How To Start Flipping Homes in Toronto

How To Start Flipping Homes in Toronto

Justo Team | September 6, 2019

With the recent growth in the Toronto real estate market, more and more people are looking into flipping homes in Toronto. You might be wondering what do you mean by flipping houses? For this article, here is how we will be defining flipping homes in Toronto.

Flipping homes in Toronto happens when a real estate investor buys a home and then later sells the house for a profit. For this to be considered a flip, an investor must be purchasing the home intending to resell this home quickly. Usually, the amount of time that passes after buying a home, flipping it and selling it might range from a few months to a year. You must understand that there are usually two different ways of flipping a home.

The first type of flipping houses happens when an investor buys a home that they believe whose value will increase once they repair and add upgrades. They think that will make the home more appealing to buyers. Once they finish working on the house and adding updates, they sell the home for a higher price than what they paid for it.

Ideally, they will be making a profit that covers the cost of purchasing the home, completing repairs, and more. The other type of flipping a home happens when an investor buys a house in a real estate market where home values are quickly increasing. In this situation, the investor only holds onto the home and does not make any improvements. After holding onto the house for a few months, they resell the home at a higher price and ideally make a profit on their sale. In this article, we will be discussing the first type of flipping homes in Toronto. 

Flipping houses is popular in Toronto, and while it might sound like this might be a fun venture, flipping homes in Toronto is a serious business. It might seem like fun to buy a home fix it up and resell it later at a profit, but there is a lot of thought that goes into deciding to flip a house. You should do research, consult a real estate agent or broker, and consider your finances.

This guide will give you tips and insight into what it is like to flip a house. You must understand that flipping houses are no easy task. Flipping houses is not as easy, straightforward, or glamorous as it does on your favourite HGTV shows. It is hard work, that can be draining emotionally and financially, which can be time-consuming.

Related article: The Ultimate guide to selling a Toronto home

A Step By Step Guide for Flipping Houses in Toronto

First, determine your budget, your goals, and where you are looking to flip

So you want to buy a home to flip, congratulations this is an exciting step! Before you decide to do anything or make any significant decisions, you need to figure out your budget, what your goals are, and where you are looking to flip. If you need to make, yourself sit you are behind in a chair and make a list because you like making lists, then do it.

Sit yourself down. Get extremely clear on what you want. Ask these questions to yourself. How much are you willing to spend? Where are you looking to flip? What type of home are you looking to buy? How much do you want your profits to be? What do you want for an outcome?

Write all of this down. Consider drawing a picture of what you want your flip to look like when you put it on the market. The clearer and more specific you are with what you want, the easier it will be for you to find what you want. 

Yes, these visualization exercises might seem corny or silly, but many people find it helpful to visualize what they want, their ideal situation. Some people might find that making a list or drawing a picture for their perfect location might help you figure out what you are seeing.

Related article: How to Find the Best Places to Live in Toronto?

Figure out financing your flip

You should only flip if you can do this all in cash. In other words, if you have money on hand to pay for this all yourself instead of receiving financing from a bank or financial institution. However, some people have flipped who have gotten funding from a bank or other financial institution.

Be extremely careful. If you are getting a loan to make this happen, you might be more desperate to sell. You will find yourself not be able to hold onto your home. It could then result to not making back your investment when the time comes to sell.

Research the market where you want to be flipping 

Flipping properties is exciting, but you want to research, know, and understand the market where you are looking to flip a property. You might find the whole idea appealing but might not take the time to research the market where they are trying to flip thoroughly, and they run into issues. 

One issue is you might not know whether or not you are getting a good deal on the home you are buying as an investment. It is important to remember that in these situations, you want to buy low and sell high. In these situations, you are making money since you ideally purchase small and then selling at a much higher price to cover your costs and make a profit.

Another potential issue while having no thorough research is you might not to identify a home’s potential value accurately. You need to remember that your vision for the house after you have flipped it must be in line with what the neighbourhood is like and affordable for the community. And you might not know how to correctly price the home so that it will sell and you will make a profit.

You might be reading this and wondering how you can avoid these issues. Find a great real estate agent who has in-depth knowledge and understanding of the neighbourhood where you are looking to flip. Finding a great real estate agent or broker will help you to avoid these potential problems and pitfalls.

Related article: GTA home buyers and sellers are overpaying by thousands

Find a real estate agent or broker with experience in the neighbourhoods you are looking to buy and if possible with experience with flipping houses in Toronto

When you are looking to buy a potential investment property, you should be working with a real estate agent. Find someone who has an in-depth and comprehensive knowledge of the market where you are looking to invest. The real estate agent or broker you are working with should have years of experience in the area(s) where you are looking to flip.

A great agent can help you identify the best potential homes for a flip in the best areas for you to flip in your budget. It includes buying a home, closing costs, desired profit, and repairs.

