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How or when did " flipping homes " enter our vernacular ?
Is it an " east coast " thing ?

NY Times July 30 -

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It is definitely not an east coast thing. I happens all over the country. The first I ever heard the term was watching shows of people flipping houses in the LA area.

The practice actually goes a lot further back though. I went to school with a girl whose family would buy a house and take 3-5 years remodeling it, sell it at a profit, and do it all over again. Before she graduated they had paid cash for a house they built to their specifications. They had planned on living there forever but medical issues made it difficult to keep up the yard. They sold that house at a huge profit and moved into a community that yard maintenance is included in the HOA.

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No

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Haha I heard that in the radio today and I was wondering the same thing.

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I think it's a hgtv thing. It means to turn around a dump into a nice home.

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