Have you been thinking about getting started as a house flipper? Are you afraid of getting started because you worry you might make a mistake? In the fall of 2013, we decided to flip a house. We didn’t totally know what we were doing, but decided to jump right in.
Why did we decide to flip a house?
In 2013 we sold our second house and moved into our third house. In between our own house renovations and selling and moving, Tony’s parents bought a flip house bungalow, and between the four of us we renovated it top to bottom. It took us six months to renovate it, and then we sold it for a profit! (Find out more about our real estate investing journey)
We really enjoyed doing it and learned a lot, however that was a very busy time in our lives. Tony and I were both working full time and going to the flip house some evenings and most weekends. We also had two young kids at that time, and I got pregnant for our third child during those six months. It’s tiring enough being pregnant, but with all that was going on at that time I was running on fumes.
So why did we decide to flip this house? Well we were living in a new raised bungalow, and there were not a lot of projects to do. We love doing house projects. I don’t really know why, but it’s so satisfying to make things and turn ugly things into something beautiful. We had always talked about flipping a house. This got a lead on this house from someone we knew, and the timing was right so we went for it, with the help from my in-laws.
FLIP HOUSE AFTER PICTURES
I forgot to take before pictures, but these are the pictures from when we sold the house. Just use your imagination and know that it looked a whole lot better when we were finished.
In the kitchen we replaced the cabinet knobs, changed the light and added a new curtain. The cabinets were fine, but we did a coat of paint on the inside to freshen it all up. There was wallpaper all over the house, including the kitchen, which had to be removed before painting the walls.
There was a wall between the kitchen and the dining room which we took down. This really helped to open up the space and update the whole layout.
We took up the linoleum that was in the kitchen and replaced it with hardwood flooring. We used the same hardwood throughout the whole upstairs of the house, and installed that ourselves.
There were two layers of flooring in the living room, carpet over top of vinyl tiles. We took all that up and put in new hardwood, and tiled the front hall area with a shiny dark grey tile. There was also a small wall near the front door that we took down. There was a lot of wallpaper, so we removed that, cleaned the walls and painted everything. We also added new trim everywhere and painted it all a clean white.
Down the hall were two bedrooms on the left, and a bathroom and master bedroom on the right.
This is the first bedroom on the left. It used to be all wood panelling with wall paper over top. We ended up just dry-walling over the panelling, and painting everything.
The second bedroom had the least amount of work to do. We replaced the carpet with hardwood, painted everything, and installed new trim.
The master bedroom also had two types of flooring. The vinyl tile under the carpet was very difficult to remove, and we spent hours trying to scrape it all off. Other than the flooring, there was wallpaper to remove, and then we painted the walls and installed new trim.
The master bedroom had an ensuite bathroom. We removed the flowered wallpaper, then painted the walls. The flooring was green flowered linoleum, which we removed and replaced with a light grey tile.
The main bathroom also had a lot of wallpaper. After removing the wallpaper we painted the walls and installed the same grey floor tile that was used in the master bathroom.
The basement was totally unfinished when we bought it. My father-in-law did most of the work in the basement. He insulated everything and framed it all in and did the drywall. We finished half of the basement, painted everything, and added some dark laminate flooring. The basement felt so much brighter after it was finished.
All in all it was a good experience flipping this house. We would love to do another flip at some point in our lives. If you are thinking of doing a flip house, you should make sure you know your numbers – after rehab value, renovation costs, holding costs. There are so many things to consider, and if the numbers don’t make sense, don’t do it! We did all the work ourselves and didn’t have to hire contractors. But it we did, we probably wouldn’t have made a profit. There are so many resources out there for determining if your flip house is a good deal or not, but I’ve listed just a few:
FOR MORE OF OUR HOUSE TOURS CHECK OUT THESE LINKS:
- 2nd house: New raised bungalow
- Flip house
- Third House: Outdated slit-level
- Fourth house: Owner builder bungalow
- Rental Property
- Cabin in the woods