If you find an agent who you like when buying your investment property, you can always bring them on when you are selling your investment property. They can use their knowledge of the house and the neighbourhood to help you price your home appropriately to sell it and make the most significant profit possible.

Working with a great real estate agent or broker can help you to make a savvy investment, and they might even be able to advise you during this process. To learn more about how to find an agent to represent you as a buyer, check out this article here [How to Pick an Agent When Flipping a House in Toronto].

Purchase your flip and begin investing in repairs and savvy upgrades  

Now, this is the fun part. At this point, you will be looking at homes with your real estate agent or broker to find an ideal property for your flip. You should have a budget for your flip, a set amount of money you can spend to make any repairs and completing any renovations.

Sometimes you might be unsure about a home. You can bring in a contractor who you might want to work with to look at any potential severe flips before you decide to buy any homes. At this point, you can see any small improvements you can make to improve a home’s potential value. Check if there will be any significant repairs you might need to do. Do you need to repair the plumbing system, electrical system, or significant expensive projects?

A contractor can also give an idea about how much these repairs and renovations might cost you. It could help you save money. If you identify major potential problems in a home before investing in it, you can hopefully avoid investing in a home that could be a money pit. 

Additionally, we recommend this when you are under contract for a home. Before closing on your investment property, have a home inspection and any other checks done. You might be curious about what home inspectors look for and why home inspectors are essential. Go on ahead and read our article on home inspections — [Inspection Checklist when buying a home in Toronto]. 

You should go into this with your eyes open. Be aware of any potential problems before you officially take possession of a home instead of when it is too late. You would not want to spend more money than you were expecting to make this happen and go overbudget.

You might also be dreaming of adding a gourmet kitchen with granite countertops, with an expensive top of the line appliances or building bathrooms. Check out magazines like Architectural Digest, renovations and costs, to learn more.

Be prepared to be savvy when making choices about renovations. If you want to make a home belong in the pages of glossy home magazines, it will be expensive. It is doing these types of improvements mean that you could quickly go over budget. It is why you need to have a clear budget at the outset and make sure you are doing upgrades that will add to the value of the home.

Keep in mind, renovating kitchens and bathrooms can make or break your flip. Renovating these parts of the house can be expensive with a low return on your investment. While you might want to demolish the kitchen, start from scratch and make it fabulous with an island and high-end appliances and finishes.

Take a breath and stop yourself. It is an investment, and you want to make sure that for every dollar you are spending, you see a return on your investment. So you can consider being savvy with your renovation, you can refinish cabinets, add granite or quartz countertops and replace old appliances with new appliances. This way, you will spend less time and money on the kitchen with a better probability of recouping your costs and seeing a return on your investment. 

You can always invest in a couple or a few big-ticket updates for your flips. It includes renovating the kitchen and bathrooms and more. But do not discount how small changes can make a big difference that small changes can make. For example, paint, deep cleaning, updating hardware, and some lovely landscaping can make a massive impact on a flip. It can help you see to see a return on your investment for little money.

Related article: I’m Selling My House. What Do I Need to Know?

Stage your home to sell, list your home for sale, and sell your flip

Finally, now that you have finished work on your flip, you should consider staging your home to sell. You might be wondering why you should step your flip after you put all this work into flipping it? But, staging a home to sell can help you to sell a home more quickly and for more money.

Learn more about small tweaks you can make that will make a home more attractive to potential buyers. Go and research on how much staging a home to sell in Ontario, costs. For your reference, you can check out our article on staging homes — [How much will home staging cost in Toronto?].

Additionally, you will need to find a real estate you like, and trust to represent you as the seller, list your home to sell. And now you wait and hopefully sell your flip quickly and ideally, make a profit.

Related article: How to stage your Toronto home to boost price?


Hopefully, after reading this guide, you will have gained greater insight into what it is like to flip houses. After reading this guide, you should have an idea of what should be considering if you want to flip a house in Toronto or the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). As mentioned throughout this article, you should be doing your research, doing your due diligence, and considering whether or not this is the best decision for you at this point.

However, we recommended that you consult a professional. Find a real estate agent or broker who has experience with flipping homes in Toronto. Hire someone who can advise you on which neighbourhoods are best to invest in and which properties might make a good flip. 

For example, you might be looking at flipping a house, and a smart agent or broker might recommend flipping a condo to start instead of a whole house. Or they might be able to direct to a property that you might not have considered to be a good flip that turns out to be excellent.

If you are savvy with your flip, you could stand to make a substantial profit. Pace your timing, choice of property, and urge to sell quickly to recoup your investment. Other factors could mean the difference between making a significant profit from flipping, breaking even or losing money on your flip. Flipping homes in Toronto is risky and is not something that should take lightly.

Related article: How to invest wisely in Toronto’s real estate?

By Justo Team

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