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8 Tips For Success With Flipping Real Estate In Canada

Apr 2, 2008
Flipping real estate is essentially when you buy a property, and turn around and sell it within a very short period of time for a profit. Usually between the time you buy it and sell it, you put in sweat and money to make the property better than before. Not always though. In an area where prices are rising quickly, opportunistic investors may grab a property and just turn around and sell it without doing anything but a bit of marketing.

For the sake of this article, I'm offering some tips for finding the property with potential for resale after some renovations. My husband and I have built up a nice real estate portfolio in our spare time, but typically do not seek out flipper opportunities because they are more work. We've worked with friends that have done them though, and here's some things to help you make your next flipper project more likely to succeed:

1. My requirement for a home to live in, and a good rental property would probably hold true in search for a flipper property: Find the new Starbucks area. Starbucks is often just ahead of the curve in areas that are improving.

2. And you KNOW this one is coming: Find the ugly house on a street of well maintained homes.

3. Know your prospective buyer - are you fixing the house up to suit a young family, an urban couple, or someone whose kids have left the nest?
Figure out who is most likely to move into that area, and renovate to suit their needs.

4. Where is your biggest place to add value? If you can easily enlarge the kitchen or make it more functional then you can add a lot of value to the home quickly. You can also consider adding a bathroom or creating more storage as ways to add value.

5. Inspect the house carefully. Have there been renovations done on the property? You will often pay a premium for previous renovations, and in so many cases you will end up having to redo what was done before so it costs you more for the house, and to do the work.

6. Determine your budget, and then add an additional 30 - 40%. Things always cost more and take longer than you expect.

7. Find a real estate agent that has flipped houses themselves, or that has a few clients that have done it. And, ask for references. A good agent will go a long way to helping you understand the needs of your prospective buyers, and in getting the price you want for your house.

8. Talk to a mortgage broker about your financing options. There are plenty of financing options to suit a flipper purchase.

And, from personal experience, here's some additional pointers on what you should and should not do in your next flipper project:

Do's

* Have a detailed, set budget with a healthy contingency;
* Get 3 or more quotes on all jobs;
* Get permits for all work to be completed; and
* Have a detailed partnership agreement from the beginning.

Don'ts

* Don't sell in the Summer or launch on a long weekend;
* Never assume that a carpenter can do drywall taping or plumbing;
* Do not let the trades people pit the owners against one another; and
* Don't get greedy when selling...often the first offer is the best!
About the Author
In eight years my husband and I have built a multi-million dollar real estate portfolio in our spare time with minimal cash resources. We publish a free monthly newsletter to help other rookie real estate investors achieve their real estate investment goals. Click here to sign up for our free monthly newsletter or read some of our past success stories and tips for the beginner Canadian Real Estate Investor.
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