Everyone knows the maxim that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. They’re important, high traffic areas that often distinguish one house from another and cause buyers to “fall in love” or not.
But what about other avenues to increase your ROI while still being prudent with your budget? There are lots of ways to do so. Consider this list of rehab “hacks” that will provide good ROI while keeping your bottom line intact.
Fix & Flip Hacks For Increased Profitability
Updated (and neutral) Paint Colors
That bright purple accent wall might have been fun for the previous owner, but it’s not going to help you sell your house. Neither are outdated colors.
Flip through recent home decorating magazines to get a feel for the latest paint colors, and give your rooms a fresh couple of coats. A paint job is one of the easiest ways to drastically update and improve the look of a room.
According to a HomeGain survey, a new interior paint job results in a 107% return on investment. This means that the average cost of an interior paint job – $967 – should increase the resale value of the property by $2,001!
Swap the Light Fixtures
Like paint colors, light fixtures become dated, too. And the good news is that it’s usually pretty easy to replace overhead light fixtures — and affordable, too.
Places like Home Depot and Lowe’s stock some very nice inexpensive options, and installation is typically a breeze. Your contractor or a handyman can often tackle it instead of an electrician.
Replace the Front Door
As one of the first impressions, the front door plays an important role in your sale. If potential buyers see an old front door, they will assume the rest of the house hasn’t been updated, either.
FortuneBuilders, a real estate education and training company, claims there are few if any renovations in recent history to provide a better return on investment. In fact, they claim a new steel entry door has been known to return approximately 102% of the initial cost upon resale.
If the door is an updated style but simply a little drab, you can also paint it for some real pop. Again, check home decorating magazines for ideas on color, but staples like deep reds or blues usually work well.
You might not need all new kitchen cabinets or interior doors, especially if they’re in good condition and are not outdated. But consider replacing hardware.
New door knobs and other hardware can make a big difference and cost you very little. Many foreclosures in particular still boast brass door knobs and older style cabinet handles, and you can dramatically improve the feeling of your property simply by replacing those.
Plus, buyers notice. If inexpensive items like door knobs haven’t been replaced, how can they be confident the bigger, more expensive repairs have been done?
You completely transform the look of a house with new siding. Vinyl siding will run you somewhere around $10,000, depending on the size of the house and your area, but should pay for itself. According to NAR’s 2015 Remodeling Impact Report, vinyl siding alone can recoup as much as 89% of its initial cost at resale.
One rule of thumb is to be mindful of the exteriors of other houses in the neighborhood. If the house next door is dark grey, for example, choose a different color for yours.
We’re not talking about shrubbery pruned in the shapes of animals or gardens that require a caretaker for their upkeep. But good landscaping will help your curb appeal immensely.
Consider getting rid of those overgrown and oversized bushes in front of the house and replacing them with hardy, low-to-the-ground plantings. You’re doing the future homeowner a favor, for one thing. Overgrown bushes up against the house contribute to moisture, mildew, and even termites.
Trim tree branches, keep the lawn mowed, and cut back any overgrowth so your fix and flip makes the right first impression.
Stage The House
Most professional house-flippers stage their property when listing it for sale, and for good reason: the houses look better and sell faster. In fact, a study by Coldwell Banker concluded that staged homes tend to sell for 6% above asking price, and spend less time on the market! Show buyers exactly how to use the space, which freeing up brain space for them to simply walk through and enjoy it.
And it’s not as difficult as you think to stage, either. You can rent furniture, hang mini blinds and inexpensive artwork, set out dish towels in the kitchen and hand towels in the bathroom (along with a shower curtain).
And a lot of the items can be re-used; many fix and flip investors wind up buying their own staging equipment, which pays for itself after two or three houses (rather than continuing to rent).
Part of the fun of real estate investing is not only the income, but in figuring out all of the ways you can get creative with the project itself and with your numbers.
You want to always make sure you do a quality job, follow all codes, and use the highest ethical standards. But that still leaves a lot of room for your imagination!
Let us know some of your most creative rehab “hacks” in the comments below.