Experts: House flipping is back, but better than before

House flipping is back to nearly the same level as 2006, but a new report from CoreLogic Inc. indicates it's not as risky and wild as it was back then.

"Today's flippers are different than 2006 and prior," says Britton Briscoe of Homevestors, the 'we buy ugly houses people.'

Briscoe says his company is flipping about 50 houses a month in the Bay Area. Other larger companies are also flipping, more professionals than in 2006 when the Wallstreet Journal says, "cocktail waitresses and cab drivers" lined up to purchase properties to flip.

"It was insane," says Ed Thornburg, Jr. of Bay Living Inc., who started flipping homes in 1983. "A dog could get financing [in 2006]. Now they're more careful who they're loaning money to."

Thornburg says outcomes are better now, too.

"I think houses are being fixed up now, where before it didn't matter. You put it on the market, they're buying it, then two minutes later they're selling it. There was a lot of fraud going on with appraisals," says Thornburg.

Some say house flipping drives home prices up, especially for starter homes, but Briscoe says value is being added and appreciation in home values is not increasing as rampantly as in 2006.

"We aren't seeing artificial prices that are inflated," he says.

Briscoe says many flippers who rolled the dice 13 years ago are gone, leaving house flipping to bigger, better players.