Flip This!

Timing, Bad Luck or an Oops!

On October 13, 2010 this 25 year old Vancouver home located in Kitsilano sold for $1,299,000 in three days. With ink barely dry on the transfer papers, on November 12th, 2010 the new owner put it on the market for $1,498,000.

Considering that an 85 year old Kitsilano home directly behind was listed on October 29, 2010 and sold on November 09, 2010 for $1,450,000 in 11 days, as market comparables go, there is every chance that the new owner’s may realize a short term profit approaching $200,000.

25 Year Old Home Sold for $1,299,000

2,950 Square Feet

“Great opportunity in Kitsilano. This 2,950 SqFt Home sits on an extra large 40’x122′ Lot. House features 7 bedrooms, 3 baths, 2 fireplaces and 2-car garage with lane access. This unique home has 2 separate legal suites with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths and fireplace up and another 3 bedrooms, 1 bath and fireplace on the main level. Ideal for an extended family, single family home with a great mortgage helper or is easily converted into a single family dwelling. Home is well kept by original owners and is in original condition, just needs creative energy for 2010. Sits on a beautiful tree-lined street 2 blocks from the upscale shopping and fine dining of West Broadway and minutes to Downtown & Airport. Well priced. Don’t miss this one!”

85 Year Old Home Sold for $1,450,000

3,054 Square feet.

“Spacious 4 bedroom two level Kitsilano home plus fully developed basement to help reduce those mortgage payments. Lots of recent updating including: kitchen, double glazed wood windows, roof, wiring, plumbing, etc. Beautiful hardwood floors, wood burning fire place and much sought after “through-hall” floor plan with large principle rooms. Massive sundeck off of kitchen, and a two car garage. Within walking distance to all level of schools, shopping, parks, and bus transportation. Minutes to UBC, downtown, and beaches. BONUS: 40 X 122 foot lot.”

Note ‘Bonus’: both lots are identical at 39.60 X 122

1 Month Later – Same 25 Year Old Home for Sale $1,498,000

2,950 Square Feet

There does not appear to be any drastic changes to the home or the property other than the interior pictures are now void of all furnature. What does seem drastic aside from the drama of the house picture being upside down, is that it is now being ‘flipped’ for almost $200,000 more that it sold for mere weeks ago.

“Extremely well kept 25 year old home by it’s original owners. Hot Kitsilano location..hot product (Vancouver Special) with over 1700 sqft of living space upstairs. Many features include: 2 wood burning fireplaces, 2 kitchens with easy suite potential, sundeck, hot water heat, 3 full baths, oversized 2 car garage, nice level 39.6 x 122 feet lot conveniently located to all amenities. Just paint and move in or open to many renovation ideas.”

Observational Coincidence

This might all just be a coincidence. As aspersions are not on the menu, it must remain a curiosity that both properties and in particular the property being flipped were listed and sold by the same agent.

Should we expect this flip to be three times lucky? If Vancouver’s lady luck market is on the new seller’s side and this home actually sells close to the new asking price one’s curiosity might ask this question.

Will the first seller will be having an agency conversation about their ‘oops moment’ of bad luck with a lawyer or will they simply accept that they were on the bad side of a Vancouver house flip?

Quotes: MLS®

About Larry Yatkowsky

Larry is a recognized real estate expert. A veteran professional, his experienced counsel leads Vancouverites in his west side community to place their trust in a man passionate about his work. Uncompromising ethics bring a balanced approach to realizing your real estate dreams.

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*Disclaimer: Statistics Courtesy REBGV. While believed to be accurate they are not guaranteed.
**Numbers provided may vary as they are dynamically posted by the REBGV.

Reader Comments:

Boombust Says:
November 20th, 2010 at 8:04 am

I think the word is “UGH”!, not “oops”, Larry.

They’re both not only overpriced, but ugly, too.

BBcoq Says:
November 20th, 2010 at 1:39 pm

I hate be called a bear -I just think the market is due for a breather- who know Larry but I value your thoughts-but as a follower of the stock market you know it is time to step aside when everybody is in the pool.
Joe Kennedy said when shoeshine boys and cab drivers are giving stock tips the market is due for a correction.
It seems to my humble mind that your last few posts seem to point out the fact that everybody is making money-and that fact, over a longer term time frame may be true, in the short term seems too good to be true and that three times may not be the charm.
What value has been added in terms of suites, renos etc? Or has the market for this specific type of house heated up?

November 20th, 2010 at 2:28 pm

well somebody doesn’t think they are over priced. They see a $200K opportunity. $$’s don’t care about personal taste.

November 20th, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Bear’s are bad – they just take strong and often inflexible postions.

“What value has been added in terms of suites, renos etc?”
Older one was tarted up. New one is basic. see description.

