People get into real estate investing for a variety of reasons: maybe they love hunting down the perfect property, or they get a thrill out of racing the clock on renovation projects. Perhaps redesigning interiors gets their heart pumping - but at the end of the day there’s one really big, fairly consistent reason… they’re looking to make money. After all, if you don’t turn a profit at the end of a fix and flip project it could be much more difficult to get your next one off the ground, especially if you’re just starting out. With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at 10 fix and flip trends that will make you money in 2018, and help set you on the path toward financial success.
Location, Location, Location
If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a thousand times - real estate is all about location. It’s the only thing you absolutely can’t change about a property, and so when you’re looking for your next (or first!) fix and flip property be sure you choose one in a location that’s trending upward - it’s definitely one of the most important fix and flip trends that will make you money. For the past several years large cities have dominated, but as the entire market recovers and Millennials begin purchasing homes so-called “second tier” cities - that is, cities that are large and robust but aren’t international hubs in the way that New York, Boston, and LA are - and their suburbs are becoming increasingly popular fix and flip destinations.
Large, open floor plans are still considered one of the top design elements that buyers are looking for, but with a slight variation from the norm. Buyers are no longer looking for one large square box on the first floor of their house but rather a home that has dedicated spaces for dining and living, but that also offers the flexibility to accommodate their own personal style (and furniture).
Light Colored Floors
Wood floors still seem to be the dominant trend in flooring these days, but buyers seem to be gravitating toward lighter colored woods, as opposed to the dark wood floors that have ruled for the last few years. These lighter colored floors are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to fix and flip trends that will make you money, but they’re one that will make a huge impact with buyers as flooring is often seen as something that’s more of a hassle to change than other aesthetic components of a home.
In general, buyers are also looking for homes with a more simple and clean aesthetic. While some more traditional aspects of design - such as using darker wood furniture - are making their way back into the fold, others are being left by the wayside. It appears that buyers are no longer seeking out decorative crown molding or woodwork around doorways and passthroughs and are happy with simple baseboards along the floors.
Another tried and true real estate saying is that kitchens and bathrooms sell homes - and the countertops in those spaces are some of the biggest fix and flip trends that will make you money. Stone countertops are a trend that will probably never disappear, but buyers are now moving away from granite and towards quartz as their material of choice. Quartz is a semi man-made material that costs about as much as granite does (and in some cases less), and allows for a more customizable and clean design. With granite, you could spend a significant amount of time finding the “perfect” piece to complement your design, or wind up centering your entire design around the pattern of the stone. Because quartz is man-made, however, it comes in a variety of colors and styles that are readily available to suit almost any design style you have in mind. It’s also a bit easier to maintain as it doesn’t need periodic resealing in the way that granite does, and you don’t have to worry about acid or oil stains.
After years of chrome or oil-rubbed bronze fixtures dominating design styles - and a stint with rose gold doing its best to make an impact - brass and gold (yes, really!) are making their way back into buyers’ preference. However, current design trends also point to mixing metals as a completely acceptable option in buyers’ opinions, so don’t worry about changing out every single chrome fixture in a home.
Now, adding smart home elements aren’t necessarily something that will make or break a sale, but if you’re looking to put your property at the top of a buyers’ list without breaking the bank, this is a great way to do it. Installing smart thermostats, security doorbells, and smart garage door openers will cost about $200 per piece, are very simple to install, and are a great way to impress a buyer. In some areas, things like smart thermostats may actually be considered part of a standard design at this point, so be sure you aren’t left behind by not providing the upgrade.
Interestingly, wallpaper is making a comeback. Of course when you’re designing a flip you don’t want to impose your personal design preferences too strongly on prospective buyers, so stay away from strong, bold prints - but a lovely textured wall can add dimension and class to an otherwise simple room.
Again, you don’t want to impose your preferences too strongly, but walking into a staged home that’s all off-white and beige can be boring for buyers. Consider using a dark colored (yet fairly neutral, like gray or navy blue) paint to create a focal point in a room that will help your buyers remember the property.
Finally, natural materials seem to be impressing buyers these days. What does that mean? Well, gone are the days when everyone was seeking an industrial, modern design filled with metals - natural materials such as wood and cotton fabrics are once again returning to buyers’ minds and making an impact in design styles.
Now that you’ve got an idea of which trends will be big in 2018, are you ready to get funding for your next real estate investment project? Check out our ebook Essential Math for the Fix and Flipper and get started.