A lot of people will tell you that you make your money flipping houses when you buy, not when you sell. If you find a property for a really good price, all you need to do to make a profit is bring it up to market value without spending the difference. This is really good real estate business advice, but it’s not totally accurate. While we definitely stress getting a good deal on your flips and not over-rehabbing them, you can actually do a lot to bring up the after-repair value of your properties if you use a few of my favorite tricks.
Pressure Wash the Exterior
Before you decide to paint the whole house, give the exterior a good pressure washing. You might find that you have a perfectly good paint job hiding under grime and mold. Pressure washing the roof can also get rid of black streaks and stains, making it look much newer.
Paint the Accents
If you’re not going to paint the entire exterior of your flip, you should definitely give all of the accents a fresh coat. Window frames, sills, doorframes, and doors should all get makeovers. This adds to curb appeal, and it doesn’t cost you much at all, whether you do it yourself or hire painters to do it for you.
On that note, if you’re just doing some simple painting like this, you might want to do it yourself, especially if you have some experience and know that you can get it done quickly. If it’s going to take you a week to get it done when it would take painters a day, it’s worth it to call your general contractor and get his recommendations for a good painter.
Plant a Garden
In one episode of Flip or Flop, we gained a lot of value by “bringing the outside in” with a kitchen garden on the back patio. I’m not saying you should do that for every flip, but your landscaping and outdoor areas can benefit a lot from attractive plants and flowers. If you have a very open kitchen, a garden like the one we planted will do a lot for you.
You can also do a lot for your property by planting flowers or shrubs along the walkway and around the porch. Remember, you want your house to make a really good impression from the moment potential buyers see it. Curb appeal is huge for that first impression, and it can definitely make or break a deal.
Even if you don’t add any new plants, you should definitely trim and prune hedges and trees, and always make sure the grass is filled in and freshly mowed. By cleaning up the landscaping, you can add thousands of dollars to your ARV, and you can usually do it for $500-1000 total, even with the cost of new plants.
Put in a New Mailbox
This one sounds silly, but it’s surprisingly effective. Look at the mailboxes on the investment properties in your area. Most of the time, the mailbox is just as neglected as the rest of the house. Leaving it alone will remind buyers that this house used to be deserted and rundown. Putting a new, updated mailbox in is cheap and erases those old “memories” of the house’s history.
These simple tricks make flipping houses easier, and they can help you make a lot more money for your real estate business. Whenever you can, find inexpensive ways to make your houses more attractive to buyers.