Flipping Houses on a Budget: The $15k Rehab
Hey everybody! Melissa here, back with another before and after blog post. This one is all about flipping houses on a dime. We're going to walk through this rehab that only cost us $15k in repairs!
To be honest, this house was already in really good shape, so there wasn't much that we had to do to it. Other than updating features, replacing the floors, and adding a door (we'll get to that further down), this house was a pretty simple flip. Which reminds me, sometimes when it comes to flipping houses on a dime it's all about luck. We got lucky that this house was an easy rehab. Believe me, we've seen our fair share of nightmare properties!
Without further hesitation, let's get right into how we've been flipping houses on a dime in this rehab before and after!
Flipping Houses on a Dime: The Numbers
It's no secret that flipping houses cost money, that's why they call it real estate investing (duh). We bought this house for $138,000, spent about $15,000 in repairs, making the total expenses $153,000.
Because of the area the house is in, the size, and the improvements we made, the house was listed at (and sold for) $220,000. With the costs the way they were, we made a gross profit of $67,000! Not bad when you're flipping houses on a dime for a living!
What helps us the most when we're flipping houses on a dime is really finding the best deals on the materials we use. Since we work with the same contractor, we have a great rate that's already been negotiated, so we don't have to worry about spending too much money there. However, when you're replacing the floors and countertops, you need to stay conscious of how much you're spending.
When we replace the floors, we use this great wood vinyl that comes really cheap. The wood look vinyl that we use is luxury quality. The reason we use wood vinyl instead of hard wood is that it's cheaper, and it wears much better. Whenever you're replacing floors, you need to think about the longevity of the product. Especially in a family sized house like this one, you need to plan for the future. Buyers with children and pets aren't going to want to live in a house where the floors aren't durable or are difficult to keep clean.
Just like the floors, you want to be price conscious with the countertops. It's important to look for something nice that sets your house apart from the others on the market, but that's also easy to keep clean and is durable. When we're flipping houses on a dime, we stock up on Carrera marble from a vendor here in town. Because we buy in bulk, we really aren't spending much per house. When you find a good vendor, don't let go! Working with someone for a long time builds a relationship and makes getting good deals on material that much easier.
Before and After - What We Changed
On the Flipping Junkie YouTube channel, we made a before-and-after video of this property. Check it out to see all of the improvements we made! For now, let's go through what we changed in each room and how we were able to get by flipping this house on a dime.
The Living Room
As soon as you walk into this property the living room opens up with a walk to the breakfast room and kitchen. The layout of the house was great, so we didn't have to do any major demo (thank goodness)! However, the living room was pretty dark. There was carpet in the living room as well. Because the owners had lots of pets, the floors had that musty cat and dog smell. We knew that we would have to replace that ASAP.
Other than taking up the old floors and replacing it with our wood vinyl, we also added can lights to brighten up the space. This house didn't have any large front facing windows to let in natural light to the living room, which is what made it so dark. That's why we added the can lights. Can lights aren't expensive to add to a room. Costing between $7 - $12 dollars a light, and the installation fee from our contractor, we transformed this room for pennies.
The Kitchen and Breakfast Room
The breakfast room wasn't in bad shape. We continued the flooring from the living room into this room. Then we painted the walls so that the whole house would have a uniform look to it. After that we added a nice chandelier from Home Depot and called it a day!
The chandelier only costs about $100. Just like in our IKEA inventory video, we buy our accessories in bulk so that we're not overspending on all of our properties. When you're flipping houses on a dime, you need to be smart about what you're spending on the improvements to your properties. Light fixtures and accessories are no different. The best method we've had is to get an inventory of the things you know you're going to use in your properties. That's why we stock up on light fixtures and countertops. The more you buy in bulk, the less you'll spend overall.
Ok, tangent aside! Let's talk about the kitchen. As we said, we replaced all of the countertops with the Carrera marble we have. In addition to that, we updated the faucet and added an undermount sink. We changed the backsplash from the builder-grade to a white subway tile. Each of these tiles costs under a dollar. Replacing the backsplash with something nice and clean like this really brightens up the room and makes it feel larger than it is.
