Fix and Flips – Doing the Same Thing To Each House

Anybody else tired of the same old look that fix and flippers are applying to houses?

The Fix/Flip industry has been strong during the recent housing down turn as many investors could purchase houses at deep discounts, apply some improvements and then get them back on the market at higher prices.  Many fix/flippers are still trying to do this, competing for homes with investors that want them as rentals and owner/users.  We can’t really dog the fix and flippers as our company has done as many as 10 or 12 in the Midwest after a flood ravished many homes in our hometown.   Revamped housing was in crucial demand after that terrible flood.  So we understand the philosophy, yet I think most buyers have caught on to minimal improvements of fresh paint and new flooring.  Most buyers expect to see more than that in today’s market.  This is what you’re likely to see in today’s market:

  • Low-end cabinets
  • Stainless steel grade appliances, (slide in 30″ range/oven combination with microwave above)
  • New carpet – contractor or rental property grade
  • New tile – ceramic
  • Fresh paint
  • New big box retail light fixtures
  • Granite
  • New tile walls in bathroom showers and new bathroom sinks with new faucets

Even better, a fix and flipper may actually add features that ADD VALUE, adding value is what actually increases the value of a home.

  • New surfaces to an old pool, inside and around the pool
  • Freshly laid sod with a new sprinkler system or some upgrade to the landscaping
  • New door handles on interior and exterior doors
  • New HVAC system that runs more economically
  • New windows – more energy efficient
  • Epoxy coated garage floors
  • Adding a closet in a den, creating an additional bedroom
  • Adding a covered patio where none or cheesy small one existed before

Many of the fix/flippers have crews that do the SAME thing to each house, not even taking down a wall or doing something different to update the house into today’s more popular “open floor plan”.   The first photo attached is from a flipped house, which would have been more updated if the wall between the kitchen and outdated sunken living room would have been removed.  How much more would it have cost to take those cheap cabinets all the way to the ceiling?  The second photo is also from a flip, not much difference between the two, it could have been the same contractor doing the work, though it wasn’t.

If you ever find yourself considering a house that has been fixed to flip, take an inventory of the items that are new, and look at the quality of improvements made, before falling in love with beautiful new granite countertops in a house with 30 -50 year old piping and electrical systems.


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