Flipping houses is a great way to make money and get deeply involved in a hobby. When you start with your first house, you might feel overwhelmed with where to start. What areas of the house do you need to put the most effort into? What will potential buyers want to see when they come see the finished product? Follow this list of dos and don'ts when completing your first flip to increase your chances of selling at a profit.
Do: Replace the Furnace
Check the age of the furnace before you put the house on the market. A house with an old or outdated furnace can make selling far more difficult.
- People shopping for new homes are more drawn to advertisements that list new furnaces because they know they won't have to spend money later.
- Furnaces that are nearing the end of their lives are less likely to pass inspection for potential buyers.
- Potential buyers might ask you to lower your listing price to accommodate their purchase of a new furnace.
Instead of dealing with these hassles, replace the furnace before you list. You can do one better by installing a high quality furnace and listing the house as environmentally friendly, drawing in more potential buyers.
Don't: Ignore the Crawl Space
The quality of the foundation, mildew, and floor structure are three of the most important things potential buyers will look for once you put the house on the market. The quality of all three of these starts in the crawl space.
Focus a lot of your attention in the crawl space while you're working on the house.
- Insulation: Use spray foam insulation on the walls of the crawl space to help create a moisture barrier. Avoid insulating the ceiling of the crawl space, which could cause moisture to become trapped in the area.
- Sealant: Outside air infiltration is a huge concern in crawl spaces, as it allows moisture and pests to enter the home. Check the seams of the exterior walls and the entrances into the crawl space. If they're not airtight, use sealant on the walls and add lining on the doorways to keep outside air outside.
- Mildew Prevention: Paint any exposed wood — especially the ceiling — with paint designed for mildew prevention. This is a quick, cheap step that will show potential buyers that you paid close attention to detail when fixing the house.
Do: Install New Trim
Small details help bring new life to a home and enhance its overall look. Baseboards, window trim, and door trim easily gets nicked and scratched through daily living. You could paint over these mars, but even the best paint job won't hide them completely.
Instead, consider replacing the trim and painting it a nice, soft white. Brand new trim all over the house will visually take years off its age. Your potential buyers will notice this attention to detail as the house will look far more put-together instead of having poorly disguised blemishes.
Don't: Get Too Modern
You want to give the house a facelift without lifting the home value far above the rest of the neighborhood. If you make the house too nice, you'll risk it sitting on the market for too long because it doesn't match the market value of its neighbors.
Instead, fix the items that will bring it up to the neighborhood's level, such as the roof, gutters, appliances, and structure. Then, make cosmetic adjustments that will enhance the house without costing you too much money. Apply neutral paint to all the walls, create a DIY backsplash in the bathroom, and install new water fixtures. These small steps will help you reach a reasonable listing price without risking alienating buyers for the specific neighborhood.
The process of flipping a house is fun and invigorating, and it can make you a lot of money if you do it well. It can be overwhelming at first if you don't know which aspects of the house are most important to fix. Follow this list of dos and don'ts for flipping your first house to help keep you on track. Follow this link for more information.