You’ve set your sights on the perfect property and secured it as your own. Now comes the task of transforming it so someone else will want it as their own, too. Whether your investment property is a blank slate or already full of its own character, a significant amount of your time and effort during the renovation process will undoubtedly go into updating its surfaces.
So, where should you begin? It’s a task that can seem daunting, so we’ve broken down the main surfaces of a home, and offer suggestions below for how to make them look their best.
Front Lawn and Landscaping
Your property’s first impression starts here, so the appearance of the lawn and front landscaping is of utmost importance. A little effort now can go a long way when it comes to garnering interest in your property, so be sure to give special attention to small details like new mulch, a freshly cut lawn and pruned bushes. Also, don’t overlook those pesky weeds in the flower beds and driveway and sidewalk cracks, as their presence can be an instant deterrent—even before a prospective buyer steps foot inside your home.
Not sure just how much to invest in this critical aspect of your fix-and-flip property? Get some helpful advice from our previous blog article: “How Much Should I Spend on Landscaping my Fix-and-Flip Investment Property?”
Another one of the first things potential buyers will see when they visit your newly remodeled property, the front door plays an important role in making the first impression. The choice you make here will set the tone for the rest of your property.
Begin by selecting a door that works well with the overall style of your home. It should complement the exterior without drawing too much attention, which is why a neutral shade is always a smart choice. Neutral can mean many things—from the natural beauty of wood grain to white, black or brown.
One basic rule to apply to your home’s exterior is to select three main colors and work within that palette for everything—from the brick, to the siding, to the shutters and finally, the front door.
Now that your prospective buyers have walked through the door and are inside your property, it’s time to impress them with your attention to detail. You may be surprised to hear that some of the smallest surfaces in your home end up being the most important, including doorknobs. The difference between old, dated doorknobs and a fresh set is visually significant. Not only will the new knobs give a cohesive look to your home, they will also show the buyer that you care enough to pay close attention to even the smallest details. So, out with the tarnished brass and the cracked wood. Go with a clean, timeless look like brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze and you won’t go wrong.
For some real-life fix-and-flip inspiration, check out these before and after photos of home transformations funded by Anchor Loans.
Outlet and Light Switch Covers
Outlet and light switch covers are another surface that may seem less significant at the time, but ultimately end up making a big impact once they are updated. Just like door knobs, having a cohesive collection of covers throughout your entire home can instantly make it look pulled together. Don’t be tempted to overlook this small detail. For a relatively minor price tag, this is a quick and easy update that will likely pay dividends.
Walls and Ceilings
These surfaces are, quite literally, the big ones, as transforming the walls and ceilings of your home will be one of the biggest tasks to undertake. According to most realtors, the easiest and most effective way to update a property is with a fresh coat of paint. Keep in mind that while you may have your favorite colors, the point is to appeal to the broadest range of tastes. It’s better to err on the side of caution and go with something neutral and soothing throughout your home.
Shades of grey, beige, white and other neutrals dominate the best-selling paint lists, and for good reason. These tones lend themselves to nearly any type of décor, and more importantly, they allow buyers to envision themselves living in the space. The same can’t be said for palettes that cover the entire rainbow or include out-of-the-box shades like black or red.
Ceilings are equally important, and even if they don’t appear to need it, giving them a new coat of fresh white ceiling paint can really up the “wow” factor.
If you’re trying to gather the perfect team to help you complete your fix-and-flip renovations, check out “Building Relationships for a Successful Fix-and-Flip Business” for some helpful resources.
It’s often said that the kitchen and bathrooms are what end up selling the house, so of course the surfaces in these areas are going to make a huge contribution to whether a prospective buyer chooses your property. But with so many options available, which countertops are the best choice for looks and budget? These days, there are two sure bets: granite and quartz. In home renovations, these two surfaces are king for countertops, and for good reason. They are timeless, beautiful materials that will stand the test of time and immediately help your home to stand out among the crowd.
Another choice, should you be working with a smaller budget or in a lower income area, is laminate. The options are endless when it comes to this functional and affordable option, and many of them are even created to mimic actual stone finishes for a look that is just as lovely.
Once you’ve made your selection and installed your new countertops, it’s important to steer clear of the clutter. Keeping a minimalist look in the kitchen and bathroom is the best way to give off the clean and polished vibe you are going for. Plus, what better way to show off your newly installed surfaces than by leaving them nice and clear? Avoid the urge to over-decorate and allow the beauty of the new countertops to speak for themselves.
Hardwood flooring has undoubtedly been having its moment in the world of home improvement, but it comes at a fairly hefty cost. Much like the advancements in countertop materials, flooring options have also grown tremendously in recent years. To achieve the same look of hardwood without the large price tag, choose an option like luxury vinyl or laminate. These two materials can give the exact appearance of hardwood, with a much lower financial investment than hardwood flooring.
Should your property already have real hardwood floors that are in decent shape, always consider having them refinished. This can be a relatively inexpensive way to breathe new life back into them—and elicit the “oohs” and “ahhs” you’re hoping for when a prospective buyer first steps foot inside.
Finally, if carpet is the name of the game at your particular property, make sure you’re staying in that neutral color palette, without going too light. Families especially will shy away from carpet that will too easily show dirt from day-to-day foot traffic. Don’t choose a carpet color just because it’s inexpensive — make sure it works with your overall design and coordinates with your other surface choices.
All Other Surfaces
One final tip that cannot be stressed enough: do away with the dirt! This goes for all of the surfaces in the property, from the mechanicals like the furnace and hot water heater, to the fireplace mantel, to the bathroom cabinets. After you’ve made all your updates, be sure to give every inch of the home a thorough cleaning. This will help a potential buyer feel relaxed in your property, and better able to picture themselves there. It also gives a visual cue that every inch of the home has been thoughtfully transformed and is a clean, blank slate — ready for a new owner!
When you’re ready to buy that next property, Anchor Loans is ready to help provide the financing. Here’s how to get started.