1950s house flip with 6.5-7ft. ceiling

10 Replies

Hi! I'm new to real estate and starting to look for my first house flip. I recently looked at a property that looks good and checks all the boxes other than the ceilings on the second level of the home being very short. I am worried the home will be hard to sell once renovated. Do short ceilings cause conflicts for people purchasing the home? should I shy away from this one?

I think it really depends on your market. Older homes do tend to have lower ceilings, (maybe people were shorter back then) But if you are in a hot neighborhood or market. They will still sell like hot cakes! 

Any idea why these ceilings are short?  Can they be raised?  I have one house where the ceilings are shorter than normal (probably 7 feet tall).  This is a rental though.  Interestingly, tenants don't mind as this helps with the utility costs.  The two young men who currently rent this are quite tall (both over six feet) and did ask if the ceiling fans could be replaced with flush mounted ceiling lights as they were worried about bumping into the fans.  I have friends who rent apartments converted in very old homes in our "Old Towne" area that have 10-12 foot ceilings and very large, older windows.  They love the look but often comment that their utility costs of heating and cooling are very, very high.

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Hi @Gail K. , unfortunately we do not know as to why the ceilings are so short. The main level is a normal height, just the 2 bedrooms upstairs along with the bathroom. I don't believe the ceilings can be raised, the second floor ceiling is basically already the roof or attic of the house. My husband a little over 6 feet has to duck to get through the doors upstairs, which raised some concern for us especially being the first flip. Thanks for your feedback!

@Megan Smock

I know by me, if an attic ceiling is under 7’ is can’t be considered a bedroom. I’ve never run into your scenario, but I’d check with code first. It may be grandfathered in and be fine, but I know I wouldn’t want 6 1/2’ ceilings.

That's definitely market-dependent.  If it's unusual for your area, then I would say that yes, it will cut down your buyer pool.  And by reducing the demand, reduce the price.

In my market, I usually recommend staying away from shorter than 8' ceilings.

Megan, as others pointed out, I would be concerned if these upstairs bedrooms were to code and on title. If they are 6.5', I would be very concerned, if 7', I would calculate a lower ARV based on comparables (assuming the comparables are standard 8'). If a just over 6 foot person has to duck getting into doorways, that will likely reduce your buyers pool. A smaller buyer's pool typically = lower price as the demand for this home will likely be lower than your competition. Check with the city and your local building and safety department for more info.