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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

From flipping burgers to flipping houses

Here's a guy in Newton, Massachusetts who's quitting his successful restaurant business to concentrate on buying up foreclosed houses full time. Though the food biz is still good, Fran Yerardi is shuttering Yerardi's Restaurant after 16 years because he's making more money from his real-estate franchise.

Yerardi sounds like a natural-born real-estate maven and entrepreneur. As he told a reporter for Wicked Local, a network of 158 local websites that cover New England:

About four years after Yerardi’s opened, Fran began buying up nearby houses as they came on the market.

“Any neighbor that would complain about the noise, I’d buy up their house,” he joked.

In May 2006, Yerardi opened the first New England franchise of HomeVestors, a real estate firm that specialized in flipping unappealing or foreclosed homes for a profit. According to their bright yellow billboards, the company gladly buys “ugly houses.”

As more and more homes head to the auction block, Yerardi has found that his real estate business was hotter than his restaurant business.

“We got to the point where the restaurant wasn’t our main source of income,” he said. “We still loved it, we still kept it, but we weren’t killing ourselves over it.”

We've seen the "We buy ugly homes" signs but don't know anything about Homevestors. If you've had any experience with them, let us know.

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