When I first considered getting into the house flipping business, I had dreams of buying cheap properties at auction that people would immediately be interested in buying off me. Anyone who flips houses, however, understands that there’s a bit more work involved. What many professionals still fail to recognize, though, is how important the flooring is when it comes to buying and reselling homes. Getting the floors right when flipping a house can save a ton of headaches down the road.
Stops You from Going Over Budget
Those outsides of the house flipping community may think buying a home for $30,000 and selling it for $50,000 is a great payday. Whether this is a good or horrible profit margin in your mind, the real issue is how much more money went into the house after the purchase. Putting in new flooring, repainting, repairing the roof and countless other improvements can eat away at that $20,000 profit quicker than you might imagine. Then there are the costs associated with insurance, utilities during the rehab. There are the money costs from either a hard money lender or private lender. But that information is for a different topic. We are strictly talking about floors here.
When it comes to flooring, it’s essential that you stay on par with the residence. Most experienced flippers focus on entry-level homes that appeal to a larger pool of buyers. This means it’s important to not go over the top when choosing the floors that will go into the house. If someone is slapping a $60,000 price tag on a property, there’s typically no reason they should be putting extravagant wood flooring in the home.
Of course, it can be a bit difficult to choose the flooring that matches a home perfectly just by visiting a store. Luckily, the flooring is typically done after all drywall, plaster, plumbing and painting work has been completed. This means it’s possible to look at several different flooring options after the overall aesthetic of the interior is done and see what works best with the finished product.
The licensed contractors at Express Flooring will bring large flooring samples to you. This will allow you to pick a floor with the appropriate aesthetic that fits within your budget. Then The flooring installation team can be scheduled for the next day which will keep your project timeline intact.
Keeps Up with Homes in an Area
Going over budget when flipping a house is obviously a big problem. In some instances, your profit margins could be razor thin. In a worst-case scenario, you might actually lose money. Of course, not spending enough can cause its own set of problems. While you certainly want your flooring choice to stay on par with the home, it’s also important that this decision is based on nearby properties.
The World of “Comps”
Looking at comparable sales, typically referred to as “comps,” can really come in handy. The perfect comps are those that are nearby and similar in square footage, features, and condition. The reasoning behind looking at comparable sales is to see what’s currently popular in these home types and what buyers are expecting to see in certain neighborhoods.
There are certainly a few ways to get a look inside comparable homes in a neighborhood. Some flippers – those who are exceedingly outgoing – will literally knock on the doors of neighboring homes and ask for a peek inside. In addition to potentially getting the door slammed in your face, though, this method might give you misleading results. After all, who’s to say that the owners of a neighboring home didn’t change the flooring the moment they closed on the property?
Instead, it’s a good idea to have a friend or two in the real estate business that can show you vacant homes in a neighborhood. The best dwellings to look at, though, are those who have recently sold but haven’t been moved into just yet. This will provide a real-time idea of what’s selling in the area. If it’s impossible to get a look inside a comp in the same neighborhood, checking out a comp in a similarly-priced area can be just as good.
Do Comps Really Matter?
Why is this so important? After all, if a house is a good deal, it will eventually sell. Right? While this might be true, every good home flipper knows that a quick turnover is essential for success in the business. Time is money, and the longer a home sits on the market, the less money you make.
If buyers in the area are expecting a certain quality, it’s important to give it to them. Otherwise, they may keep searching for homes that are more in line with the aesthetic of a locale. If you don’t consider comparable sales in the area when choosing the flooring in residence, your house flipping endeavor could quickly turn into a long-term nightmare.
Satisfies the Google-Savvy Homebuyer
What could Google have to do with flooring in a house flip? As it turns out, Google is pretty much involved in everything. When the website went down for a total of 5 minutes in 2013, traffic across the globe dropped 40 percent. The fact is that prospective homebuyers will use search engines to learn what they should be looking for when buying a house. Fortunately, the right flooring helps in this area as well.
The simple fact is that entry-level homebuyers – the ones property flippers are most likely to encounter – aren’t experienced in what to look for when buying a property. Because of this, they head to Google. When they search “what to look for when buying a home,” the top two results focus heavily on flooring.
Potential homebuyers who look at these results will pay special attention to gaps in the flooring or uneven tiles. This will give them the idea that the floors weren’t professionally done, and if they believe this, they’ll think the rest of the home also features subpar workmanship. At worst, flooring issues could lead those who are unsavvy in the construction trade to believe the foundation has problems.
