If you watch our show, you know that Christina and I are really big fans of completely gutting and totally rehabbing our flip houses. We love the looks on our buyers’ faces when they see what high quality work we do. By going the extra mile, we can get better prices on our houses, and we can show our buyers that real estate investors aren’t just out to pull a fast one on them and sell them a low-quality piece of property. I love really putting it all in and transforming these rundown, ugly houses into really beautiful places to live.
That said, I also know that we need to make a profit on our properties if we’re going to stay in business, and so do you. A lot of times, that means sticking to a pretty tight budget and making some really difficult decisions about rehab projects.
Sometimes those projects end up being trade-offs. For example, you might go with a laminate floor instead of hardwood so that you can do a more complete and attractive bathroom rehab with a new tub and a waterfall showerhead. Of course, you have to figure out which trade-offs are good ones and which ones you should really stay away from. So, with that in mind, I want to give you a little bit of insight on a few kitchen rehabs that you absolutely must do if you want to get good prices on your flip houses.
Almost every flip you ever buy is going to have terrible countertops. I don’t know why, but I’d say about 99% of the houses we buy have these old particle board counters with a laminate covering. These looked okay (but not impressive) when they were new, but by the time a house gets flipped they’re going to look like garbage.
And you don’t want to replace them with the same kind of countertops because you know that they’re going to look just as bad as they do now in a few years. Not only do you know this, but your buyers know it, too. It might not be a deal breaker, but it’s not going to help you sell the house.
When I first got started in the real estate business, I didn’t know how quickly a refrigerator or a gas range stove could sell a house. It’s amazing to think that one simple appliance could be “the thing” that people get so excited about, but think about how much time you spend in the kitchen. A modern refrigerator and a gas stove are the kinds of appliances that homebuyers really covet. You can’t go wrong with these upgrades.
Sink and Faucet
Just like your countertops, your sink and faucet are likely to be pretty unimpressive, and updated replacements are really not that expensive. Plus, you’re already replacing your countertops, so you have no reason to stick with the same size and shape for your sink. You can make washing dishes a breeze with the right fixtures, and your buyers will definitely notice.
Along with these upgrades, you’ll also want to take a good, hard look at your cabinetry. If your cabinets and drawers are large and sturdy, you may be able to get away with a new coat of paint or stain, or you may be able to just replace the doors. If they’re looking worn out, though, you should bite the bullet, tear them out, and replace them.
You can see on Flip or Flop that Christina and I follow these tips when we’re rehabbing the kitchens on our flip houses. We do all of this because it really does make a difference when it’s time to sell.