How to Start House Flipping Retirement


By Lisa Walker | July 2022

The key to being successful in the house-flipping business is to have an abundance of investment capital and ample time to work on renovating properties. Compared to other demographics, retired seniors have a higher likelihood of meeting the above-mentioned requirements and have the upper hand in this niche. If you’re looking to try your hand at flipping houses, real estate expert Donna Bulika offers this in-depth guide regarding, buying, renovating, and selling properties.

Educate Yourself about the Market

Take the time to learn as much as you can about the housing market in your region. As a first-timer it’s best to stick to your skills and buy property in an area you know about.

During your research, you’ll come across numerous properties which are listed well below market price. Reasons for a low price could be being located in a high crime rate neighborhood, run-down condition, or the fact that the owner is in a hurry to sell. For each property, you shortlist, do your due diligence of visiting in person, learning about the property from the agent/owner, and understanding the requirements for renovation.

Understand the True Cost of Renovations

If you’re interested in a property, conduct a property inspection that’ll provide a summary of all necessary renovations needed. Additionally, it’ll highlight red flags such as mold, insect infestation, and title deed disputes. Moreover, you can get a send option from a contractor regarding the cost of repairs.

Each renovation you make should contribute towards an increase in property value. For your first property, try to purchase one which requires minimum renovations, some of which you can undertake yourself, like painting, landscaping, etc.

Negotiate the Right Price          

 Buy low, sell high is the way to go. But, for each property, you need to understand what the right price is. As reported by MasterClass, you can make this process easier by following the 70% rule which states that the purchase price should not be more than 70% of the home’s after repair value (ARV). Additionally, subtract the estimated cost of renovations before quoting a price.

For example, if the ARV is $300,000 and cost of renovations are $50,000, your ideal offer will be calculated as: ($300,000 X 0.7) – $50,000 = $160,000. (I would add an extra 0 for Toronto market).

Apply for Mortgage

Here are two mortgage options experienced house-flippers utilize to fund their deals:

  • Traditional Lending: Traditional mortgage lenders and banks have stringent requirements on properties bought for flipping. This includes a high credit score, and at least a 20% down payment.
  • Hard Loans: These are loans provided by private lenders with lesser requirements. While you’ll still need to have a good credit score and pay a large down payment, the processing is faster and the issued loan amount can be higher than those given by banks.

Work as a Business

As a house flipper, the smart option is to establish a corporation, which creates a division between you (the owner) and the company and provides protection from business-related liabilities.

During the formation, you’ll need to create your article of incorporation. This should include important details regarding profit-sharing, duties, and powers of members, buy-out clauses, and more. To learn more about business essentials and structures, read this guide on how to incorporate a business.

Another important component of your business should be your accounting system. Ideally, you want to implement accounting software that is both affordable and reliable. This system should make it easy to manage your bills and expenses, keep track of tax forms, show on-demand cash flow projections, and determine job costs. This will be a wise investment that essentially pays for itself.

Sell the Home

Once all renovations are completed, here’s how you can sell it for the best price:

  • Research the market conditions and wait for a seller’s market to begin.
  • Self-promote the property on social media with a focus on the new renovations.
  • Working with a dedicated real estate expert like Donna Bulika not only lists your property but also handles negotiations and closing proceedings, helping you reap the reward for your hard work and investment.

For seniors seeking a new challenge post-retirement, house flipping can be a rewarding experience. Remember to follow these tips and always make an informed decision based on research and planning.

Start Earning Extra Income Today!

Get in touch with Donna Bulika today to learn which Toronto neighbourhoods are the best for flipping at this time.


Please contact Broker Donna Bulika for advice on purchasing real estate in Toronto and to book your private consultation by filling the form below or calling/texting at 416-797-6226, or email sold@donnabulika.com

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