When we film our show for HGTV, we mostly focus on the big repairs and rehabs for our flip houses. Those big changes are the most entertaining things to watch in a half-hour TV show, and they give our audience a pretty good idea of a lot of the stuff that goes into fixing and flipping houses. But if you’re tackling rehabs on flip houses for your business, you’re going to notice that the little details matter just as much as those huge renovations. In fact, sometimes doing something really small can have the same effects as spending a few hundred dollars. Here are some of my favorite cheap rehabs that really pay off.
Replace the Toilet Flush Handle and Toilet Seat Instead of the Toilet
In a lot of our flip houses, we do have to replace the toilets. Sometimes they’re old. Sometimes they’re literally falling apart. Sometimes, though, the only thing making a toilet look old is a broken or worn out flush handle. You can get a new handle for as little as $5, and it’ll give the toilet a whole new life.
If the toilet itself is still looking pretty good but the toilet seat is worn, you can save a lot of cash by just replacing the seat. Take a good hard look at everything about the toilet, though. You don’t want to spend money on a new flush handle and toilet seat just to find out that you really do need to replace the whole toilet.
Replace Light Switches and Wall Plates
Painting a room always makes it look fresh and new, but putting the old wall plates back in place over the light switches can instantly downgrade the look you got from that new coat of paint. Wall plates with multiple switches can cost between $3 and $5 each, making them a really simple investment that will be surprisingly effective at bringing the house up to date.
Pay Attention to the Front Door
Whether it needs a new coat of paint, a new knocker or door handle, or a new doorbell, pay attention to your front door and what surrounds it. First impressions matter, and when your buyers walk up to the house for the first time, the front door is going to make an impression.
Fortunately, you can almost always really improve its looks without replacing the door itself or doing anything else expensive. Instead, upgrade the doorbell (or at least its button), replace the door’s hardware, and make sure that all of the other details around the door look new and in good shape.
Install a Water Filtration System in the Kitchen
Finally, one of my favorite little details is installing a water filtration system in the kitchen. It’s a small expense, but it’s a big seller with buyers. They’ll be happy to know that they won’t have to buy bottled water because they can enjoy sparkling, clear, and clean water directly from their kitchen tap. It’s not a mandatory improvement, but when we have room in the budget, it’s one I like to make.
These four cheap fix-and-flip rehab fixes won’t take the place of all of the bigger jobs you have to do for a house flip, but they can add a lot of value without adding a lot to your rehab budget. Try them out on your next flip and see what your buyers say when it’s time to sell. You might be surprised at how excited they are and how quickly the house sells. Good luck!