I’ve heard this and things like this a million times, “Don’t fall in love with the house.” “You’re not going to be living there.” “It’s all about the numbers.” And while all of these things are completely true, I can’t bring myself to think this way when it comes to rehabbing homes. I do things a little differently.
***This is a word heavy post, so bear with me.***
From the moment I step foot into a run-down, dilapidated property, I start to think about it like I would be living there with my family and how I would want us to live in the home. I envision how the home would function and flow best for family life as opposed to what is the cheapest way to turn this house around. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that most flippers are cheap. The numbers do matter, of course, but I feel that adding certain special touches are what make buyers fall in love with homes. Playing it safe and buying the cheapest light off the shelf at Home Depot doesn’t always pay off. There's no one right way, but this is my way.
Let me give you an example…in my current project on Alta Ave. there were 4 small bedrooms, 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs. The house was built in the 1950’s and this was a common layout. For the way people live today, the house needs a master suite. But where to put it, hmm… Well, here’s the dilemma.. The HVAC was added sometime later, and they took the easy way out and ran the duct work between the two downstairs bedrooms, which means it will be more costly to make the master suite on the first floor as opposed to the second floor, but the way my mind works is that, as a mom, I would want to be on the first floor and let my two boys have the rooms upstairs. That just makes sense to me. Will it cost a little more? Yes. But will it be worth it? Yes.
Now onto finishes...Could I just throw in the most inexpensive tile, granite, brown carpet, vanity, etc. in these homes, cash in and call it a day? Sure, but then I would be putting a home on the market that looks like every other rehabbed home on the market. My creative brain won't let me do it. I personally wouldn't buy a home that looks like everything else, so when it comes time to create a home from scratch, I have to go a different route. There is definitely still a way to give a home some love and add in some special touches without breaking the budget and I'll dig into that a little more in a future post. My philosophy is that a rehabbed home does not have to be any of the dreaded B's - Basic Builder grade, Beige, or Blah. I personally like to stick to the C's - Charm + Character. These are the things that make a home stand out and I believe that many homebuyers are also looking for the same thing. So I'll be sticking to my guns and will only save an old house if I can fall in love with it!