When it comes to our rehab budgets, Tarek and I each have our own weaknesses. Tarek almost always underestimates the budget when he looks at a house (without one of our contractors or our project manager around to help). And I tend to lean toward more expensive rehab materials and projects. In the end, we try to leave room in our budgets for the unexpected, and we always balance each other out when we’re figuring out how to flip a house. But if you’ve watched our show, you know that we can butt heads along the way. Flipping houses is really all about figuring out what you need to spend money on so that you can make money, and I’ve found a few expensive rehabs that really do pay off.
When you see the price tags on some of these, you might think, “Christina, you’re crazy!” but I’m here to tell you that these are the kinds of upgrades and design details that buyers love. In fact, I’ve had buyers love some of these details so much that they’ve gotten into bidding wars over them. So, keep your sticker shock in check because these items are definitely worth it when it comes time to sell.
You’ve seen me and Tarek go back and forth on claw-foot tubs on more than one episode of Flip or Flop. I love them, but Tarek doesn’t always see the need. In fact, when our budget is getting tight, he usually shuts me down pretty hard. However, when we do include a claw-foot tub, buyers always notice.
They see that we were willing to put the money and effort in to pay attention to every last detail, and they know that they’re making a quality purchase. Not only that, but everyone loves claw-foot tubs. They’re classic and timeless. Put one in the master bathroom and watch your buyers imagine themselves soaking after a long day.
Master Bathroom Expansions
Speaking of the master bathroom, if yours is kind of dinky, you might want to think about expanding it. This can be expensive, as you have to figure out how the plumbing is going to work, and you have to knock out and move walls and redesign the bathroom’s layout. However, two rooms sell your house faster than anything else: the kitchen and the master bathroom. If you have a lot of space, a great tub, and a modern shower with a waterfall showerhead, buyers are going to fall in love. It’s always worth it.
Updated Lighting and Ceiling Fans Everywhere
Finally, updating the lighting in one room probably doesn’t seem that expensive, but when you put really great lighting and high-quality ceiling fans in every room, the price adds up. Some flippers will actually skip this step completely, but that’s a huge mistake.
Upgrading your lighting and putting in really nice ceiling fans will highlight the rest of the work you’ve done and improve airflow throughout the house. You’ll shed better light on your new flooring, fixtures, and appliances, and you’ll make the house more comfortable and energy efficient. Those are all great for improving the wow factor for buyers.
When you’re learning how to flip a house, it can be hard to decide what to spend money on and what to skip. Think about the big selling points of your house and how you can accentuate them. Think about how much the rehab materials and labor will cost and how much they will add to the value of the house. In general, if it costs less than it adds, do it. Invest in slightly more expensive rehab projects, especially when you get a really good deal on a house, and you’ll be flipping houses faster than you could ever have imagined.