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Designing an Ideal Flip

House flips and good design are not always synonymous. There are definitely projects where less is better but depending on your end buyer you can always find a way to up the design even at lower price points.

One of my tried and true insider flip tips from some of my earliest projects was to upgrade the countertops. At the price level my projects were, most buyers weren’t expecting to see granite countertops in the kitchen. While the cost difference was about $800.00 the impact was significantly higher. It also created a memorable showing for the buyers when it came time to make their decision. This one upgrade led me to establish a habit over the years of continuing to find ways to set homes apart with the often overlooked but impactful design elements that buyers appreciate.

Planning the Elements of a Good Flip

Operating with the design of an entire home flip or renovation, you’re going to want to segment the areas by where they’re located in the house. For most people when they are starting out, the idea of making selections and having everything work together well can be overwhelming. And when you’re working on multiple projects, you can increase those selections times 3.

Every successful project starts with a plan. Build a spreadsheet and include all the decisions you’ll be making. For example, exterior: shingles, windows and siding. Include notes on the materials, the date the selection will need to be made so it can be ordered and the color of the selection so you can refer back if needed.

This is the list that will include any materials that are being added to the project and the room where they will be installed. So when deciding on flooring, you can add which one (and the color) or if there’s existing hardwood that is being refinished, you can add the stain selection.

Consider any exterior architecture that will remain as well as what the o. ther style of homes in the neighborhood.

Find selections that are appealing and stand out

When you’re looking for materials there are a wide variety of choices one of my top resources are online vendors. The ability to shop and choose materials from locations is one of my top ways to create spaces that don’t look like the typical flip. If you’re considering using this option make sure to allow yourself the time to order samples and have them delivered. This will assist in having all the selections ready that rely on each other. Quick Design Tip: Choose one item first (like your tile), then your vanity and paint. Paying special attention to the cabinet shade and the vanity top to avoid colors that don’t work well together or maybe completely clash. When selecting the vanity check to see if it is quartz or marble too since that can affect the shade and how it can complement (or contrast) with the tile.

Here’s just a few sources to consider:

1-Online retailers (or retailers that aren’t located near you geographically)
2-Big box home improvement stores
3-Local wholesalers (for cabinetry)
4-ProSource

Pro Tip-Make sure you give yourself plenty of time to order materials to account for any delays. I’ve even been known to have a backup on hand just in case timelines get too tight.

Flip projects don’t have to be boring. You can create spaces that use materials outside of those that you can purchase at a local big box store. When you spend just a bit of time planning and selecting your finishes there is a-lot of good that can come from what many people often disregard as low quality and low design flip projects.

When in Doubt; Go Neutral

Your sanity is valuable. If it’s in jeopardy, no worries. There’s no need to overthink the selections. When you’re uncertain its best to keep choices simple and appealing for as many buyers as possible. There are classic staples in design that while trends may come and go, these have established some longevity.

If you’re going to add in some accents think of texture if color feels like it could be too much. Wall details like shiplap with a unique installation, vertical planking, board and batten, of geometric wall designs are all ways to create a custom look without the custom home price.

One Last Thing….

The final detail that cannot be underestimated is staging. While technically it doesn’t fall into the design category it is one of the top ways to draw attention to a flip, or any home listing for that matter. I stage every single property. Even properties that I’m listing for rent. No exceptions.

Staged homes not only sell 83% faster but they garner higher offers and more interest. That can be helpful when selling a home in any market. The ability for buyers to see how each of the spaces can best be used brings value to every foot of a home.

Don’t forget that every one of the details you plan for is another way your house will stand out. That’s the goal is to renovate and create a space that buyers respond to and look forward to making their home.


Ready to take that next step when it comes to flipping?

That’s why I’ve got additional resources to help you get the information you need to move forward on creating your flipping life.

Make sure you have the Fixer Upper Checklist so you know which areas are key to added value in a home.

There are several videos available on finding houses, renovations, and funding on the Threshold Homes YouTube Channel. Check out your favorite flipping topics and videos.

You can’t close a successful and profitable flip unless you start. What is your biggest challenge with getting started house flipping? Let me know. It may be an area I’ve also had questions about myself. I’m here to help so drop me a DM.

Want to buy a property and renovate it?

Get my checklist that will help you — 8 Things I look for When Purchasing a Home. Just click here to download it.

Love before and afters?

Follow us on IG @thresholdhomesmn and FB  @thresholdhomesmn to see the projects we’re working on. And for more ideas on renovating & restoring fixer-uppers!

Looking to buy a house to renovate? Check out the fixer upper checklist to help you find the house with the most “flip” potential. For more inspiration follow me on Pinterest @thresholdhomesmn

house flipping, learn to flip a house, home renovation, fixer upper, flipping houses, house flip, real estate investing, interior design
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