There are far too many “flipping tips” articles which give you common sense suggestions such as ‘know the market’, ‘budget properly’, etc. It turns out most of those articles are written by people who have never actually flipped a house. This isn’t one of those articles.
I assume you’ll already be doing common sense things if you’re looking to flip a house in the first place. Here are a few tricks to keep in mind:
- Look for attics
- I see attics with low headroom just like diamonds in the rough! I’ve been able to get incredible deals on small houses with converted attic spaces because most buyers don’t see how that space can be used. Solution? Dormers! Yes dormers add more light to the space, but more importantly, they make the sides of the room accessible. The pitch of the roof causes the sides of an attic space to be unusable because of the low headroom and dormers are the perfect remedy. Everyone on HGTV brags about tearing down walls to create ‘open concept floor plans’. That’s great. But you’ll much more of a buzz from putting large dormers in an attic space, trust me.
- Look for hardwood floors
- Hardwood floors are a flipper’s best friend. I have redone numerous hardwood floors in such bad shape that many people said couldn’t be saved. 100 year-old patched pine floors with dog urine stains? No problem! A fresh sand and coat brought them right back to life. And even though some patches remained, I received letters from potential buyers raving about the ‘reclaimed hardwood floors’. If you dress up the floors with large base trim, people will absolutely fall in love. It’s fast, easy, and for $2 per sq ft (typical price to refinish floors without adding stain) you can’t beat it.
- Buy used appliances
- I know this is a controversial one, but here’s my logic. I am able to squeeze out an extra $1,000 to $2,000 per house because I don’t buy new appliances. I get used, but great condition, stainless steel appliances from a local appliance center (something about stainless steel screams ‘high end’). As a broker, house flipper, and investor, I have found that buyers will never talk about the appliances as long as they are clean. If you can get someone to fall in love with the character of the house, they won’t walk away from the purchase because the appliances aren’t new. Also, ‘new appliances’ is usually not a factor that will get most buyers to pay more for a house, but broken/ugly appliances are a factor that buyers will make them want to pay less. What can I say, human psychology. So, just make sure you have nice, clean, functional, stainless steel appliances and it won’t matter if they are new. Oh, one more thing, don’t buy a refrigerator. It makes the kitchen feel larger and its commonly accepted that the buyer will get their own.
Hopefully we avoided the typical cliché’s of house flipping. For more information, well, you’ll have to pay for that.