Renovating and Flipping...Where to Start.

Definitely, there is a market for renovating distressed properties and returning an investment by returning the house to a proud structure and creating a home for potential buyers for 'pride of ownership.' The questions arise as to where, how and what the costs are into realizing a profit...the idea is to have a 'win/win' situation for the 'flipper' and the prospective buyer.

Each community in the Golden Horseshoe has such opportunities, properties in Oakville, Burlington and Hamilton offer opportunities to restore. modernize or completely transform a potential project. For the budget minded, Hamilton has been widely acclaimed lately as an affordable market for buyers as the price structure and the forward momentum of re-urbanization and an appreciation of past craftsmanship, have drawn favour with people not wanting to exhaust all financial resources on down-payments and mortgage payments respectively.

Firstly, the quandary presents itself with the investor into one of the most important aspects of Real Estate, 'Location.' Where to buy? How much is the distressed home? What is the resale cap that a particular area will realize? What needs to be done and how much will the renovation cost? How much can the home be resold for and what is the final profit?

As a Realtor®, finding the right 'flip' can be difficult procedure. Homework,extensive market research, physically visiting many properties and have a good understanding of structure, mechanical systems and construction/decorating costs can aid greatly in deciding whether to go forward to obtaining, renovating and reselling the property. This may involve placing offers low(that may not be accepted) because listing price is too high as renovating costs and profits may not be realized at the initial asking price. Invariably, everyone wants to spend the least and sell for the most.

Central Hamilton is a large area and price variation fluctuates greatly depending on location...north/south...east/west and every combination and permutation therein. Many homes date from the end of the 19th Century to the early 20th and have craftsmanship unseen in many homes built since. Coffered ceilings, pocket doors, wide casements, inlayed hardwood floors and stained glass. Under many years of butchery, some of these homes have been poorly cared for or have been 'cut up,' divided, partitioned into separate units or boast kitchens, bathrooms, carpets, wallpaper and colours of a more adventurous era seen in movies or photos of past decades that maybe fondly remembered but not embraced as current designs or tastes.


 'TUBES' AND OLD WIRES                             OLD CERAMIC 'KNOBS'                            THE NEW SERVICE

It is best to start with a home that is said to have 'Good Bones,' as wet basements, water damaged ceilings and walls are not a good start. The electrical may be the biggest expense, 'knob and tube,' aluminum wiring can snake through every level of these home and remediation can be expensive and messy because, invariably, there will be holes made into much of the plaster work in all rooms and hallways. Some homes have experienced much home done electrics and also see wiring from every era since Gas Light was the norm. 


             OLD FLOORS                               POST SANDING PREPERATION                  FINISHED WITH STAIN

 New drywall, closet doors, bedroom doors, front, back and side doors, kitchen cupboards, appliances, tile, back-splash and windows. Carpet, laminate, linoleum, new hardwood or refinish the old? New many and does it need a new tub, vanity and toilet? Is there Asbestos in the house? What is it in? What is it wrapped around? New Furnace/Air Conditioning...boiler/radiator or forced air?



How old is the roof? Asphalt shingles or steel roof? Condition of porches, back deck, fences, windows, yard...parking, no parking, side drive, front drive , rear drive(alley entrance) and/or garage? Soffits, fascia, brick vennier, double brick or frame house?


                            THE OLD KITCHEN                          THE NEW KITCHEN                 OPENED WITH ISLAND

There are many factors to consider and a mass of questions. Having a good contractor is important and get as many quotes as possible for all work to be done and price and perform as the market in each particular area will support. Do not change what is not necessary, especially if it works well and does not negatively effect the resale value. It is imperative to understand the market and budget each renovation with taxes,lawyers, Real Estate fees, time and a buffer for unexpected costs. 

Hamilton is ripe market for renovators and flippers with properties that return a positive investment but owners are not going to 'give them away' so it takes much research and knowledge for success to be realized. As an end result, there is a satisfaction of the metamorphosis but as well, a family or individual will have a quality and character filled home to enjoy and afford.

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