I love interior design. While I was pregnant with Brayden, I had a lot of fun designing our daughter Taylor’s “big girl” room and her new playroom, and I absolutely loved designing Brayden’s nursery. Of course, when I was designing and decorating both of those rooms, I had a lot of room to play and make them really personalized. I even found a piece of art with the lyrics from Taylor’s favorite lullaby on it for a unique, fun addition. And I painted the walls just for her. Those are definitely not things I could do on any of our house flips. When you’re designing a property for a real estate investment, you have to be really careful not to make it too personal.
But how can you create something unique that will stand out and make your buyers want to move right in without putting too much of yourself and your taste into it? Here are a few tips that I regularly use when Tarek and I are flipping houses.
Check Out the Competition
First of all, take a look at the other houses in the neighborhood. And, if you can, make an appointment to tour one of the nearby comps. This will give you the opportunity to look at the floor plans in the area and to see how other investors are selling their properties.
As you look at these properties, keep an objective eye. Don’t just think about what you’d love to see in your dream kitchen or how you’d arrange the furniture in your living room (that’s your stager’s job, anyway). Instead, think about how much natural light your house gets. Think about how convenient the kitchen is for one or more people cooking or doing dishes. Consider modern amenities and appliances that look great and make life easier.
Stick with Neutral Interior Colors
You don’t want to paint all of the walls in the house the same plain white, but you also want to avoid choosing all of your favorites, especially if your favorites are really bold. You’ll notice on Flip or Flop that Tarek and I use a lot of grays and neutral colors to give rooms more dimension and style without getting too personalized.
If we’re feeling a little bit adventurous, we’ll go with a bolder color for the exterior or we’ll go with neutral paint and a really great complementary color on the trim. Inside, though, we tone it down. You don’t want to shock people when they walk in the door. That’s why neutral, light colors are a great choice. And you can always let your stagers have some fun with brighter accents to show that your choice of paint really goes with just about anything, too.
Keep up With Current Design Trends
A fun way to avoid getting too personal with your designs is to keep up with the latest in interior design. I’m always perusing design and architecture magazines and articles online to see the latest and most popular trends. It’s a fun way to relax and unwind, and it helps me stay up to date on what our buyers are looking for when they look at a new house.
Not only can I see the latest trends, but I can also keep an eye on which design styles are fads and which ones look like they’re really going to stick around. Real estate investment is all about making good predictions and taking educated, acceptable risks, and that includes your designs for your house flips. Fortunately, the homework for this part of the job is really fun and interesting!