“has the market for this specific type of house heated up?”
i’ve been saying for some time that clean houses will sell quickly in certain neighbourhoods.

vanpro Says:
November 20th, 2010 at 5:03 pm

Flipping for very short term profit is clear sign of bubble – see for example: US and many parts of the rest of the world prior to the mega real estate buble imploding in 2008 that directly resulted in the greatest worklwide financial crisis and recession since the Great Depression. Right before that calamity and resulting prices freefalling, many were using the same logic: “obviously its not over-priced because someone is willing to pay that price for it”. Those “someones” are now wiped out. Btw, Vancouver is still ina a recsssion with nearly 8% unemployment…

November 20th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Or… have you considered that maybe – just maybe, (this is the Oops part) – it was originally underpriced relative to the local market at that time?

vanpro Says:
November 20th, 2010 at 6:23 pm

Yes, I considered it, but (1) if its so-called “foreign” demand supporting this price and the price “relative to the local market”: when you look at the price of about $1.5M, do you know what the comparables are (what you can get for that money) on a “world wide basis” that foreign demand has to compare with? On that basis it is grossly over-priced and (2) How much that is over priced relative to even the upper percentiles of income earners in Vancouver? In any case, your reasoning amounts to: “it may look like what happened in the rest of the world, but really it is a different scenario here”. You are entitled to your opinion (and its your site after all). I am just pointing out the coincidences and facts as I see them. Oh, and sorry for the double post (mouse finger was over itchy).

November 20th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

“your reasoning amounts to: “it may look like what happened in the rest of the world, but really it is a different scenario here”
Don’t recall that implication in the post nor do I take offense by you implying that I did.

As a humble peddler of fine homes I don’t really know the reasoned answer but, this thought keeps circulating. Are we forgetting about that little thing called choice?
So to say that ‘it’s different here to an extent, relies on the assumption that the reason people will pay the money they do to live here is determined by factors of choice.

Making this up as I go along – their thought process might be something as esoteric as this – “Yes for this amount of money I can live in London but, London doesn’t have mountains. I like mountains, and for the same money I can buy a place that does so I’m going to buy a home in Vancouver.”
BTW this also applies to why you have reasoned to buy in one neighbourhood and not the other.

If you want international comparables consider this post done up in 2008

Josh Says:
November 20th, 2010 at 8:50 pm

But how much would they actually make after all real estate commissions, transfer fee’s, and all other fee’s on the purchase? Also, something seems fishy with the same agent listing both properties.

November 20th, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Resale should draw approx + – 56k in fees, taxes. Now add capital gains and interest. ‘Guessing’ that the net might be around + – $100k assuming full price is achieved.
Can’t say that the first sale is fishy as I don’t know the circumstance. Also, both houses were sold by their listing agents. The buyers chose limited or no representation. As to the original sale price of the flip – it could have been a ‘necessary’ fire sale, we’ll never know.

anon Says:
November 20th, 2010 at 9:34 pm

Slightly off topic here, but can anyone tell me what the deal is with Sea island vs. RIchmond proper ? The houses there seem discounted quite compared and I am wondering if there is some “catch” to living there beyond the slight remoteness which I really wouldnt mind.

November 20th, 2010 at 11:57 pm

Sea Island is where the Vancouver Airport is. The small community is Burkeville.

Prior to the second runway there were families and farms that lived on the north side of that second runway. I can’t tell you if any still are there.

It is not remote but it is less expensive because of the noise although many who live there say you just get used to the hum.

BBcoq Says:
November 21st, 2010 at 8:58 am

I grew up in Richmond and my uncle grew up in Burkeville-originally it was a place where air force families lived.
The house are small and the community is small and everybody knows everybody. It has not grown much and is unlikely to as the services are poor due to small community.
The prices have always ben noticably lower than rest of Richmond as there has always been the threat of expropriation when the airport expands.
On the north side of the runways is all DOT land-there are homes there but the land is leased and (I think) you cannot pour a foundation so mobile homes are there.

L8erdude Says:
November 21st, 2010 at 9:12 am

@ vanpro
“Flipping for very short term profit is clear sign of bubble”

No, it’s a sign that the seller undersold his home and an astute buyer snapped it up and is reselling at true market price.

November 21st, 2010 at 9:20 am

you may be right about the mobiles but I do recall complete homes and buildings N of the runways towards the Fraser River. I know that all changed some years ago but I think those were freehold parcels that were expropriated. Note: I could be all wet on this. Might need to take a cruise down Iona road to see what’s going on. As to Burkeville. if it wasn’t for the constant noise it is a neet place.

Elli D. Says:
November 21st, 2010 at 10:20 am


Exactly. And I don’t think anybody would do this without being 100% confident about his own ability to sell the house again for more.

Nevertheless, it’s a curious case, but we can still only speculate what happened there.

November 21st, 2010 at 10:22 am

as of late have you seen type of activitiy in Toronto?

beard of bees Says:
November 21st, 2010 at 10:49 am

“Extremely well kept 25 year old home by it’s original owners.”

A bizarre sentence that reads like the house is still owned by the original owners, but is nonsensical enough that it can be interpreted otherwise. Should read, “Home was well-kept by the previous owner of 25 years.”

Hard to parse sentence suggests something is not being said in the ad.

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