Another thing prospective buyers will pay attention to is the temperature in the home. They want to know that the house is properly insulated, and since about 15 percent of a home’s heat escapes through the floor, having quality flooring can really help. The temperature in residence may seem like a strange thing to pay attention to, but if Google tells them to do it, that’s what they’re going to do.
Kitchens and Bathrooms Sell Homes
If we were to ask someone what they look for in a home, their answers could involve pools, patios, large backyards or spacious master bedrooms. Even with all these features in their heads, though, a new homebuyer invariably goes right to the kitchen and bathroom when they’re looking at their potential purchase. If truth be told, this is exactly what they should do.
While the bulk of a person’s time may be spent in the living room and bedrooms, the kitchen and bathroom take up a disproportionate space in the human mind. People want to know that their plumbing and ability to cook will remain unimpeded. Of course, these areas are also the most likely to see spills. This is why flooring is so important in these rooms.
The fact is that not every type of flooring will work out in the kitchen or bathroom. Even the best laminate floors can start to show damage if water is continuously spilled and not cleaned up in a timely manner. This is why significant portions of home flipping budgets are often reserved for the kitchen and bathroom floors.
One need not understand why kitchens and bathrooms are so important to homebuyers. You really only need to know that they are. Focus on making the flooring perfect in these rooms, and the investment will pay dividends.
The Right Flooring Company Goes a Long Way
There are countless house flippers out there who took on their first project with a do-it-yourself mindset. Most of us have this to a degree, but many first-timers think they can do everything themselves and save money. In most cases, they only make this mistake once. Regardless of how handy you are with a saw and hammer, the flooring in a home isn’t the proper place for the amateur hour.
The fact is that choosing the right flooring company can go a long way when flipping a house. At Express Flooring, our in-home consultations are performed by interior design experts who know which floors will work perfectly while staying within a tight budget. It’s important to work with a company that will come to the residence themselves instead of leaving important decisions up to guesswork.
You’ll also want a flooring company that can help you get the job done quickly. If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: time is money when it comes to the house flipping business. It’s essential to find a business that can do next-day installation, so the project gets done in a more timely manner. The faster you finish everything, the less time your money is held up.
At Express Flooring, we understand how important it is to flip a house quickly. That’s why we offer free in-home consultations – thus not cutting into your budget – and next-day installation. When we take flooring issues off your mind, you’re free to focus on the other important aspects of making the sale.
Flooring Tips to Appeal to Larger Audiences
Getting the flooring right can help flip a house faster than any other update. Now that you understand all the benefits of doing so, though, it wouldn’t hurt to have a few pointers to make everything just right. If you abide by these tips when it comes to flooring, you’ll surely attract a wider audience of prospective buyers.
Get Quotes for Material and Installation
Many people think that they can get flooring materials cheaper if they buy them separately. In reality, you’ll end up paying more since professional companies get their flooring products at a discount. What does this have to do with appealing to more buyers? Purchasing flooring separate from installation could cost you a warranty. Saying “this flooring has a lifetime warranty” gives a sense of safety to homebuyers.
Don’t Get Pigeonholed
If you see carpeting in a certain room and vinyl in another, you may feel obligated to stick with this type of flooring. Don’t let this line of reasoning take over. As mentioned previously, staying on par with the house and comparable sales is really all that’s important. Homebuyers don’t care what a home used to look like – only what you are presenting to them now.
Don’t Be a Patron of Lost Causes
When you first walk into a home you’re flipping; it’s human nature to want to save as much as possible. After all, if the carpet in the living room can be steam cleaned, what’s the point in replacing it?
While this is certainly something to consider, don’t try to save flooring that’s extremely worn, stained, dirty or faded. You’ll often end up spending too much time and money on something that can’t be salvaged. Recognize the writing on the wall and avoid minor “money savers” that will only keep your home on the market longer.
Avoid Differing Floor Types in High-Traffic Areas
If the carpeting in the bedrooms is fine and you just want to change things up in the hallway, that’s not much of an issue. When it comes to high-traffic areas, though, you don’t want two separate flooring types side by side.
Doing this will immediately clash in the eyes of prospective buyers. This means that, even if the flooring in one area is perfect while the adjacent flooring needs to be replaced, it might be prudent to simply replace everything.
Get it Right the First Time
Regardless of how simple “reality” shows might make house flipping appear, the truth is that there’s plenty of hard work involved. Unfortunately, many professionals make their workload even more intense through reckless or amateur decisions when it comes to flooring. If you want to ensure that you’re making the right flooring decision the first time around, contact us at Express Flooring for a free in-home consultation today.