How to Spot Bad House Flipping, Part 3: Bad Bones and Staging Gone Wild

1:36 PM Katy 0 Comments

[ I wrote this a couple years ago when I was digging through my local real estate market looking for fixer uppers -- I discovered that my entire community had been ravaged by terrible house flippers and I was posting pics here as evidence and exposure of what not to do. Sick and tired of people screwing up properties! All of the original houses in this area have been "flipped" and now the cheap builders are throwing up vinyl-clad "trailers" on all the leftover acreage - I insist that there is a way to build nice looking homes and neighborhoods and still be profitable! Counties should be able to demand basic good design from these cheap builders! These houses are no longer investments - they are too much like buying a car now.]

{See part 1: Cheap Renos, -where we use Google earth to investigate the true before and after pics! and part 2: Color Blindness - where we see the local house flippers painting everything badly}
and I also posted an example of local luxury real estate craziness, here.

Here is another "flip" currently for sale. I know some potential buyers who went to look at it. They did not make an offer, and I wouldn't either.

Bad bones. The architecture of this one was just a mess. Nothing classic about this at all. Hard to tell where the front door is, not to mention there isn't a garage or anything. And this house is priced exactly the same as a comparable home from a local new home builder.

I'm going to show you the staging so we can have a giggle:

I think those are elephant heads.

So what have we learned here? Personally I'm not upset that they flipped this house because the architecture wasn't anything to get excited about. It's the flippers who screw up the good houses that really burns me up. If you're thinking about flipping, I hope this series was useful to you.

Final thoughts: your buyers are smarter than you hope, so design accordingly. Hardwood floors in medium brown tones will sell your house faster than all other hard finishes combined (as long as they are continued throughout the main floor).  And for the love of Pete, if you don't know how to stage and you haven't got any money left -- don't bother. Get some Yankee Candles (cinnamon roll!) instead.

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