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Six Ways to Find Houses to Flip

You’re ready to embark on your next investment opportunity. After some market research, you conclude that you’d like to break into the house flipping game. With seemingly countless HGTV shows and social media accounts that make the process look exciting and rewarding, it’s hard not to be inspired. Also, is flipping houses profitable? It sure seems to be a lucrative venture, given that there are so many flippers out there. You might be ready to go to a home store and pick out paint colours and kitchen cabinets. But wait, you need a house first! Figuring out how to find houses to flip is easy if you know where to look. Flippers tend to look for homes with good bones that require cosmetic updates rather than complete tear-downs. Although with enough experience, perhaps you’ll be adding one of those projects to your list in no time.  

Whether you have already been approved for a residential mortgage or are shopping around before speaking with an experienced mortgage team, looking for houses is a great jumping-off point to understand what you can afford. Here are six recommendations to help you find the right property to flip. 

Consider Getting an Agent

Experts when it comes to all things property-related, real estate agents are a wealth of information. They can also understand specific terms or details you might be unaware of and condense facts and figures, such as comparables in the area, that would take you more time to decipher and understand. Hiring an agent can be particularly helpful if you are looking to purchase a home outside of your region. With knowledge of the neighbourhood, a realtor can brief you on the area’s history and the best streets to buy on that are close to local amenities.

Leverage the Internet

With the help of a Wi-Fi connection, there isn’t much you can’t achieve. If you aren’t ready to start working with an agent but want to check the waters and see what might be available, several websites can point you in the right direction. With you in the driver’s seat, you can conduct your own research and perhaps forego working with a realtor altogether.

With one of the large databases of homes for sale across the country, allows you to explore all possibilities when it comes to buying a house to flip. With generalized and advanced filters, you can search for specifics such as homes with large garages or a certain amount of acreage. Clicking on a home will show highlights, neighbourhood data such as walking scores, and statistics based on local demographics.

For Sale by Owner 

In some cases, a homeowner will opt to sell their residence themselves to save the fees of working with a realtor, which can be up to 5% of the sale price of a home. With for sale by owner properties, you can buy directly from homeowners who are listing their own houses. You might find these homes by driving through various neighbourhoods and looking for a “for sale by owner” sign on the front lawn. You may also be able to find sellers on social media. Additionally, you could send some mailouts in areas where you are looking to buy and ask homeowners to contact you if they are interested in selling their homes. 

Foreclosed Homes

Foreclosed homes come to the market when homeowners default on their mortgage, usually because they have not made their monthly payments, so their lender repossesses the property. Lenders are then very motivated to sell as they have no purpose for the home. Typically, these properties are purchased “as-is,” meaning there is no onus on the seller to fix structural issues or clean the house before it is bought.

Homes on Kijiji

If you’re looking for properties to flip in any part of Canada, Kijiji might just have what you are looking for. A popular website for all kinds of classifieds, this site lists everything from home decor to the homes themselves! Although details tend to be minimal, you can narrow your search based on locations that you’re interested in. Kijiji can also help you connect with wholesalers who specialize in selling these kinds of properties. In addition, many ads have photos, which can be helpful to visualize what you are going to be working with.


Similar to how auctions sell items from within homes, they can sell full properties as well. The address may be provided to auction-goers beforehand so they can drive by or assess the area, but they cannot enter the property to see things up close and personal. If you plan to attend one of the auctions, have a budget and stick to it. Often, the price can be driven up rapidly by multiple interested parties, and you may end up paying more and reducing your return on investment when it comes time to fix up and sell the place.

Additionally, you could start your search online with Unreserved. This site allows potential buyers to see bids on homes in real-time, increasing the transparency of the home-buying and selling process. Listings often have various photos and details about the use of square footage.

Real Estate Assignments

This type of transaction can occur between a person whose financial situation has changed, and an interested buyer who is looking to purchase a home. The original buyer has bought the house on paper, but they have not yet taken possession of the property. This buyer’s realtor could then assign the purchase agreement to another interested buyer for a fee. This solution is typically used for pre-construction properties, but can be applicable to any home throughout Canada.

Utilize Your Network

A strong network of professionals can help make finding the right home to flip a breeze. Connect with a real estate expert, seek out an online home renovation group, or get to know your local estate auctioneer a bit better. You can expand your knowledge base and begin to grow connections that could lead to other relationships. That way, the next time you wonder how to find houses to flip, you’ll have various resources at your disposal. Don’t forget to share your newfound expertise with those who have helped you, as you never know when an association could lead to a new investment opportunity.

After you’ve discovered ways of how to find properties to flip, and perhaps even found one you like, you’ll need to take into account the carrying costs of the home while it is in your possession. One of those will be the mortgage payment. Securing a mortgage for a home you are planning to flip can be yet another mountain to climb on your new investment journey. With the Chris Allard Mortgage Team, it doesn’t have to be. Our insights and professional advice can make the process straightforward and simple, so you can start picking out those paint colours sooner than later. Contact us to learn more. 

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