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Flipping a House? How to Save Money and Still Sell

You’re reading this because, like many people looking for new investment strategies, you’re thinking about flipping a house! It’s not just as simple as purchasing a run-down home, fixing it up, and turning it around for a profit - but with a little expert help it can offer a whole new way to generate money.

We’re starting to see a shift in the real estate market due to COVID-19, it’s true. Now is a great time to look for emerging markets and discover where city-dwellers are moving now that they can telecommute! With work from home becoming a potential full-time option for many, that opens up housing markets in areas that weren’t commuter friendly or haven’t seen growth in quite a while. it’s never been a better time to start thinking about how to capture those potential buyers!

A fresh new porcelain tile floor at $5.88 per square foot? Talk about a renovation win!

A fresh new porcelain tile floor at $5.88 per square foot? Talk about a renovation win!

If you’ve snapped up a house that you’re ready to flip, or if you’re considering putting your home on the market and relocating, it’s time to sit down and think about how to maximize your resale value. The key to a successful house is finding the sweet spot between your home improvement budget and upgrades that will offer the highest return on your investment.

While we’re not going to dive into real estate loans and finding investors, there’s a lot more to the question ‘how to start flipping houses’. We have a wealth of expertise on home improvements and how to DIY some major interior upgrades, so let’s dive in!


What should you know before buying a flip house - 

One of the biggest house flipping mistakes that you can make is underestimating how much the renovations will cost, both in terms of labor and materials. According to Investopedia, you need to make sure the sale price ‘exceed(s) the combined cost of acquisition, the cost of holding the property, and the cost of renovations.’

You might think the easiest way to achieve that profit margin is to cut corners on the upgrades and materials you put into flipping the house, but that could easily backfire if you put a cheaply redone house on the market and it doesn’t sell. There’s a reason that property sat on the market for so long or sold for so cheap before you bought it, and your goal is to entice buyers to see the flipped house as something fresh, new, and appealing at the price that will net you the best profit.

That means investing in the work you put into your house flip - while being smart about your time and money! It’s not enough to just renovate a house for the sake of getting your hands dirty - the goal here is to turn a profit! Now the question becomes ‘how to make money flipping houses?’ 

There are key elements that home buyers will notice the minute they want into a house on the market. Does it feel turnkey and ready to move in? Is the first thing they see a dated interior or items they’ll need to fix? Let’s look at some of the best cost to value improvements you can make when flipping a house - and some of the best tiles to help achieve them!


Cost Effective Ways to Renovate the Kitchen - 

On average, homeowners saw an 80% recoup rate on their investment when they did a minor remodel on their kitchen before putting their house on the market. The kitchen offered the highest return for interior upgrades, meaning that it should absolutely be first priority on your house flipping checklist or resale value home improvements.

Opting for a major remodel and redoing the entire kitchen - new cabinets, brand new appliances, new tile - is going to eat way too much into your profits, but there are some much more budget friendly upgrades you can make to improve your flip house kitchen!

Who doesn’t love a penny round tile backsplash? This Bardiglio & Carrara Penny Rounds Polished Marble Mosaic Tile combines a classic design with a quick kitchen refresh!

Who doesn’t love a penny round tile backsplash? This Bardiglio & Carrara Penny Rounds Polished Marble Mosaic Tile combines a classic design with a quick kitchen refresh!

We’ve covered the power of a fresh coat of paint before - this applies to a quick kitchen renovation as well! Rather than investing your precious house flipping budget into all-new cabinetry, give them a fresh coat of paint to immediately make the kitchen feel new! Whether you choose to go with a trending cabinet paint color like taupe or Classic Blue, or stain natural wood cabinets to bring out their inherent color, this is a minimal investment on your time and budget that will yield a high return. You can even stick with simple yet effective white paint - thankfully, a light and airy white kitchen design is on a major trend and will be an effective selling point for a wide range of buyers!

You’ve already managed to save a considerable amount while achieving a fresh and revamped kitchen - now it’s time to splurge on something that will entice buyers and complement your fresh paint job! The clearest choice? The kitchen backsplash! The backsplash is an immediate focal point when homeowners and guests enter the kitchen and dining space, especially in an open concept home. Adding fresh tile and even a decorative tile insert over the stove is a stunning way to freshen up the space.

One of our favorite options for a cost-effective backsplash upgrade! Carrara marble peel and stick tile

One of our favorite options for a cost-effective backsplash upgrade! Carrara marble peel and stick tile! That’s right - it’s that easy to install! Our hexagon tile is made of genuine Carrara marble on an adhesive backing and can be installed as a gorgeous kitchen backsplash to combine the benefits of a DIY tile install with the luxury of marble. A minimum 6” back cover is recommended between the adhesive and the heat source, which should be standard for gas ranges. 

Flooring Materials that are Worth the Investment

Chevron Hardwood Floor Alternatives with Porcelain Tile

Homebuyers love this chevron flooring, but what is it doing to your profit margin? If you went with a wood look porcelain floor tile, you’ll see the benefit to your budget and your selling profile!

