By Paul Owers
(MCT)—Lex Levinrad is getting phone calls. More than he can handle. His Deerfield Beach, Fla.-based Distressed Real Estate Institute is flooded with requests these days from regular people — teachers, plumbers, paint salesmen — who want to invest in South Florida real estate now that home prices are rising.
Many who attend his monthly seminars around the area are learning the art of “flipping” — buying properties at deep discount, fixing them up and reselling within a few months to traditional buyers.
Levinrad, 46, a South African native who says he’s bought and sold more than 500 homes, shows aspiring investors how to do the math and where to find the deals.
He also counsels them to be careful, to avoid the mistakes that led to the housing crash. He said investors often pay too much for homes and underestimate the cost of repairs.
“They become emotionally attached to the house, get greedy and stubborn and won’t sell unless they make a certain profit,” he says. “That’s how they get stuck.”