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If You Mess This Up, Your Next Flip Will Probably Flop

Christopher Gill
2 min read
If You Mess This Up, Your Next Flip Will Probably Flop

Have you ever walked into a house and something just felt off?

No, I’m not talking about ghosts or the next haunted-house horror movie. If this happens, chances are it’s because the floorplan wasn’t well designed.

I’ve seen this “cardinal sin” of real estate development committed on every level of house, from rehabs to old and new construction alike; people don’t spend enough time designing floorplans.

Everyone loves to pick tile, paint colors, and cabinet finishes, but if the floorplan doesn’t make sense, the house won’t sell (and if it eventually does, it will be at a huge discount).

What can you do to ensure this mistake doesn’t haunt your next rehab?

Related: Expert Tips and Tricks for Successfully Flipping Houses

Here are a few tips from someone who’s taken some of the worst-designed floor plans and years of poor planning and created spaces people love living in:

  • Ensure the number of bedrooms and bathrooms are correct for the size and location of your project

    If you don’t get this right, you’re headed for immediate failure. The typical home in the United States today is a 3/2. If you rehab an older home, chances are it won’t have enough bathrooms. The extra expense and time is completely worth it. In all MLS systems, people specify the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want. If you are outside this criteria, people won’t even see your home. Make sure you’re attracting the maximum number of potential buyers. Get your bed and bath count right!

  • Create usable living spaces

    This may seem completely obvious, but you wouldn’t believe the numbers of freshly rehabbed homes that have small living spaces chopped up and tucked away from the rest of the house. Today is the age of open living spaces. Formal dining rooms aren’t as popular as they once were, and they probably won’t be used. Give that extra space to a larger, more-flexible living room. If you have to, open up walls and throw in a few beams or columns. Create spaces to entertain in; if the party people like it, chances are the rest of us will to.


  • Design jaw-dropping kitchens & bathrooms

    These are still the spaces in the home to invest your big dollars. Spend the extra few dollars per foot on the cool backsplash tile. Put glass fronts on your upper cabinets. Design built-in wine storage. Add the vintage lighting. People will absolutely notice. Another thing I’ve started doing is raising the height of my shower fixtures. These are typically installed at a little over 6 feet, but I’ll go to 7.5 feet. I also love sconce lighting in bathrooms. It’s the little tweaks and upgrades that give a space the high-end feel.

  • Install walk-in Closets

    If you are ever faced with the dilemma of either having a bigger bedroom or a bigger closet, do big closet every time. This gives your buyer the ability to declutter the bedroom with plenty of storage to put their belongings out of sight. Nobody likes small closets. This will be another potential deal breaker if you make the wrong call.

Related: 3 Tips to Productively Work with an Architect on Your Next Project 

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What’s one design choice you wish you could wipe off the face of the earth? Let me know in the comments below!

Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.