One of the best ways you can give a flipped house a fresh new feel is by redoing the floors. What homebuyer isn’t lured by the promise of new hardwood flooring? The only downside to this major upgrade is the price tag! 

Fixr.com estimates that ‘The average homeowner spends between $14 and $32 a square foot for hardwood floors’. If your budget doesn’t run to tearing out dingy old carpet and installing new white oak floors (and let’s be serious - it shouldn’t, because there go all of your profits), you’re going to want stylish, durable, and appealing hardwood floor alternatives.

Many real estate agents and house flippers gravitate towards vinyl or laminate flooring these days thanks to the relatively low price tag. As nice as that might sound, there’s very little resale value in vinyl flooring. They’re easily scratched or damaged by water, and thanks to the way they lock together, require that you remove and reinstall all planks if there is damage. Buyers can easily be put off by cheap flooring, which makes it more likely for your flipped house to sit on the market and eat up your profits. While they might seem like a quick fix for a low cost when you’re putting together your renovation budget, the benefits really end at that low line item.

Our preference for a cost-effective flooring upgrade? No surprise here - it’s porcelain tile! Wood-look tile has the ability to mimic hardwood flooring to an impressive degree, and offers an incredibly durable flooring material that is also aesthetically pleasing. They’re slip-resistant, not susceptible to water damage, and you can choose from a wide range of finishes, depending on whether you’re looking for maple, ash, or walnut floors to suit the rest of your home style. 

Get the light and contemporary look of ash flooring with Tribeca Miel wood look porcelain tile at $6.90 a square foot

The long lasting beauty of these porcelain tiles - at an impressive price per square foot - is a great solution to the house flipper’s dilemma when you want something that will entice buyers but keep your cost sheet and your investors happy! Get the light and contemporary look of ash flooring with Tribeca Miel at $6.90 a square foot, create a trendy white oak chevron floor with Spiga Olson Blanco at $7.27 a square foot, or create the perfect welcoming white farmhouse floor with Vancouver Blanco at $4.41 a square foot.

Long wearing porcelain floor tiles are also a great option if you decide to flip a house into a long-term rental unit - not only can you charge a competitive price for the monthly rent thanks to the upgrades, but you’ve eliminated the standard landlord’s headache of having to rip out the whole laminate floor after it gets scratched or water damaged. 

Long-wearing, affordable, and attractive? Porcelain floor tiles: check, check, and check! 

Pick a Focal Point - 

If your house flipping budget only has room for the bare minimum when it comes to upgrades, there’s still one trade secret that can help boost interest in your home when it comes time for the Open House and the bidding wars you hope will follow: a key focal point. 

What element is going to capture the attention of touring buyers and stick with them after they’ve left your house? What factor is going to lure them back in to start drawing up the paperwork?

highlight the vaulted ceilings and natural light in the living room and add a stunning tiled fireplace surround that pulls the living area together

Maybe you want to highlight the vaulted ceilings and natural light in the living room and add a stunning tiled fireplace surround that pulls the living area together. At $15.99 a square foot, our geode and gemstone inspired glass tiles are a budget-friendly way to add a beautiful statement accent that will grab the attention of everyone at the Open House! 

Maybe the backyard is a gardener’s wonderland and you want to install a patio that will entice them outdoors and put visions of sunny summer days and cozy nights entertaining at home. 

Refinish your patio in style and within budget with our selection of exterior floor tiles!

Refinish the patio in style and within budget with our selection of exterior floor tiles!

Whether it’s a feature wall, a pergola and patio that will inspire them to put in an outdoor kitchen, or a stunning master bathroom, the key is find a cost-effective way to hook your buyers and make them want to call this house home.


FAQs to Help Get the Best Return on your Flip House Investment

Q. What’s the most important thing to get started flipping houses?

A. Making the most of your budget! You need to factor in the purchase price, the cost of repairs, labor, and materials, as well as the estimated value of the renovated house. LendingHome has a great primer on the financial steps you’ll want to take before getting into the business of flipping houses. 

Q. What’s the most important factor for picking tile for a flip house?

A. Getting the best return on your investment! (This should be the answer for pretty much any house flipping questions, but especially when it comes to renovations and materials). The goal is to add value and improve your resale price, and therefore your profit margin, while creating something that will attract potential buyers. We’ve detailed some of the best value adds that tiles can provide to your home resale value above.

Q. What are some other ways I can save money on my flip house?

A. If you’re going into business as a house flipper or already work in the real estate or housing industry, you should definitely start a Pro Account for your building materials! Members of our Pro Lounges qualify for exclusive trade discounts on all of their tiles, making it even easier to increase your profit margins with a beautiful flip house.


Ready to start on your first ever flip house, or are you already dominating the market? We’d love to hear your best tips or questions you might have in the comments!

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