As a Beacon Hill buyers agent, it’s becoming more and more common for my clients to ask about what it would take to start “flipping condo.” Flipping a house is generally considered to be buying a fixer-upper type (usually a distressed sale) home for well below market value, doing the necessary repair work/upgrades, and then reselling for a profit. While this process sounds pretty straight forward, there is a lot that goes into a “flip” that you need to be aware of.

1. Multiple Offers

Usually, when buying a distressed property (Short Sale/Bank Owned REO), there is a lot of competition from other investors. Investors bring all cash offers with quick closing times to the table. These favorable terms often mean that a “normal” buyer will have no chance at the home. The presence of “multiple offers” can also trigger a “bidding war” in which investors will offer above the list price in order to secure the deal.

2. Hidden Work

While you can determine from photos and open houses what kind of cosmetic work needs to be done, it takes a full property inspection to uncover “hidden work” that can devastate a repair budget. Leaky roofs, termites, dry rot, and a cracked foundation are all examples of “hidden work” that could be uncovered during a property inspection. The problem is that you cannot perform a property inspection until after you’ve been selected as the highest offer.

3. Resale Comps

Even the most beautifully remodeled home will sit vacant if its overdone compared to its neighbors. One of the most famous rules in real estate is, “Look for the cheapest home in an expensive neighborhood.” Too many people flipping a house do the opposite and do an expensive remodel to a home and try and resale in a neighborhood that doesn’t support its value. Therefore, making it the “most expensive home in a cheap area.” Make sure to look at what has sold on the same, or neighboring, streets within the last 90 days. “Model Matches” (same Bd/Ba/Sq Ft) are the best comps.

For more information on flipping a house, or if you’re looking for information on distressed properties in downtown Boston, feel free to contact us anytime.

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Author Profile

John Ford
John Ford

Over the course of 20 years in the Boston downtown real estate market, John represented and sold numerous, condominiums, investment and development properties in Greater Boston and in the surrounding suburbs

In addition to representing Boston condo buyers and sellers, John is currently one of the most recognized Boston condo blog writers regarding Boston condominiums and residential real estate markets. John's insights and observations about the Boston condo market have been seen in a wide variety of the most established local & national media outlets including; Banker and Tradesman, Boston Magazine The Boston Globe, The Boston Herald and NewsWeek and Fortune magazine, among others.


For over 24 years, John Ford, of Ford Realty Inc., has been actively involved in the real estate industry. He started his career in commercial real estate with a national firm Spaulding & Slye and quickly realized that he had a passion for residential properties. In 1999, John entered the residential real estate market, and in 2000 John Started his own firm Ford Realty Inc. As a broker, his clients have come to love his fun, vivacious, and friendly attitude. He prides himself on bringing honesty and integrity to the entire home buying and selling process. In addition to helping buyers and sellers, he also works with rental clients. Whether you’re looking to purchase a new Boston condo or rent an apartment, you’ll quickly learn why John has a 97% closing rate.


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John Ford and his staff can be reached at 617-595-3712 or 617-720-5454. Please feel free to stop by John's Boston Beacon Hill office located at 137 Charles Street.

John Ford
Ford Realty Inc
137 Charles Street
Boston, Ma 02114



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