Whether a house is big or small, renovations are a lot of work—as the teams on “Flipping Across America” (hosted by Alison Victoria) learn during their latest flips.
In the episode “What You Get for the Money,” Jon Pierre and Mary Tjon-Joe-Pin of “Going for Sold” renovate a large, 2,200-square-foot, three-bedroom home in Houston. Meanwhile, Aubrey and Bristol Marunde of “Flip or Flop Vegas” refresh a tiny 723-square-foot condo in Las Vegas.
From location to size, these two homes couldn’t be more different—except that the flipping teams bought them for basically the same price. Jon Pierre and Mary paid $120,000, while Aubrey and Bristol spent $122,000.
So, does size matter when it comes to house renovation, or do all flips require the same TLC? Read on to find out how these two teams of flippers update their individual home, and learn some inexpensive upgrades that might look great in your own digs, big or small.
Open shelving is kind on the eyes (and wallet)
Bristol and Aubrey have a tiny budget of $10,000 to fix up this space, so they need to be careful to save money wherever they can.
They find an opportunity to save in the kitchen by skipping some cabinetry in favor of open, linear shelves.
“Linear shelving is a big trend right now, and buyers love it,” Aubrey says. “Plus, they are superaffordable, and it will keep us from going over budget in the kitchen.”
Once the shelves are installed, the kitchen looks beautiful. Not only do the shelves open up the space, but the colorful objects placed on the shelves add personality.
Artwork is an easy way to make a room shine
With such a small condo, Aubrey and Bristol want to make the fireplace pop—but they don’t want to spend too much on expensive tile. So they go with an understated tile with a woven look.
“It’s really simple, but it’s got a good texture to it,” Aubrey says.
Then they make the space stand out by staging it with colorful artwork above the fireplace. This way, Aubrey and Bristol get to spend less on the living room and the new buyer can customize this fireplace feature with whatever colorful artwork they love.
Brick paneling adds texture without the cost of true brick
While Aubrey and Bristol work hard to spend as little as possible, there’s one feature that Aubrey wants to splurge on: a dramatic mural in the bedroom.
“It is the largest wall in the bedroom. It’s the first thing that you see when you open up the doors,” Aubrey explains. “So I want to spend a little bit more money on it and make it a ‘wow’ factor.”
Before the artist comes to paint, Bristol puts up faux brick panels. These panels are stylish because they have the texture of brick, but they’re also practical because, if buyers hate the mural, they can easily take it down. The best part: They’re inexpensive.
In the end, the mural looks amazing and buyers love it. The painting costs Bristol and Aubrey $1,000 of their tiny budget, but it’s worth it for this unique feature. Plus, the brick paneling gives it an extra urban glam feel.
Painter’s tape can create a great accent wall
Meanwhile, in Houston, it seems that Mary and Jon Pierre had the same idea to create a colorful accent wall. However, they did it for a fraction of the cost.
This larger home has a big loft, which is a great bonus space, but it doesn’t come with a lot of style. Mary wants this space to stand out to buyers, so she uses painter’s tape to create geometric patterns on the back wall, which she paints gray and coral.
“Once I rip this tape off, it’s going to leave behind this really cool, kind of funky pattern on the wall,” Mary says.
When the tape is removed, a beautiful accent wall is revealed, adding lots of color and style to the space for almost nothing.
Update stairs with a cable railing
When Mary and Jon Pierre first walk into their Houston house, Mary immediately knows they need to update the old staircase. It’s the first thing people see when they walk in the house, so it needs to be impressive, she explains.
While she considers ripping down the staircase and starting fresh, she knows that their limited budget probably won’t allow for such a big change.
“There are different ways that we can modernize it without having to really spend a lot of money,” Mary says.
These flippers decide to update the staircase by changing out the railing with either glass or cables. Mary realizes that a lot of glass can mean a lot of fingerprints, so she decides on the cable.
As it turns out, the wires were the right choice—they look elegant and give the home an industrial flair. With the wires, a new handrail, and some dark paint, this staircase looks great.
Which flipping team wins?
After a ton of work from both teams, these houses are ready to go on the market.
After buying their condo for $122,000, Aubrey and Bristol spend $12,300 on the renovation. They list the house for $160,000 and end up getting multiple offers, accepting a bid for $170,000. After paying for closing costs and commission, they walk away with an impressive profit of $28,900.
Meanwhile, Mary and Jon Pierre have to sell a much bigger house with a bigger reno budget to boot. After buying their house for $120,000, they spend $63,000 on upgrades. They end up selling the home for $225,000, and after closing costs and commission, they make a profit of $27,000.
While Aubrey and Bristol walk away with a slightly bigger windfall, both flipping teams walk away happy, proving that all homes large and small can fetch big profits!
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