There is a saying that the devil is in the details. Lack of function is something that I see lived out all the time when it comes to flips. There is a thought that as long as the house is new and has somewhat neutral finishes that people will pay for that alone. While that may occasionally be true, I would rather stack the odds in my favor by making sure that as long as I am renovating a house I am also making it as appealing and functional as possible.
So what does function look like when you are renovating a flip house?
Paying attention to the entry points – Where would you enter (or leave) the house? Is there a spot there for you to set items down or get ready to walk out the door? Thinking about these questions before you get the space designed can lead you to add things like a built in bench or some wall hooks.
Where is the storage?
In an effort to maximize the finished square footage of houses people forget that buyers need somewhere to store the items they don’t want but need. Things like a broom and a vacuum are perfect examples. No one puts that on their buyer “must” list but its something they are definitely on the lookout for when they walk into a house.
How do I get to the outdoor space?
Even in a climate where it seems like it is only warm 3 months of the year it is important to account for how people will get outside. Is there a back door or side door and does it make sense. I’ve seen my share of bedrooms with a door out to the back yard. I can say that definitely is not an ideal layout for buyers.
Where are the bedrooms and the bathrooms in proximity to each other?
A bedroom without nearby access to a bathroom is a deal breaker for many home buyers. Same to having a finished lower level space where a trip to another floor would be needed to access a bathroom. Keep this in mind too when looking at homes that have a main floor with no bathroom. Most buyers will immediately rule out a house where there’s only one bathroom and it requires stairs to access it.
How do the appliances and cabinets open in the kitchen?
When you have a new kitchen installed it is critically important that the new items function as they should. That means doors and drawers need to be installed in a way that they are easily accessed. Also, make sure the layout of the appliances is not limited. I have seen flips where the investor ended up tearing out the entire kitchen and re-doing it. All because doors and drawers would not open which created odd access that buyers were not willing to look past.
On the list of items to appeal to buyers, the practical details can sometimes be overlooked. Don’t let these areas trip you up and combined with the right finishes, you are sure to create a home that a buyer will say checks every box on their list.
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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