In the 1990s, Flippers were stock jockeys who finagled their way into initial public offerings, only to flip them days or hours later for big profits.
These days the go-go market is homes, not stocks. In hot spots like Las Vegas and Florida, real estate flippers have discovered that a modest down payment and a little patience can net them tens (even hundreds) of thousands of dollars in profits, sometimes tax-free.
The most aggressive of them figure that some combo of paint, new flooring and kitchen upgrades can turn the dumpy house they bought for $300,000 in February into a $400,000 property they can unload in July. And in the most sizzling markets, they're absolutely right.
~ Money, "They call them flippers," March 14, 2005, by Jon Birger