Choose the Right Countertops for Your Houseflip
Flippers know that kitchens and bathrooms sell a house. As the two rooms that buyers will focus on, these rooms deserve extra attention from rehabbers. Buyers want to see clean spaces that will hold up to heavy use that also feel comfortable to live in. These utility-focused rooms will make or break the sale of your flip — and therefore your profitability!
It’s easy to get carried away in these rooms and over-improve for the market. While investing in added cabinets and drawers, better lighting fixtures, and of course, gorgeous countertops will improve the space overall, you need to make sure that the cost of these improvements is less than what the market will pay for them in the context of the homes size, neighborhood, and buyer demographic. If you add a $10K gold tub in a suburb, you’ll never get that money back. Countertops will be the major expense when renovating these spaces, so you’ll want to make sure and choose the right material for your project.
A lot of factors affect the overall look of a kitchen or bathroom, but it’s the countertops that set the tone for each space. There are so many options when it comes to choosing a material for the countertops in your flip, you’ll want to consider cost, return on investment, ruggedness, and style.
As we all know, flipping a house revolves around the idea of improving what we can about a particular property and selling it to make a profit. Improving a house requires a significant investment on your part, but a smart house flipper will always try to stay within a budget.
Some home flippers, however, manage to overspend on countertops and end up not profiting much from the flip or even losing money because of the whole thing. Don’t fall in love with a beautiful piece of stone that your buyer won’t be willing to pay the premium on.
Let’s look at a house flipper who is trying to flip a property to appeal to buyers who are looking for the classic granite countertops.
Granite is a very strong and durable material, and buyers in many markets want their countertops to be made from this beautiful, crystalline rock. This popular and in-demand material for countertops, however, costs up to $200 per square foot.
That wouldn’t be a problem if the house flipper is selling a house that is located in an upscale neighborhood, where homes sell for a lot of money. In such an area, the more expensive the countertop material, the higher the homes value could become. The value of the house will go up with the quality of the stone, and the buyer will reward you for choosing this upscale material.
However, that wouldn’t necessarily be true if the house being flipped is in an area where real estate prices aren’t exactly high. In a neighborhood where homes have low maximum sales prices, house flippers aren’t likely to get their money back if they put up granite countertops and other more expensive stone choices such as marble.
Granite and marble are also not typical materials for countertops in low-cost neighborhoods. Insisting on marble or granite countertops will make the house you’re flipping the most expensive on the block, and you already know what that means for your chances of selling it at the price you want. You’ll end up holding a property while it sits on the market. No one wants a stale listing.
So Many Good Choices: Make the Right One!
Granite countertops are the most popular because of their many upsides. For one, they are simply beautiful. Granite is also resistant to heat and scratching, for another. Ask any prospective home buyer what he or she wants for their dream countertop, and the answer would be granite.
Granite: King of Countertops
Granite has it’s share of disadvantages though. It needs periodic resealing to protect it from stains. Also, it’s corners and edges can chip, and fixing it will require the services of a professional. The same goes for other countertop materials as well. Marble and soapstone, which respectively cost up to $250 and $120 per square foot, can be easily nicked, cut, and scratched.
Quartz: Stone on a Budget
Quartz countertops are like granite ones in the sense that their edges and corners can chip. Nevertheless, quartz countertops are engineered in such a way that its surface isn’t porous. Spill any liquids and it would not soak in any of it. At about $60 to $100 per square foot, quartz is a more affordable but just as gorgeous alternative to granite.
Laminate: Functional and Entry level
Even the affordable laminate has a downside that would make people think twice: It can be damaged easily and permanently if you cut food directly on it. Then again, laminate has one thing going for it: it is the most inexpensive countertop material in the market today, and it can mimic granite.
As mentioned earlier, expensive countertops like marble, granite, lava stone, and stainless steel are par for the course if the house to be flipped is in a neighborhood with high real estate values. Without a doubt, house flippers are going to make a pretty penny from it.
Laminates, on the other hand, are perfect for houses in areas where maximum housing prices are low. At $20 to $50 per square foot, laminates wouldn’t cost the house flipper much, but they will appeal to those whom typically buy homes in similar neighborhoods.
House flippers today can choose from a wide range of countertop types. Those choices, however, have to be weighed carefully. Instead of automatically going for an expensive countertop, house flippers must consider a neighborhood’s real estate values first. They must also consider the price of the material, the installation cost, as well as the kind of maintenance it requires. Only then can house flippers see if the flip will turn out the kind of profit they want or not.
About the Author: Samantha Jones is the content specialist at Superior Stone and Cabinet, a home remodeling company located in sunny Phoenix, AZ. When not in the office, Samantha really enjoys gourmet cooking and traveling with her pup. She is also an avid reader.