While the buy low and sell high concept of flipping houses is pretty easy to understand, getting from Point A to Point B is the challenge and the fun in being a flipper.
As you've been thinking about getting into the business, scouting around your community for suitable properties and imagining the riches of your endeavor, have you also been garnering ideas for the in-between process?
In other words, do you understand how to craft a vision for your profitable fix and flip house?
Appreciate Your House
The first step in crafting that vision is to appreciate what your house already has to offer. Are there wood floors hiding under that horrible carpet? Are there good-sized windows that just need to be upgraded? Is there a huge back yard that can be enhanced with a patio cover?
Each house is going to come with unique character that will appeal to your future buyers. You don't want to destroy those features in your haste to follow some kind of master plan.
It could be that you've got some fine wood in those kitchen cabinets that could be saved with refinishing or painting to preserve the character of the house. You also can save some money with this option. On a cautious note, don't save some ratty old kitchen cabinets in the name of preservation if it's going to detract from your asking price for the house.
Meet Modern Buyer Demands
Now that you've mapped out what character elements of the house you want to retain, you need to determine how to do that while meeting the demands of the modern buyer.
Whatever price point you are targeting with your house, buyers are expecting a more open floor plan. You need to figure out how to connect kitchen, dining room and living space into a place where family and friends can gather and interact while still meeting all the needs of feeding and entertaining.
If you can't completely take out walls, create other openings that give an illusion of openness so at least those in the kitchen can see into the living room or family room.
Of course, if you're working on a higher-end flip where the owners still expect a formal dining room and living room separate from a more casual living space, make sure you understand how these kinds of owners think.
And never, ever forget that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. Those are the best places to put your money to turn a better profit, though sometimes adding an extra bedroom or expanding a half-bath into a full bath also provide a good return on investment.
Keep a Broad Vision
While it only takes one person or family to fall in love with your house to get it sold, you need to cast a pretty broad net to find that perfect buyer.
That means keep your color scheme neutral. You can have a little fun with accent colors and features, but sticking with the basics is going to make your home appealing to a wider clientele.
If you don't feel comfortable picking color schemes and accents on your own, seek advice from your friends or other professionals. Visit open houses in the neighborhood where you are working and pick the brains of real estate professionals about what features sell and what turn away buyers. If you have a friend whose style you like who might be willing to offer some free advice, go for it. Just remember that you're preparing a house for market, not for your personal tastes.
Families always can add personal touches and accents easily enough after they move in, but when they see a house they consider move-in ready, they are going to be willing to meet or exceed your asking price.
Whether you're new to flipping or just honing your skills to turn a better profit on future flips, learning to develop a vision for your flips always will pay in the long run. Contact us for further advice and to learn how to get reasonable financing for purchasing and rehabbing your upcoming projects.
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