House remodeling is often about separating out the big issues from the little ones and deciding where to best spend your budget. And often that comes down to having the vision to look through that run-down looking house on a busy street with no back yard and see the jewel that it can/will become with your expert vision and remodeling know-how.
It’s inevitable that even the most experienced real estate investors will run into renovation issues they just can’t see their way around – like a boxy or unusable floor plan, or a bathroom that’s way too small or a closet that’s just useless. No matter the challenge, there are creative and often inexpensive ways to work around these issues. Here are some simple design tweaks to common renovation issues to make any house more marketable and ready for a quick sale.
The old ugly fireplace. In many housing markets a warm crackling fireplace is an inviting and exciting selling feature for buyers. But when your fireplace is full of issues and really needs to be torn out and replaced (way too expensive) some creativity needs to come into play to turn it into something lovely again. Resurfacing it or even just repainting it if its brick goes a long way to staging it to look way better of a feature than it is. Then add some beautiful candles inside it and a great distressed mantle on top and you’ll have something that while it isn’t fully functional will be pleasing to the buyer’s eyes and is still a neat design feature of the room.
The first major issue house flippers run into is that there will be rooms that are just super small. This often occurs because flipping houses is typically done on older homes or in older neighborhoods. The best fix for this situation is to choose two fresh colors that combine both light and darker shades to draw the eye from one end of the room to the other – opening up the space and making it appear larger. Having one darker feature wall and the rest of the walls much lighter helps elongate the space. Your staging also comes into play here- choose furniture that isn’t too big or bulky because that will work against you and create a flow that is easy to navigate.
An outdated kitchen is a big buyer turn-off because a kitchen remodel is a big and often expensive project. Kitchens and bathrooms are what sell a home so this is an important place to spend your rehab budget. Refinishing or repainting the cabinets and adding new pulls and new appliances will go a long way in refreshing something outdated. If the floor can be saved by re-polishing, re-grouting and pressure washing, waxing or re-staining do that – if not, look into inexpensive, renewable materials like bamboo or cork flooring for a fresh modern look that is also budget friendly.
Staging is what sells a home. Once you've gone through and done as much to the house as you wanted to based on your budget the best way to highlight all your hard work is to have the house professionally stages – so add this line item to every rehab budget. A clean, well-lit and well-stages home will outsell an empty home every time.
Horrible curb appeal. The first thing a buyer sees is the outside of the house so it has to look tidy and inviting. Start by getting your hands dirty and get rid of any weed or other overgrowth. Create structure to the front yard with simple shrubs and a few pops of color with seasonal flowers. Repainting the front door can also add a fresh touch to an outdated looking home. You don’t have to spend a lot to make a big impression.