The terms “flipping a property” or “flipping a condo” refer to buying real estate at a lower price, with no intention of actually living in the place. The main objective of flipping is to generate profit.
There are two ways one can flip a condo in Mississauga. The more popular way is to buy a pre-construction condo that will generate profit in the future. But rehab properties, fixing them up and then reselling them is another way this can be achieved. In this blog post I want to cover these two methods and provide an insight to anyone who might be interested in condo flipping.
Flipping A Pre-construction Condo
As mentioned above, most investors (I would estimate over 90%) who want to get into real estate turn to pre-construction condominiums. Over the years pre-construction condos have come to be known as “easy investments”, which generate great profit. For further information on pre-construction condos read this article.
Pre-construction condos generally require a total of 20% as a down payment (15% within the first 6 – 9 months, and 5% on closing). The advantage of pre-construction condos is the leverage obtained from this initial deposit. In theory, you are only putting down 15%, yet your property is appreciating at 100% of its entire value for several years, until the condo project is ready.
Here is what you need to know about flipping pre-construction condos in Mississauga:
Not all projects/units are a “good investment” – Despite what you hear, not all projects and units are great investments. Certain condos are known to have greater appreciation than others. It’s your Realtor’s job to guide you in the right direction, and it’s your job to select the right Realtor for you.
Closing/hidden costs– The salespeople at the condo sales center will never warn you about the hidden costs, levies and closing costs associated with buying a pre-construction condo. These fees can go up to $10,000 or more. Having a qualified real estate lawyer review your contract is also a necessity.
Assignment options – Assignment options are sometimes offered by the builder, which allow you the sell your condo unit before the condo is finished. Technically speaking, there is a fee involved and many builders will only allow you to sell your unit when they have sold out the entire project (so you do not end up competing with sales against the builder). Remember, even if an assignment option is offered it does not automatically give you the right to list your property on MLS. Each builder has their own rules. Have your Realtor and real estate lawyer look into the assignment clauses for you.
Timing is key – Timing is everything with pre-construction condos. The best prices and layouts are always offered to agents who bring their clients to special VIP sales events. The good layouts are known to disappear quickly at which time the builder is in no rush to sell the remainder of the units and prices end up being raised accordingly. The earlier you buy the better. If you are a serious investor, then access to the VIP events is a must for you.
2 Pro Tips: 1) Deal only with Realtors who specialize and understand pre-construction condos. Believe me – this will save you time and money 2) The further away the scheduled completion date of the project the better. Keep in mind; real estate prices do fluctuate up and down, but eventually they go up.
Flipping A Resale Condo
Flipping a resale condo is a bit more intricate compared to flipping a pre-construction condo. The process definitely requires more planning and free time. However, when flipping a resale condo the profit is more calculative in nature and is generated within 3 months. The goal is to buy a condo which requires extensive renovations for a low price, completely renovate the place, and within a short period of time sell it.
The process starts off with lining up two very important people – your Realtor and your contractor. Your Realtor should select the best possible properties which fit your criteria. These can include properties which have experienced fire/flood damage, power of sales and just plain out of date condo units. The down payment can vary between 5-20% depending if your real estate purchase is a principle residence or an investment property.
Here is what you need to know about flipping resale condos in Mississauga:
Buying the right property – It’s imperative that your Realtor does a comprehensive CMA (comparative market analysis) to ensure that the condo you are purchasing is in fact cheaper than other similar condos in the same building.
Managing money – It’s very easy to get excited about the renovations and go over the budget. A strict and calculated budget needs to be implemented during the early stages of the condo flip. Your contractor should be able to give you a price breakdown of each individual component of the project.
Managing time – The second pitfall of flipping resale condos is poor time management. Remember, during the period of renovations you are still responsible for the mortgage, maintenance fees and taxes. Therefore, make sure your contractor gives you specific completion deadlines in order for you to manage your budget and time.
Permission from building management – For all condos, any major renovations must be put on paper first, submitted to the condo management office and then approved. This process may take up to two weeks or longer. In addition, the building management may have specific rules and regulations on renovations. Example: Many condos only allow engineered hardwood floors (known as floating hardwood) and do not allow regular hardwood floors.
2 Pro Tips: 1) Do some research and find out what upgrades most buyers are willing to spend money on. Do not “over-upgrade” your unit, as you will not see a good rate of return. 2) Shop around for different construction quotes. You will be surprised to see the difference in quote from one contractor to the next.
In conclusion, pre-construction condos in Mississauga just make more sense for the average investor. With the help of the right Realtor, it is a very smooth process which is known to bring a good financial return. Historically speaking, with an initial investment of $50-70K and a three year wait time, it’s not uncommon to make close to 100% return on the initial investment.
On the other hand, flipping condos may be more attractive to those who work in the construction field. Flipping resale condos can be a dangerous game to pay if you do not know what you are doing. It’s recommended you educate yourself and always plan for the worst case scenario.
Interested in flipping a condo? Contact me. I can help.
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