Back in 2012, house flipping seemed like the perfect opportunity for a person with extra cash and an eye for remodeling. The market was flush with homes left vacant from waves of foreclosures prompted by the housing bubble that burst a few years earlier. You could buy a home from a bank, make any necessary repairs, install hardwood floors and splash on a fresh coat of paint and then sell it at the top of the market.

Nowadays, with a largely recovered economy, more and more potential flippers have that extra cash in hand. And they’ve been studying TV shows like “Flip or Flop” on HGTV and “Zombie House Flipping” on A&E;, just waiting to find the right bargain to start their flipping career.

But with the housing market back to pre-recession levels, the number of homes coming on the market each month is low. Bidding wars are beginning the day a property is listed, driving home prices above asking in many cases. Buyers willing to pay more to occupy the home they purchase are having a tough time finding affordable real estate, which means it’s even tougher for investors looking for houses at a rock-bottom price.