What makes your rehabs POP?

For those that rehab and resell, or those that have in the past, what finishes or special touches do you put in your rehabs that make them stand out from the other homes?

Hardwood floors, faucets, countertops…etc?

have you read the book Flip?

No, but I take it I should read it?

I’ve seen couple of rehabs by HomeVestors, they used same colors and material. Ceramic Tiles, high end carpet, stainless steal appliances, high end ceiling fans, landscaping. All done on houses in the $100k range too not the higher end houses and they priced them at market value, if not under.

The 2 houses I saw were amazing… I would have loved to live in one rehabed that way myself.

It’s a very good book.

I’ve seen some good things, and have some great items myself - but just curious what everyone else is doing.

In my opinion, there are somethings that are overkill, like high end finishes in a starter home, but at the same time you have to have something that makes your property “pop”.

What are some of the finishes that you do to make your house better than the competition? What are the must - haves?

counter tops-granite or at least granite tile,
stainless steel appliances
neutral paint color (sand/tan warm color) throughout house
soaker tub

Most of my SFH rehabs are a bit higher end, in the $300K+ range. I use marble tile or real slate, floor to ceiling, in the baths( $2/sq ft at HD), 16" to 18" ceramic tile floor in foyers and baths. I use furniture quality vanities with prefab granite tops. Kitchens are 2 tone - a natural wood tone for the cabinets and contrasting color wood trim. Usually the kitchens are 36" cabinets with 6" “to the ceiling” trim. Kitchen appliances are stainless steel bought at whatever discount place I get the best deal or sometimes used. Kitchen countertops are solid granite ($32/sq ft). I use oak floor in the kitchen and at least 1 adjoining room to provide the feeling of a larger space ($2.29/sq ft).

Although this tends to drive up costs a bit I also try to price slightly below the competition and they blow the competition out of the water. I’ve usually been able to sell in less than 45 days.


Where do you get the granite for $32?

Warm neutral wall color with white trim. That always looks sharp!

I’ve been using the same paint color KB uses. Nice color that everyone tends to like. I never really do a full rehab work though, so mine are touch ups and quick things because the houses I get are in good shape usually.

The trick is to make things look like you spent a bundle without actually spending said bundle.

I have been very successful with natural wood tones, framing windows and doors in satin or gloss stained (minwax "honey pine) 3/4 inch thick knotty pine boards (various widths, depenting on application)
I actually cleaned out one Home Depot’s stock of 1X12 knotty pine stock for one house.
Mirrored walls for small rooms (framed in pine, of course) or where an advantageous view will be reflected is another good idea.

Taking down a drop ceiling and installing recessed lighting, another cheap and relatively easy project creating dramatic results, especially in a kitchen.

kitchens sell. silestone countertops. price comparable to granite without the need to seal. black appliances. if the cabinets are even close to looking bad, I replace them myself. seconds and surplus. no labor.

good lighting is a must.

sherwin williams macadamia paint (tan) with bright white trim. maybe the lighter shade in a dark/small room. maybe the shade darker if appropriate.

when the big orange box has 18" ceramic tile on sale, I buy all they have. big tiles look high-end.

replace any windows that have bad seals.

every bathroom gets a shiny new toilet every time. trust me, the wife will notice.

simple workbench in the garage and make sure the garage door opener works. for the guys.

Good replies guys…keep em coming.

Personally one of my touches is to upgrade the faucets to the brushed nickel or old world bronze style depending on the price range of the house.

having a completed job is crucial…no missing light switch plates!! paint cans go in the attic!

good landscaping is a great value. a nice mail box, house numbers…all the little things add up…

I usually do a nice built in in the family room. Book shelves on each side, cabinets underneath and room for a TV in the middle. Finish it with crown moulding and paint it all gloss white. If I have a window in the middle of that wall I do a window seat and move the location for the TV to one end.


What I have found is these CUSTOM touches really make my homes stand out. Costs for my usual “built in” is around $500 and about 2 days of work.

For the outside of the home I paint just the front a nice Sherwin Williams Tan, Gloss white windows and trim, with a barn red front door.
You know you got it right when neighbors are asking you for the paint colors!!

I have been buying a lot of Lumber Liquidators 3" tongue and groove pre-finished oak flooring. They get $2.29/sq. ft. for it and they’ll tell you straight out that it has worm holes in it, and some defects. ALL MY HOME BUYERS LOVE IT!!! It looks like reclaimed old growth flooring that sells for $10/sq. ft. I also point out that they don’t have to worry about kids or pets marking it up! really nice looking stuff. I usually install it from the front door right into the kitchen.

Go to www.lakesidemoulding.com and check out their cabinet doors.
I just did 25 MDF cabinet doors and draw fronts for a kitchen. Raised panel, square top, all delivered and made to size for $325.00!!! They even pre-drill the hinges for you!
Next step, go to a high end kitchen showroom and bring some paint wheels with you. The new trend in high end cabinets is PAINT. Very nice reds, blues, off whites and greens. Match those colors on your paint wheel or ask for a sample book. Take it to Sherwin Williams and have it color matched. The cabinet companies spend BIG BUCKS researching these color options. Just copy their choices. AMAZING results for literally pennies on the dollar. Top off those old cabinets with some crown moulding before you paint them, and the finished product looks like a $30,000 kitchen remodel that you got done for about $500!! That leaves PLENTY of money for granite counter tops. Incredible finished product that literally leaves the home buyer speechless!!

Everyones looking for the same wood/tile floors granite counter tops, nice kitchen and master bath. But I think it’s in the extras radiant barrier, e2 windows, two zone a/c and inside trim work and color that make it pop, lighting is important also. It’s that first look when they open the door that sells it. Staging is important.


I am about to rehab a house and I love your kitchen idea. Do you have pictures of any of your projects you can share to get an idea?

Send me your email and I get some pics of one I did to you.
(no idea how to post them here)

This project might be THE UGLIEST Kitchen EVER remodeled.

I purchased 24 cabinet doors and draw fronts from lakeside and replaced the cabinet hardware. Painted everything a bright white and it sold the house. Total cost incuding paint and hardware…

$404.00 :shocked

I think a nice color on the walls that makes it look bright and open and airey. Soft creamy buttercup yellow. Nice floors be it tile or wood.