House flipping has been on the rise for some time and with a number of popular house flipping television shows being broadcasted daily across the country, it is easy to see why it is so appealing. A short, thirty-minute episode makes the overall process look pretty easy to flip a home and resell it for a large profit, but don’t be fooled! There is a lot more involved with flipping a house than what you see on TV. If you intend on taking the plunge and starting your own flip project, make sure you do your research and educate yourself on the do’s and don’ts of flipping a house.
What is House Flipping & Is it A Good Investment?
House flipping is when real estate investors purchase homes with the intention to flip them and resell them for a profit. Most of the time, the ‘flipping’ involves renovating and repairing the home to bring it up to date. This then allows the investor to turn around and sell the home for a much larger price, pocketing the profits. If done right, house flipping can be a great investment and can turn a good profit. Just as easily as it’s gone right, a house flip can also take a turn for the worst and can actually cost you money. This is why doing your research and making smart choices is always the best option!
5 Things to Remember When Flipping a House
Location is Everything!
Location is key when it comes to both purchase price and resale price, as purchasing a home in a great neighbourhood is going to result in buyers also wanting to be in that neighbourhood. Keep in mind who your target buyer is going to be as well. Knowing the liveability factors of the neighbourhood you choose is going to play a large role in how you renovate and market your flipped home. According to the 2019 RE/MAX Liveability Report, six-in-10 Canadians put easy access to shopping, dining and green spaces at the top of their liveability criteria, along with proximity to transit, work and preferred schools. Work with a realtor who knows the market and area and can find you a fixer-upper in a great neighbourhood at a great price!
Consider Your Target Buyer
Once you’ve narrowed down your preferred neighbourhood, make sure you consider the type of buyer you want to purchase the home once the flip is complete. By doing this, you can renovate the home to cater towards their preferences and budget. If your target buyer is a new family, think about the kinds of features that will benefit them as their family and kids grow, whether that be lots of storage or good backyard space. If you’re renovating with the intention to sell to a professional couple, consider their lifestyle and what elements you can put into the home that will cater to them. Considering your target buyer can help to not only give you direction in the design and renovation phase of the flip, but can also help you with the resale value, as your flip will hopefully check all the boxes for potential buyers!
Find a Reputable Contractor
After you’ve done the work of locating a great neighbourhood and purchasing a home, it’s time to find a contractor to carry out the renovations required for your house flip. Take the time to interview different contractors to find someone who you are going to get along with and who understands your vision for your house flip. One of the best ways to find a great, reputable contractor is by asking trusted friends and family for referrals. It’s likely that someone in your circle has worked with a contractor that they trust and can refer their name to you. Don’t forget to also get quotes from your contractor, this way you are both in agreement with how much the renovation will cost and what the project timeline looks like. Another great way to find a reputable contractor is to visit the Canadian Home Builder’s Association website. They have lots of great tools and resources to help you find the right contractor for your renovation.
Consider Your Timing
Timing plays an important role in your house flip and because you’ll be making mortgage payments, you will want to sell the property as soon as you’re done renovating. Take into account the timing of your purchase, how long the renovation is going to take and when you plan on selling. When you start working with your contractor, make sure you set a timeline for the project and stick to it. If you can have a fast turnaround from purchase date to sale date, that is ideal as you then won’t be stuck having to pay the mortgage while the house sits empty, either mid-renovation because of going over your timeline or sitting on the market if you try to sell at a tough point in the year. Be conscious of your timing and plan everything out as best you can to avoid any situations that might affect your budget and overall profit.
Determine the Right Asking Price
Once you’ve completed your renovation, the final step is to determine an asking price for your project. Check with your realtor to determine the right asking price for your property. You want to make sure you’re attracting buyers, covering your expenses and making some money on the flip. Pricing too high for the neighbourhood can turn buyers away, which will leave you stuck paying the mortgage while the house sits empty. Pricing too low might attract a number of buyers, but you may not make enough to recoup the costs and make a profit off of the flip. Your realtor will be able to suggest an appropriate listing number based on the location, liveability factors, upgrades and other comparable properties in the area.
While flipping a house is a lot of work and can seem daunting to those who have never gone through the process before, if you take the time to research and educate yourself, work with a great realtor and contractor and stick to your budget and timeline, you can reap the rewards of your hard work when your flipped property sells and you pocket your profit!