Bloomberg Businessweek

The HGTV Generation Gets Flipped

Rookie real estate investors and rehabbers get their first taste of a downturn

Sean Pan wanted to be rich, and his day job as an aeronautical engineer wasn’t cutting it. So at 27 he started a side gig flipping houses in the booming San Francisco Bay Area. He was hooked after making $300,000 on his first deal. That was two years ago. Now home sales are plunging. One property in Sunnyvale, near Apple Inc.’s headquarters, left Pan and his partners with a $400,000 loss. “I ate it so hard,” he says.

A new crop of flippers, inspired by HGTV reality shows, real estate meetup groups, and get-rich gurus, piled into the market in recent years

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