House flipping is all about finding houses with potential. Ways that the value of the house can be increased by making improvements or renovations.
Areas to look for to add value to a house are:
- Unfinished spaces
In partnership with the potential, you also want to look for a house with these features:
- A location where buyers want to live
- Desirable school district
- Low traffic street
It is likely to find many of these opportunities in homes that have had the same owner for many years. Especially for buyers who prefer to be in homes with original details and charm rather than new construction house.
The first purchase of 2020 was a house that met many of these criteria and I shared some of the details about it when we purchased it here.
Fast forward four months and a few changes in the world and we had a new listing. This house was so unique to the area being that it was updated and had many of the features buyers want, it was no surprise that it wasn’t available for long.
Here are some of the spaces where the potential made good on the promise.
Who doesn’t dream of having a large space for casual dining, homework and gathering in their kitchen? Still the most requested feature in a kitchen, it required an extra bit of thought to get this one just right. Since we were opening the kitchen to the dining room anyway, it was easy to swap the location of the rooms too. Using the dining room space for the new kitchen gave the clearance to add an 8 foot kitchen island with plenty of storage and prep space. This is a feature that is usually only found in new construction homes in this neighborhood that are considerably higher priced.
While this house was rare in that it had 3 bathrooms when it was purchased, they were definitely not all spaces you would choose to use. Here, the main floor bathroom had been through a series of changes over the years that ended with a strange, shorty tub and not a lot of space to navigate. As with almost all bathrooms, we start with a full demo to allow for a more efficient use of the space. Since this is the only bathroom with a tub, we added a full sized version (extra deep) along the back wall. Paired with a clean and suitably sized vanity and penny tile, this classic black and white bath fits with the modern updates throughout.
Okay, so this wasn’t completely unfinished. But in many basements, the finished areas weren’t in great condition. It’s common for an older house to have paneling with no insulation. Not ideal for a harsh climate like we have in Minnesota. So this is another area where we demo down to the walls and start from scratch. Here the plans included using all of this nearly 1100 square feet to add a fourth bedroom, bathroom, family room, office and laundry room.
The Master Suite
Since this is a 1 ½ story house there was also a third bedroom. It had a small bathroom as well but this was a space that really hadn’t been used as a bedroom. There wasn’t any ductwork so it wasn’t a comfortable space temperature wise. There were also some paneled walls that separated it into two smaller spaces. By again, removing everything to the studs, we were able to properly insulate, drywall and add ductwork and vents for central air conditioning and heat. And, we even managed to add an ensuite bath that was triple the size of the original.
Miscellaneous Items to Note:
I replaced all the windows in this house. All of the hardwood floors in the main living areas were refinished. We also added new wood when the linoleum was removed in the kitchen and mudroom. With everything sanded and stained, the floors all look as though they’ve always been there.
The furnace and central air conditioning were replaced in this house. New duct work was also installed in the areas where we added heating and cooling.
All the electrical and plumbing were also updated, as is customary when you are completing a large scale renovation.
With any flip project you want to know your market and the comparable sales. Before you decide on the resale and renovation, know what your resale price is and look at the homes that have sold and see what features they offer. You’ll want to scale your renovations similarly if you want to price the home the same once it’s complete. The best way to a successful flip is creating a home that buyers want by making renovations that meet (or exceed) their expectations.
Ready to take that next step when it comes to flipping?
Now that you know how to fund a flip, here are some additional resources to help you get the information you need to move forward on creating your flipping life.
Make sure you have the Fixer Upper Checklist so you know which areas are key to added value in a home.
There are several videos available on finding houses, renovations, and funding on the Threshold Homes YouTube Channel. Check out your favorite flipping topics and new videos weekly.
You can’t close a successful and profitable flip unless you start. What is your biggest challenge is with getting started house flipping? I’m here to help.
Want to buy a property and renovate it?
I have a freebie checklist that will help you — 8 Things I look for When Purchasing a Home. Just click here to download it.
Love before and afters?
Looking to buy a house to renovate? Check out the fixer upper checklist to help you find the house with the most “flip” potential.
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