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Realistic Renovations Mean Less is More, Says Expert


As the number of foreclosures in the US reaches near record highs, the number of buyers looking to make money by renovating or “flipping” those foreclosures is also rising. But according to Pamela Cole Harris of, too many buyers are looking at renovation through the lens of home renovation shows such as “Flip That House.” And, says Harris, “It “ain’t necessarily so!””

“Many first time flippers get carried away and want to strip it to the studs and replace everything – appliances, bathtub, cabinets, you name it. But each dollar you spend on something new, is a dollar less you make in profit.”

Harris recommends new and old buyers take these steps to keep down costs: 1) establish a realistic budget for the flip – and then double it! “It always costs more than you think,” says Harris. 2) Use elbow grease and give the whole place a good cleaning. “A multitude of problems are just grime” 3) Realize that neutral is the flippers best friend. “In paint and staging, neutral appeals to the most people.” 4) Update the lighting with used and clearance sale fixtures. “You can get a modern look for much less.” 5) Reuse and recycle everything that is salvageable. “Don’t take out the cabinets if all you need are new doors, hardware or door fronts. Don’t replace the appliances, if all you need is to have to do is have fronts made to match the current cabinets for high end look.” 6) As the saying goes, “Don’t try to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.” Sometimes, all you can do is make your house the best sow’s ear in the neighborhood.

“It is a great market for flippers,” says Harris. “If you can avoid overspending, over-improving and overlooking what is already there.”


 home improvement
 home renovation
 home decor
 flipping houses

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