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Flipping Out, Maximize Your Investment

So you've decided to flip a house! You've done the leg work, you've found the house, you've crunched the numbers. You now have to decide what's important to invest in and where to pull back. This blog is all about what the majority of buyers are looking for. So read though, take the suggestions that work for you & apply to them your flip.


A pop of color is always nice, but the majority of the home should be a beautiful, neutral color that works with most furniture. Soft creams or whites, greys, tans, greiges & all colors in between can work. Make it easy for buyers to imagine their furniture in the space by painting the walls beautiful, yet neutral colors. Remember, a bright & light house will always sell faster than a dark house.

Benjamin Moore Paint colors

KITCHENS (the most important room in the house)

Here's what our buyers always look for in a kitchen:

  • Plenty of storage - remember, lighter color cabinets always make a room feel lighter & brighter (especially if you have limited window exposure)

  • Ample countertop workspace

  • Logical layout where it's easy to access the sink from the refrigerator to the oven/range to the sink

  • Stainless steel appliances (it doesn't have to be SubZero & Wolf, unless your budget allows for it) - go with a line of appliances with a proven track-record and strong reviews.

  • Solid surface counters are ideal. If you can budget for Quartz counters, it's worth it to put those in. If not Quartz, granite is another great option! Depending on the house, you may want to incorporate wood, soapstone, concrete or stainless steel! Allow your budget & your design to work together to find the right fit.

  • Flooring - wood, engineered hardwood, LVT, beautiful tile. Don't skimp on flooring. It's a big part of the look of the home & buyers have a hard time overlooking a cheap or shoddy flooring material or install.

  • Make sure you have lots of light in the kitchen. A few recessed lights with bright bulbs can make a big difference.


If you have a little left over in your budget, here are a few items to add that usually get you a bang for your buck for your kitchen:

  • Backsplash - a simple subway time can add dimension to a kitchen without breaking the bank.

  • Beverage refrigerator

  • Vegetable sink

  • Hardware - knobs & pulls for your cabinets & drawers - think of this as jewelry for your kitchen.

  • Pendant lighting (if it fits into the layout)

  • Under-cabinet lighting


  • Any material that is poorly installed. Even if you go with a low-budget item, make sure it's installed correctly so it looks it's best.

  • Overly trendy materials that may be out of date in a short amount of time. Remember, most buyers won't want to do another update, so make choices that are timeless.

  • Laminate counters. I say this because I've been in so many homes where the counters are peeling up or have been burned, stained or destroyed. Laminate counters have a place in the home, but the highly trafficked kitchen isn't the best spot for them.


Similar to Kitchens, bathrooms are the other most important rooms in the home, so update them accordingly. Again, use quality materials, similar to what you'd find in your kitchen. Put the higher end materials in your master bath & save some money on the main bath.

Here's what our Buyers are looking for in their Bathrooms:

  • A fully tiled shower

  • If there is a tub, a stand-alone soaking tub is much preferred to the large, built-in jetted tubs with tile surrounds.

  • Double vanities

  • Quartz or granite counters (marble can discolor, especially if make up gets into the marble)

  • Tile flooring rather than vinyl flooring


If you have a little left over in your budget, here are a few items to add that usually get you a bang for your buck in your bathroom:

  • Multiple shower heads

  • Heated floor mat or towel bar

  • Private stool

  • Framed mirrors

  • Updated hardware

  • Additional lighting (bright bulbs - this is not the place for mood lighting)


Here's what our Buyers are looking for throughout the house:

  • Ample closet space & storage

  • Adequate, bright lighting

  • Quality flooring

  • Updated trim, doors & window surrounds/sills

  • If you choose to have carpet installed, you can go with a less expensive carpet & upgrade the carpet pad to save some money and have a great looking carpet!


The mechanicals, garage, landscaping, roof and other 'less fun' items also have to be deal with.

  • If the mechanicals (water heater, water softener, furnace, A/C unit, electrical panel, plumbing, etc...) are in good shape, then you may just want to do a thorough inspection of the items to make sure that nothing unexpected pops up later.

  • Landscaping has 2 purposes: aesthetically it offers great curb appeal, plus flowers and trees are lovely. The other purpose is to divert water away from the house. This is so unbelievably important. Imagine you've done all this work, neglected to look at the lot and upon the first rainy night you wake up to find a flood in your basement. This is bad. Very bad. The bottom line: check your landscaping to make sure water can't get anywhere near your house.

  • Doing all this work and having an old roof that needs replacing is like putting lipstick on a pig. The roof is a big deal & many buyers would rather see a new roof & older (but functional cabinets/flooring/etc...)


There is a lot to consider when making selections for a flip & this list is by no means exhaustive. I highly recommend working with an interior designer who has a good eye and can stay within your budget so you can get the best possible look, knowing everything in the home works together to create a cohesive space!


Getting excited to take on a flip? Need help assembling a team? Don't worry, we have your back. We work with fantastic interior designers, great contractors, smart financial planners & can hold your hand throughout the whole process.

So if you've read this far & are still interested, contact us today to start the conversation. Or if you've already jumped in, let us know how we can help!

Amy Lessing - - 314-488-3216

Sherry Lessing - - 608-212-1555

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