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Continued: Twin Cities' Turkey Guys become HGTV renovation guys

  • Article by: CELIA AMPEL , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 24, 2013 - 9:22 PM

“Does that scare us? No,” Levin said.

While many luxury apartment buildings charge rent that amounts to $2 per square foot, Levin and Perkins try to stay a little above $1 per square foot. Plus, their properties often have a back yard and patio, Levin said.

The idea of buying distressed or foreclosed housing and renting it out gained popularity during the recession, said Mary Bujold, president of Maxfield Research Group, a Minneapolis housing research firm.

“What started that wave is when the recession hit, and there were a lot of foreclosed homes, people started buying up these foreclosed homes and doing what [Levin and Perkins] are doing, which is putting a little bit of money into them and renting them out,” Bujold said.

As people lost their homes and began to rent, the rental market got tighter, she said. But it may become harder to “renovate to rent” as housing prices increase.

“The foreclosure rates are starting to drop now, and the for-sale market is going up ... The ability to pick up homes at a reasonable price is likely going to decrease,” Bujold said.

She said it makes sense that 95 percent of Levin and Perkins’ properties are either in Uptown or near the U.

“Those are markets where people who are looking for rentals are always going to rent anyway,” Bujold said. “Students are not looking for a long-term commitment. If they can price them affordably, definitely, that will work.”

Levin and Perkins said they’ll continue to grow both of their businesses, expanding the menu at Turkey To Go and buying more homes. It’s been a blast watching the show as it airs on HGTV, Levin said.


Celia Ampel • 612-673-4642


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