channels.
You can find episodes of Flip This House on the A&E channel and website, Hulu, SlingTV, fuboTV, and Philo. Compared to others, the options regarding where to watch it is severely limited.
Since Flip This House was such a fan favorite, it is no surprise if the audience continued on with watching other series. With more ways to get caught up on shows today, it is easier for people to get caught down the rabbit hole and binge all these popular series!
With various shows, you are able to gain insight into everyone's house flipping process and find what you may or may not like about it. This will allow you to decide whether you want to take on your own projects and how you want to go about it.
Getting really invested in these real estate shows? Thinking you’re ready to invest more than just your time watching these shows? Well, you may want to take a step back for a minute.
As much as these series show you what real estate investing looks like, there may be more of what they’re NOT showing you. It is important to note that these real estate shows may be glorifying the entire process, not showing you what really goes on behind the scenes.
With the lack of REAL knowledge that is provided by these TV series, it is not a good idea to fully depend on them to get you into real estate. You can definitely use it as inspiration to get started, but you should know that there is way more to it that they are not exposing.
Did the show inspire you enough to get started on your own house flipping project? Well, let's get into the basics on how to flip a house and get you started!
Now that you have gained a little more insight on what you need to have in order to flip a house, you may also have more confidence in taking it on yourself. Nonetheless, it is up to you to consider when you are most capable and comfortable taking on your own fix and flip projects.
Read Also: How To Choose The Best General Contractor?
As we have learned, these shows may provide you with inspiration to take on your own house flipping projects. So let's discuss how to become a real estate investor if you like Flip This House:
As overwhelming as it may seem at first, the outcome will be worth it. Getting started as soon as you can will ultimately help you get towards your goals in no time. All you need is your inspiration and determination to get you through it all!
At first glance, the series may have brought up some problematic events more than others. However, the network worked around those problems as they put the credibility and audience's thoughts as their top priority.
Flip This House, along with other top-rating series, provides you with great insight into what the house flipping process entails. It also differentiates itself by featuring various locations and teams to see how the work environment is when those factors are considered.
With the knowledge and entertainment you get from watching the show, hopefully, you are inspired to start investing in real estate yourself!
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