March 2, 2016
Flipping In Vancouver: Have Your Mortgage Broker On Speed Dial
If you are planning on buying and flipping houses in the Lower Mainland, we can't blame you. Detached house prices in some Vancouver neighbourhoods are now rising by $50,000 to $100,000 per month and detached prices are now up 20% from a year ago. Two examples: from Nov. 1, 2015 to Jan 30, 2016, the benchmark price of a Kitsilano detached house increased by $230,000 to $2.3 million; in South Cambie, the typical house rose in value by $300,000 in the same three-month period.
If you are buying to flip you will need the following:
Raw courage, cash, and a mortgage broker on speed dial. Virtually every detached house, even in the suburbs, is now seeing multiple offers so you have to be ready to bid and close fast. We are all looking for fixer-uppers not because we plan to fix it up but because the land value is appreciating so fast the house doesn't really matter anymore. In many cases, the house is there only to appease the lender. You can also forget about putting any subjects on your offer. (This is a crazy, crazy market where the normal rules are turned upside down.)
You have to have a savvy mortgage broker behind you when you hit this market because multiple bids can blow your price point away within hours. The mortgage broker must be familiar with flipping properties and, like you, have unshakeable confidence that prices will keep rising. Financing is much harder today than during the last “boom” in 2006-2007. And pre-approved mortgages today are nearly worthless when it comes time to really close on a property, especially in multiple-bid competitions: you must have already convinced the lender that you have the credit score and ratios in line to cover the debt. Ace mortgage broker Kyle Green of Mortgage Alliance, who has seen plenty of up and down markets, is very experienced with investors and flippers and he offers this advice: be fast and confident, sure "but don’t be crazy."
Major Point: Many flippers who bought in the spring of 2007 were trying to unload their (overpriced) houses into a sellers' market in 2008. It can happen again (look at Calgary). But for those flippers confident in the Metro Vancouver market, don't hesitate. Get in now with a six-month exit strategy. But, remember that you make the most money on the day you buy.
Also, factor in your costs: If you buy a house for $1 million and flip it for $1.1 million ($100,000 more) you would have to pay about $10,000 in B.C.'s property purchase tax; and about $27,000 in real estate commissions; and you could face a $30,000 business income tax bill, depending on your tax bracket. You would also be handling financing costs of around $4,000 a month while you are holding the property.
Source: Ozzie Jurock