When getting started in real estate investing or house flipping, a lot of people don’t consider how important the design aspect is. However when you’re house flipping there are a multitude of variables to take into account: price of purchase, rehab amount, permitting, contractors …yada-yada-yada.
One component that often gets overlooked is the design. Many rehabs get a bad name because they go with the thought that the bones of the buildings and the legal aspects are most important. While those are certainly important don’t overlook the design and finishes of your property. Your goal is to sell the rehab when you are finished first and foremost.
If you take care of every other item in the process of the rehab and design a “cheesy” and underwhelming product then you are doing yourself a huge disservice. Buyers want to be wow’ed! You can’t do that with cheap vinyl floors and formica counters generally (this certainly depends on the rehab and can vary based on the market). You need to look at a few different areas where you can provide that wow factor for a little extra money. You want a buyer, and hopefully competing buyers, to do this you must provide them with finishes that impress them and show them that you aren’t skimping on the finishes. Keep in mind that buyers are coming into these homes and usually have buyers agents. These buyers agents generally do their homework. If they are worth there salt then they likely have reviewed the property and have seen that it has only been owned for a very short period of time. Once they see that it was owned for say 6 months they typically know it’s a “flip”, which by all accounts doesn’t have the best connotation. Therefore make sure you provide the product that gets them to look past that fact and provides confidence in a potential purchase.
With that being said be sure to look at the following items when conducting your house flipping.
1. Flow and Layout:
Many houses that are purchased, especially in the northeast, are extremely old and the layout is designed from old heating processes before all of the systems we have today. Likely many of these homes were heated via wood stove back in the day and the home is very compartmentalized based on the systems from the days of horse and buggy. These sectioned off rooms aren’t typically looked at in the best light. People want open spaces nowadays. This can be accomplished a number of ways and some cost more than others. You can move bathrooms, kitchens, walls, etc., but that can get very costly. Be sure to consult your builder/contractor and make sure the wall you want to take down won’t require major reconstruction. They will be happy to do it regardless, but if you have to move a ton of plumbing and electrical and also place a weight bearing beam the prices can add up pretty quickly. Be sure to work with your trusted contractor to assist you in this evaluation before you get too far ahead of yourself.
2. Colors: Go neutral.
You can provide a great looking finished home with some very standard tans and grays. You really don’t need more than 2 tones for most homes and often can get away with one.
Be sure to pick lighting and plumbing fixtures that don’t turn buyers off. If you skimp too much here your are doing yourself a huge disservice. A few extra hundred dollars will allow you to purchase items which wow that buyer and provide them that comfort level that you are into providing quality. Also keep in mind that everyone has an expertise. You may not have a eye for finishes. Not everyone does. A major key to this business is knowing what you aren’t good at and finding people who are to fill in those skills. Maybe your mother, brother or daughter is the prime candidate. Generally they love to provide input and help. Send them to Home Depot, Lowe’s or another location that is economical in your area for materials and have them provide some ideas and pick out some options.
4. Spend your Money Where it Matters Most:
Kitchens and bathrooms are huge area to focus on. These rooms sell the house more often than not. Families spend more time in their kitchen than most other spots in the house. Focus on crisp finishes which make the space fit the home and also provide space for hose modern amenities. Granite is huge! You can get a quality granite counter in a kitchen and it is often the fist thing that comforts a buyer when they come in. We put granite in every house and it’s never ceases to be a bonus when buyers come through. “Granite, wow!!! I love it” is often what you hear. Bathrooms are also important Make them as clean as humanly possibly. You don’t wan’t drab older parts left in a bathroom, IF the same feels “used” you’re gonna lose buyers. This is a very private space and people want to feel like it’s new so treat your house flipping efforts as such.
All in all there are a multitude of things to take into account when house flipping. Be sure to not cut yourself off at the knees when you get to design and finishes. A little extra time and thought and you will be able to provide that finished home that buyers will be fighting for!