Flipping a house-what is most important

1 Reply

Hey guys. My partner and I @Jim Stoffey

 are having a GC come look at our first potential flip-property on Monday. What are some of the most important things we should look to fix on the property? It needs a complete redo. Currently it is listed at 4 beds and 1 bath but there are two different areas in the house where more bathrooms can be added.

More questions:

1. What is more important? New carpet or adding hardwood floors throughout. 

2. Is the popcorn ceiling throughout a turn off for most buyers? 

3. Should stainless steal appliances be considered or should we stick to cheaper options in the kitchen?

4. Should we consider painting the house on the outside or let it be? Currently the new door on the property does not match the color of the house. 

I appreciate all responses. 


Hi Phil,

I'm sure this isn't the answer that you want to hear, but--"it depends." What is your local market like? Take a look at what comps are selling for, and compare the amenities in each to get an idea for what you can expect to get if you put in hardwood as opposed to carpet. 

It also depends a lot on what kind of house you're rehabbing (and what kind of buyer will be looking at it). If this is an expensive property in an upscale neighborhood, you better have a kitchen that is in-line with neighborhood expectations. Conversely, if this is a modest neighborhood, you can go all-out on that kitchen with beautiful, expensive appliances, quartz countertops, etc., but the type of buyer that is looking for that house won't pay much extra for all those things.

Having given that very important disclaimer, I'll give you my personal opinion on each of the specific items. Just please remember that this is my opinion, and it's your job to figure out if these opinions apply to this particular property.

  1. Hardwood vs new carpet: hardwood all the way! when you walk into the property and it's got hardwood throughout, it's got immediate appeal.
  2. I think popcorn ceiling is ugly, but I'd be more inclined to look down the floor and be excited by the beautiful hardwood than look up at the ceiling and discouraged by the ugly ceiling. You could paint it white to make it look a little nicer.
  3. Stainless vs white appliances: I would go stainless if I could find a good deal, otherwise go with nice white appliances. And I would look for quality used appliances--you can find great deals on used stuff that is great shape! Check craigslists and local appliance stores.
  4. Does the house need painting? If it doesn't need painting, I wouldn't paint it just to get it to match the color of the door. Change the door color instead!

Hope that's helpful info. If you buy the house, make sure to keep us informed about how it goes!