Flipping a Foreclosed House Part 3: Interior
Updating the interior space of a foreclosed real estate property for investing purposes means transforming stale walls and dull wallpaper. You want to appeal to the modern tastes of your prospective buyers. To turn that tacky early 2000’s Ford of a house into an updated four-door dream, follow these tips to help get the most return on your investment without venturing wildly outside of your budget.
1. Remove those popcorn ceilings
A detestable relic of the 1980s that’s still common in residential homes today, the spray-on ceiling treatment may be a cheap and easy way to finish off a ceiling, but it’s aesthetically the equivalent of comic sans. Fortunately for everyone, removing popcorn ceilings is relatively easy.
First, call your local health department and ask them to help you in getting a sample of your ceiling tested for asbestos. Asbestos is a carcinogen that was used in popcorn ceiling installation before the 1980s. If you’re cleared for removal, remove absolutely everything from the room, mist the ceiling with a garden pump sprayers, and start scraping away. Be sure to wear protection, goggles and a mask while scraping. It’s a messy business.
After you’ve successfully removed the popcorn ceilings, you only really have two options when it comes to smoothing out your ceiling. 1. A clean skim coat giving a nice clean flat surface or 2. A sprayed on, knock-down texture finish. Skim coat costs more, but a nicer finish. Knockdown gives you a quick and easy solution to a nice ceiling finish. In some scenarios, we will do a drop ceiling on top of the old ceiling, allowing us to add low profile LED Lights throughout the new ceiling, following by a clean skim coat finish.
2. Freshen up those Walls
Remove that funky 1980’s wallpaper and prep walls for a fresh coat of paint. There are a number of ways to strip old wallpaper, including using a steamer, a concentrated removal solution, and as a last resort, scrapping with a broad knife. After you’ve freed your walls, wash and wipe them down with a moist sponge and give them a few days to dry out.
You’ll want to make sure the walls are clear of old holes, patch any areas with some light compound and sand them out. Then, generally we’ll prime the ceilings & walls (helps with that old smell of the house) and apply two coats of your favorite paint color.
3. For the love of Floors
In addition to scraping your ceilings, giving your walls a fresh look, you need to do something about those floors! Depending on where you live, flooring options are different. In the northern states wood floors a great option, while in south Florida, you don’t want to install wood anything anywhere with that humidity.
We recommend pulling up any carpet, replace if you can and it’s in budget. Common areas here in S. Florida, we remove all flooring and usually use a porcelain wood grain tile, with very small grout lines. This is an option throughout the entire house, and is generally what we do every time.
Another much less expensive option, is to put vinyal on top of the old tile. It is a common practice for a lot of ‘flippers’ here because you are not required to remove the under flooring, and you can put on top of that existing tile floor. Here at Beachfront Builders, we always spend a few more dollars, remove all the old nasty broken tile, and clean the floors down to the slab, before installing any new material. In the end, it’s the right way to do it always leaves a better look to your future buyers.
By performing all of these repairs, you’ll not only gain invaluable skills and experience, but you’ll be able to save hundreds, even thousands, of dollars. Just be sure you hire a reputable Delray Beach contractor to perform the work.
After you fix up the interior, you can start looking at how you can spruce up the exterior. Look for Part 4 of our series, or read more about how to start flipping foreclosed homes and how to landscape them.
– Written by: Sam Casteris is an aspiring writer who
loves writing about all things real estate and travel.
You can check out her work on Contently.
Brought to you by Beachfront Builders, a local, licensed general contractor that specialized in renovations, remodels, and new construction projects. Working side by side with our sister company, Beachfront Properties, a real estate brokerage and design firm to help. Please Contact Us for any future projects.