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Watch ‘Bargain Block’ Turn a $1K House Into a $100K-Plus House

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On “Bargain Block,” Keith Bynum and Evan Thomas have a simple formula: Buy abandoned houses in Detroit for a few thousand bucks each, and turn them into gorgeous residences that sell for a whole lot more. And the latest episode suggests that these flippers could stand to make more than a hundred times what they paid!

On the episode “The Hamptons and Gatsby,” they buy two three-bedroom, one-bath homes right next to each other. One, bought for a mere $1,000, ends up with the unlikely nickname of the “Hamptons House” after its beachy makeover. The other, bought for $7,000 and a bit larger, ends up with the equally fanciful moniker of “The Gatsby House” due to its lavish-looking post-makeover interior.

$1,000 house in Detroit
$1,000 “Hamptons House”

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$7,000 house in Detroit
$7,000 “Gatsby House”

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But first, they have to take out the trash. And oy, is there a lot of trash in these abandoned homes!

Windows have been left open and people have, for some reason, thrown bags of trash inside. Many animals have found their way in as well.

“I will say the level of feces in this house is quite high,” says Bynum.

Trashy kitchen
Trashy kitchen

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Take a look at some of the miracles they create, and file their tips away for when your own home needs a little something extra.

Fix the roof first

Fixing the roof first
Fixing the roof first

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“The biggest issue with this house is the roof has completely failed, and water has just been pouring in for years,” Bynum says of the Hamptons House. “A lot of the plaster has been deteriorating to nothing, just little crumbly piles.”

But that’s to be expected when you purchase a home for $1,000. Bynum and Thomas consider themselves lucky they didn’t have to demolish the whole thing.

It would be pointless to start any work other than demolition inside if water can enter and ruin it, so they get roofers in first thing to patch some parts and replace others.

Once it’s done and new gutters have been installed, Thomas declares, “Water is now flowing off of this place rather than into it.”

It’s time to move to fixing up the inside.

Shine all the light on the kitchen

A bright kitchen with natural light
A bright kitchen with natural light

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Bynum and Thomas decide to spruce up the Hamptons House by moving the kitchen to the front of the house, where a bedroom had been located.

Lots of light enters from the front windows, which will come in handy in a kitchen where people spend many of their daytime hours.

Since the house is small and on a raised foundation, Bynum finds out it will cost only $1,000 to move the plumbing, so why not?

They’ll then use the former kitchen space in back for a bedroom with fewer windows. This also makes sense, since a bedroom is a place where less light might be fine or even preferred.

Real estate agent Shea Hicks-Whitfield is thrilled when she sees the beautiful, new airy kitchen.

“I love it so much,” she says. “This is going to sell this house! You walk into a beautiful kitchen, all this natural light—maybe we can push it to $114,900 with this fabulous kitchen.”

They were aiming for a list price of $110,000, so the extra profit would more than cover the added expenses.

Try a beach vibe without the sand

Hamptons mood board
Hamptons mood board

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The Hamptons House gets its nickname because Bynum thinks it would do well with “kind of a beach luxury vibe.” It’s a bold move when you’re in a city that’s nowhere near the ocean.

“When I think of the Hamptons, I think of light, breezy, and very relaxed,” he says. “There will be a lot of white and accents of pale mint green. I want to use natural materials such as sea-grass light fixtures and light-wood cedar shake on the exterior.”

But, he emphasizes, “no seashells or ‘This way to the beach’ signs.” There’s a fine line between beachy and overboard.

You can find windows at a thrift store, too

That picture window was found in a reclamation store
That picture window was found in a reclamation store.

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We’ve all heard of finding used furniture and lighting, even mantels and cabinets in reclamation shops. But windows?

Turns out people measure wrong and order the wrong size windows all the time. Plus, a lot of houses that are being demolished have perfectly good windows waiting to be repurposed, and careful curators cart them off.

Bynum and Evans find a large, plate-glass picture window in a shop for only $50, so they’re able to add what would normally be a luxury feature to their Gatsby House without spending much money at all. Score!

Make old cabinets look new and trendy

These buyers have no clue the kitchen cabinets have been repuposed
These buyers have no clue the kitchen cabinets were repurposed.

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In the Gatsby House kitchen, they end up using reclaimed cabinets.

“These cabinets are a little dated,” Bynum remarks when surveying their work in the Gatsby House. “But I feel like with some fabulous hardware, a bold paint choice, some really great trim accents to finish it out, fabulous countertops, a fabulous backsplash, and this gorgeous window, this kitchen will really pop.”

And is he ever right. This could be one of the best kitchens they’ve ever done, proving that there are many ways to breathe new life into old cabinets.

Do these ‘Bargain Block’ houses sell?

After spending $80,000 to renovate each house, they intend to put the Hamptons House on the market for $115,000.

The renovated Hamptons House
The renovated Hamptons House

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The Gatsby House is a little bigger, so they believe it will attract buyers if it’s at around $120,000.

The renovated Gatsby House
The renovated Gatsby House

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By the end of the episode, we don’t have word on confirmed sales on either house, but the duo says offers are in the works for both houses.

Bit by bit, Detroit is looking better and better thanks to these guys. As Thomas proudly reports, “Two more homes on the block restored, and two more families brought back into the community.”

The post Watch ‘Bargain Block’ Turn a $1K House Into a $100K-Plus House appeared first on Real Estate News & Insights | realtor.com®.

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