The biggest money saver in the kitchen was definitely the cabinets. We've talked about this before in the Flip Pilot group. Don't waste money replacing the cabinets if they're in good shape. Just because they don't quite look the way you want them right now doesn't mean you can't improve them.
All we did was sand them down and give them a new coat of paint. Voila! You can take boring, brown, ugly cabinets and make them stunning with a fresh coat of paint and new hardware. Just like the light fixtures, if you buy your hardware in bulk it will save you money in the long run. There is absolutely no need to change out the cabinets if you're flipping houses on a dime.
The same goes for the appliances. If they're in good shape, don't spend a thousand dollars on a new oven and stove! Make sure you're gentle with them during the rehab, clean them up, and put them right back in. The appliances in this kitchen were in great shape, so we didn't need to spend any extra money on replacing them.
This property had an upstairs living room right in the middle that the bedrooms branched off of. Just like the living room downstairs, all we had to do was replace the carpet and add some can lights. If you can keep your rehabs simple, you'll be flipping houses on a dime like a pro. Don't get too crazy when you're rehabbing a house or you'll end up spending an arm and a leg.
Each bedroom, other than the master (we'll get to that), was just as simple as the upstairs living room. New paint, new carpet. Bing, bang, boom, done. We did make sure to replace all of the hardware on the doors - closets included - with brushed nickel instead of the builder grade copper looking door knobs. That's not a necessity, but it's definitely something we do to make our houses look more cohesive. We've talked about this in the FlippingJunkie Group on FaceBook as a great tip for flipping houses on a dime. Swapping doorknobs is simple and cheap and gives your rehabs one more bit of your own personal flair.
The Master Suite
Ok, so this master bedroom started off really dark (like the whole house), but that wasn't the biggest issue. The big problem with this room was that the door was missing! I have no idea if they removed it just because, or if it had been damaged, or what. I don't know about you, but when I go into my master bedroom I want a little privacy, especially as a mother. Needless to say, we added a door.
This master bedroom had a very interesting layout that I really liked. There was a nice space for the bed, some nice windows, but the really interesting part was a built-in office nook. I don't see that in my rehabs often, so I was really interested in it! This little office room had a big open arch to get to, with one window on the outward facing wall. The only problem was that it was so dark. To fix that, we painted the entire master suite a nice bright grey color that really showed off the natural light from those windows. For the most part, if your properties have good bones like this one, flipping houses on a dime is as simple as some new paint and carpet.
The master bath is my favorite part of this rehab! We removed the old vanity because that's just our thing. Typically in our rehabs, we replace the builder grade vanity with the standalone sinks. Mostly, that's just our style. I like doing this because doing it gives the whole bathroom such a clean look. In addition to changing the sinks, we removed the old tub surround and tiles in the shower and replaced them with much more modern tiles.
I used that nice dark wood grain tile in the shower to match the color of the wood vinyl we replaced the floors with. This wood vinyl is the same that we used downstairs. We like replacing the floors with this because it looks nice, and is really cheap to do. Our wood grain tile costs roughly $0.25 for a sample, so if you're interested it's literally a quarter to check it out!
I also found this great textured wave tile for the tub surround and just fell in love with it. This tile costs roughly $17/sq. ft., but since I was using it for the tub surround it didn't cost much at all. The color is great and matches the light grey of the wall in addition to making this bathroom stand out against all of the other houses in the area.
This neighborhood is brown. All brown. Everything is brown. This master bathroom definitely stands out. That's the biggest thing to keep in mind when you're flipping houses on a dime: you don't want to make your properties look like all of the others. Find an inexpensive way to make your stand out so that you can move your inventory quickly.
Are Your Flipping Houses on a Dime?
Did you get any ideas for flipping your next house without spending an arm and a leg? Our rehabs have a distinct look to them. If you haven't noticed yet, we sort of have a pattern going with the wood vinyl and grey walls. Because we use a lot of the same materials in our rehabs, we buy in bulk to take advantage of dealer discounts. Everything from the flooring we use to the kitchen countertops we buy in huge quantities. It ends up being much cheaper for us in the long run, keeping us flipping houses on a dime all the time!
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