In his new show, “Fix My Flip”, page turner helps transform dilapidated houses into magnificent homes that sell for a considerable profit. Still, as easy and fun as it may seem on TV to renovate properties, Turner knows that’s the exception rather than the rule.
“I’ve seen the costly mistakes fins make,” she says. “And they keep losing money.”
In the episode “Two Bros With Tujunga Woes”, Turner comes to the rescue of the Los Angeles brothers who have put themselves in a real situation. They paid $650,000 – an incredible $72,000 more than the asking price – for an invisible house.
The 1,300-square-foot, three-bedroom, 1.5-bathroom property is a “diamond in the rough — and I mean rough,” Turner says.
Moreover, the brothers—Anthonyfull-time realtor and part-time freak, and Anthonythe project manager, must have the house renovated and sold in 30 days, as there are large loan repayments due on the property.
They have a budget of $55,000 for the renovation, which Turner thinks is sufficient since there is no deep construction to be done.
She tells them that when they’re done, they can get at least $850,000 for the house. His cut will be a percentage of whatever they earn on that figure. The brothers negotiate that percentage from 50% to 30% and then they go shopping, Turner giving some clever renovation advice along the way that you might also be surprised to learn.
Beware of hard money loans
To buy this house, the brothers borrowed money from a lender who charges them $5,600 a month until they sell the house, hence the 30-day rush.
A hard money loan can also give the investor a say in how the project progresses. In this case, it was the investor who asked the brothers to trade Turner’s share.
Turner isn’t saying there’s anything wrong with hard money lenders, but viewers feel there’s a lot more pressure involved with this type of lending. It’s important not to get overwhelmed.
Consult pros for a quick ride
With only 30 days to renovate this shabby property, time and skill are essential. Turner therefore knows that these brothers need a team of professionals they can rely on.
“Part of my success comes from the team that I trust and respect,” says Turner, referring to his designer, francesca Graceand his contractor, Mitch Glew. They walk around the house with her and make suggestions she hasn’t thought of.
Always turn a half bath into a full bath if you can
Turner thinks adding a shower and tub to the small powder room will make all the difference for buyers. So she persuades the brothers to take some space in the adjacent oversized laundry room to add a shower and tub.
“There’s a bathroom, we have plumbing, we have space,” she says. This is a no-brainer and sets the stage for a more profitable turnaround.
The luxury vinyl board is the MVP of a pinball machine
Anton suggests replacing the flooring with luxury vinyl planks.
“It looks like real wood, but it’s cheaper, more durable, waterproof and good for pets,” he explains.
Page totally agrees. “I see million-plus homes installing this type of flooring,” she says.
Don’t do white on white
When Anthony suggests going white on white with all the finishes because it’s cheaper and appeals to a wider range of buyers, Turner balks.
“We can do something special in there and not make it so bland,” she says. “If we can add a little spice, that might make it a little more appealing. We’re not going to create a basic turnaround. … Buyers want to see that you’ve really thought about this house.
So, as they look at samples of tiles and countertops, the brothers end up accepting blue cabinets and pretty printed tiles for the bathroom floors. Once installed, they make these spaces feel more special and less cookie-cutter.
Don’t overbuild for the neighborhood
Since the house is located in a more natural area without much manicured landscaping, Turner suggests keeping the front yard and back yard simple.
“We are in Tujunga. We’re right against the beautiful mountains, and I really want to play with that, instead of hardening this space with concrete,” she says. “It’s such a cool house, but we don’t want to overbuild it for the neighborhood. When you start adding pools and too much to the house, we go overboard for the neighborhood. You just let the next buyer do whatever they want to do and just give them a nice clean slate to work with and make it look pretty.
Don’t forget to budget for the staging
Sellers often overlook the importance of staging and cost.
“Typically, I budget 1% or less of the purchase price of the house for staging,” says Turner.
Since the brothers bought the house for $650,000, they end up spending $6,500 on staging. That may seem like a lot for a 1,300 square foot home, but it makes all the difference.
Does Page Turner help solve this problem?
Real estate agent Tujunga Arbi Sarkissian comes to see the finished flip and is very impressed. He says he currently has buyers who will happily pay over $850,000 for it.
“Bring them on,” Turner said. He does, and they do.
The brothers end up selling the house for $900,000. After deducting all expenses, the fins make a profit of $180,000. Turner’s cut (30% of $50,000 out of $850,000) is $15,000, plus bragging rights, of course!