Have you ever “flipped” a house? I did once and boy was it a learning experience. I’d say that flipping the 4,000 square foot, 4 bedroom, 4 bath house was the best education I’ve ever gotten. I didn’t make a bunch of money on it, but I didn’t lose out either. Here’s what I learned.

1)Salvage everything you can. I made the mistake of ripping out cabinets that were in pretty good condition in order to replace them with $15,000 new cherry ones. The cabinets that were there were solid oak, and all they needed was some sanding and lighter stain and they’d have been fine. Foolish me, I wanted to pimp the place out and ended up spending money I didn’t need to. Lesson here: salvage salvage salvage!

2)Just because you think something is cool doesn’t mean others do. I really like custom tile countertops. But I have found that outside of the West Coast, people see them as a problem. In the rest of the country, people expect solid countertops like granite, marble, Corian or eve laminate. Tile countertops are just not practical. Less here: learn what people want on the whole in your area.

3)Don’t buy the biggest house in the neighborhood. The house I bought was by far bigger than any others around it. In fact, the area has mostly 3 bedroom 2 bathroom homes. What this means is that the average price for houses in the area was pretty low. Even though my house was worth much more because of more bathrooms and more square footage, people only saw the sticker price and not the features. Lesson here: blend in and be like the others as far as size.

4)Include a home warranty with the sale. I had a home warranty inspection done before putting the house on the market and I am glad I did. Being able to offer a warranty on the house was an added bonus to the buyer and is one of the reasons I was able to get the sale. I used a well known company, American Home Shield.

5)Make the big things new. I was smart and put in a new furnace, AC, water heater and a new roof. These are the “big” things buyers are concerned with and the fact that all of these were new in my house helped me get the sale!

I hope these quick home tips will help you if you decide to either improve your own home for a sale, or try to flip one like I did. I didn’t get rich on my house flip, but I sure did get a good education for the next one!

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