‘Flip Men’ Stars Talk Reality of Fixing Up Foreclosures

Salt Lake City-based real estate investors Mike Baird and Doug Clark make their money in this topsy-turvy housing market by flipping foreclosers.

They’re so successful at it — the duo says they have sold 1,000 flipped homes and counting — that they have their own reality TV series, “Flip Men,” which debuted on Spike TV in October. In their area, Clark said there are a lot of houses to choose from.

“On a big day, in one county of Salt Lake, we could see maybe a hundred to two hundred homes in one day,” he said.

Their business is not for the faint of heart. They buy these foreclosures at auction, which means they have to put down their money up front before they can even step inside. Sometimes what they discover can be disgusting, such as meth-soaked walls or even feces.

“The biggest risk for us is, we don’t know what we’re buying. We don’t know if it’s lived in,” Clark said. “We don’t know what’s wrong with it, don’t know what’s right with it.”

One home Clark and Baird bought in a Salt Lake suburb looked nice on the outside. They paid $190,000, expected to put about $35,000 into it and sell it for $240,000 – a quick profit of $15,000. That was the plan, until they walked down to the basement and discovered walls covered with mold and mushrooms growing out of a very damp carpet. They attacked the basement, ripping up carpet and tearing down walls, while wearing Hazmat suits.

“As far as our ability to judge a house, what we think we can put into it, we’re good guessers,” Clark said. “What we think it’s going to sell for, we’re good guessers. We’re very good at that and the fact is most of the houses that are on the market are under contract within the first few days or the first week.”

So what is the most expensive house these flip men have ever bought? A $1.6 million home, but Baird said they hope to sell it for $2.5 to $3 million after they’re done with it.

“The money is made in the purchase,” Clark said. “So many people think it’s the sale or think it’s their magical rehab weekend where they’re going to fix this house, that’s going to be so great. No. You make money in the purchase. The right house at the right price. You do that, almost everything can go wrong and you’ll be OK.”

Watch the video below to get “Flip Men” stars Mike Baird and Doug Clark’s tips for flipping a home and common mistakes people make when they try to sell.