Finding Upside in Real Estate’s Downturn

By Ben Steverman - 2011-09-27T18:19:45Z

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Focus on Foreclosures

Rick Rogers Sr., who retired from an oil company in 2006, launched a second career last year buying and selling foreclosed homes. Since March 2010, Rogers, 54, has bought 10 houses in Houston, keeping four as rentals and, so far, selling three. Foreclosed homeowners often "destroy them on the inside because they felt like they'd been cheated by the lender," Rogers says. Usually about four months of renovation are required. "We go through it completely and we make it a nice home," he says, adding that he tries to sell each house for a 25 percent return. "We don't try to make a killing off each deal."

Photograph by Jin Lee/Bloomberg News